Monday, 21 December 2009

Crimbo Choons 4, 5 & 6

For my next selections for my top Crimbo tracks, I've gone down the slightly more mainstream route. These three songs are solid Christmas compilation CD fodder that you're more than likely to hear as you walk into a shop/cafe/funeral home over the festive period. But that shouldn't take away from them as selections of top quality Christmas songs.

Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

Chris Rea - Driving Home For Christmas

So, why have I grouped these three together? And, more importantly, why have I selected them at all? Without doing a detailed analysis of each song, here's a few points that relate to all three songs. Firstly, they're all most definitely festive, but they also sound like "proper" songs too. Lots of Christmas music gets caught up in novelty or twee-ness, but all of these actually have some substance to them. True, The Waitresses song is somewhat cheesy, and the Chris Rea track is very cheesy, but they maintain a credible level of cheesiness which is all the more acceptable when coupled with Christmassiness (which is now unofficially a word).

Secondly, the Christmas factor in them is more subtle. The songs aren't actually about Christmas, but use Christmas in telling their story. Jona Lewie wishes he could be home for Christmas, but isn't actually there yet; The Waitresses are actually telling a modern love story over twelve months that culminates at Christmas; Chris Rea is driving home for Christmas, but like Mr. Lewie previously, he hasn't reached it yet. The relative subtlety in the use of Christmas in the songs sets them apart from all the songs about reindeer, Santa and mistletoe you hear for the rest of the festive season. But at the same time, they are actually related to Christmas (which some other Christmas songs, weirdly, are not).

And lastly, they are, for want of a more descriptive word, jolly. They bounce along putting a smile on your face. They're not sombre or serious (although Jona Lewie's track does have a somewhat serious undertone, but not in a way that takes away from the celebratory mood of the song, largely provided by the brass band sections featured throughout the song). Another key element that some Christmas songs sorely lack.

So, there we go. In the last of these entries, which will come sometime before Christmas Day itself, I'll round things off with my all-time best and worst Christmas songs. Until then, keep enjoying the Crimbo choonage.

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