One of my three heroines in The Lost Child of Lychford is a put-upon vicar at Christmas time (I defy you to find me any other kind at that time of year). She expresses some of that frustration by naming some of her least favourite Christmas singles. These horrors include songs by Greg Lake, Chris De Burgh, and The Pogues (through sheer repetition, seriously, you should try being British at Christmas, it’s mostly hideous). Greg Lake fans should note, however, that he benefits from a bit of a twist ending.
So I thought, for an article to accompany my very dark Christmas novella, why not list some of my favourite Christmas singles? (That was a rhetorical question. Which will still probably get answers in the comments.) I’m not going to include traditional music here, or “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” which has probably influenced my work more than any other text, would take up half the piece. Also, Prokofiev’s “Troika” would get a paragraph or two for the way that I can’t get through it without recalling the TV trailers of my youth and bellowing “Christmas on BBC1!” No, instead I’m talking here about the sort of singles with a festive theme that get, or rather used to get, into the British charts. For this is a species on the verge of extinction. Talent show singles, charity crusades and tiresomely ironic responses to such have long since taken the place of current pop groups hopefully jingling sleigh bells.