Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Songs Countdown: #1

It's Christmas Eve, babe, and as this is my blog I can do whatever the chuffing heck I feel like doing. So for #1 on my Christmas countdown I'm chucking in a double-bill of Christmas songs!

First up it's Fairytale of New York by The Pogues, featuring Kirsty MacColl, from the album If I Should Fall With Grace from God. It reached number 2 in the 1987 Christmas UK charts (but hit number 1 in Ireland, naturally). It's a gorgeously grumpy-yet-cheerful Irish folk/rock ballad, with MacColl's meliodious tones contrasting perfectly with Shane MacGowan's harsher, drunker, and considerably more toothless vocals.

Here's a live version of the song from St Patrick's Day 1988. Enjoy!

Christmas just wouldn't - no: couldn't - be Christmas without my next #1. The sixth number 1 single for Slade, Merry Xmas Everybody beat Wizzard's I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day to the Christmas number 1 slot in 1973, stayed there for five weeks, and didn't leave the charts until well into the February of 1974. Noddy Holder, Slade's frontman, says that he wrote the song overnight at his mum's house as an antidote to the financial issues and various workers strikes affecting the country at the time.

It charted every year in the first half of the 1980s, 1998 and 2006. It has also appeared in two of the new Doctor Who series Christmas specials: 2005's The Christmas Invasion and 2006's The Runaway Bride.

Here's a vid from their 1983 Top Of The Pops appearance: