I love Christmas. There, I’ve outed myself and it feels good. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve always loved this time of year and, although I’m not particularly religious, I recognise the importance of this time for so many. Christmas nowadays is a rampantly commercial affair and I’m as guilty as the next person in contributing to this – although I do as much as I can from the safety of my home and computer though! I don’t have an open fire to sit in front of and on which I can roast my chestnuts, and as music is such a large part of my life I thought it would be a good way to mark the season by compiling a YouTube playlist. A humongous market has developed for music to celebrate Christmas, from the religious and spiritual to the frivolous and commercial, and with so many to choose from I decided that any attempt at comprehensiveness was doomed to failure. I have therefore restricted myself to some favourites and a few obvious and less obvious choices. This has resulted in what I think is an eclectic mix, which I am splitting into two parts. I shall be posting again on Christmas Day with a selection of carols but for part one here’s a random selection which I hope will entertain you. I was going to embed the entire playlist but as there are 33 videos on it lasting almost three hours I thought it fairer to let you choose for yourself! I hope there’s at least one in there that you like! To give you a taste of what you can find, I’m sharing a few here too.
The playlist isn’t really in any order, though I have put my favourite live band first. Bellowhead are probably unknown to anyone not interested in folk music but I can highly recommend their gigs if you like to be entertained and have fun. This video – made on a ‘no expenses provided’ budget – is so typical of them and is simply great fun:
I defy anyone to watch that without tapping their toes and smiling!
I also wanted to highlight a couple of other less well-known artists. This next song, with an accompanying ‘home made’ video, is by Mindy Smith from her new EP Snowed In and is just beautiful:
If you liked that, and I hope you did, the title track from the EP is further down the list.
I also hope you like this next one. The song Let It Snow is an old standard and has been covered countless times. Whilst it may conjure up images of the old style crooners in woolly jumpers, sitting in front of a log fire smashed out of their brains on whisky, it can be done in other ways. This version, by Brynn Andre, came out last year and in my very very ‘umble opinion is the best I’ve ever heard – by miles! The video is lovely too:
Those who know me will be aware of my admiration for the band Walk Off The Earth and their videos. Here’s one which by their standards is very simple, but conveys their usual spirit of fun and good vibrations (no, not that one):
Now, to close this post, a trio of songs without which a Christmas playlist would be totally inadequate. The first two date back to the mass explosion of Christmas pop songs in the 1970s, when it suddenly became cool to have a Christmas hit. Although there are a couple of others on my list, these two are the ones most people know. Firstly, a Wizzard Christmas:
And then, of course, the song which still makes the band a cool £500,000 in royalties every Christmas – and it’s been around for 40 years! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!
The last one for this selection is, I think, my favourite Christmas song:
You may disagree with my choice but do take a look at the whole playlist as I’m sure you’ll find something there to brighten up your Christmas. After all, there are another 25 songs and a whole TV show there, so the odds must be good! Enjoy the music! I hope your preparations for the big day go well, and I’ll see you again on Christmas Day.