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20 Greatest Christmas Songs Ever - Celebrity Playlist

By NME Blog

Posted on 22 Dec 09

 
 

We asked a panel of musicians to name their favourite seasonal tunes. Here's what they picked...

20. The Jig – The Snowman
"It always reminds me of being really small and excited. I was probably about five when I first heard it. I was living in Hertfordshire with my mum and family, and it was on every year. It reminds me of a more innocent time, when Christmas wasn’t all Argos adverts every two minutes on telly." (Natasha Khan, Bat For Lashes)





19. Trad. – O Little Town Of Bethlehem
"It evokes all those feelings you had when you were younger during Christmas time that are really special. I remember singing it once in a nursing home – we always went to nursing homes and sang for old people, and I always thought that was nice. It’s one of those songs you feel like has always been in your life." (Jacob Graham, The Drums)

Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
"I probably first heard it when I was about five or six on Top Of The Pops. It makes me think of being in my parent’s living room in Essex. My birthday is two days before Christmas, so it’s always a weird period – there is a two-day difference and I still get one present!" (Dev Hynes, Lightspeed Champion)



17. The Walkmen – No Christmas While I'm Talking
"This would be the song to play on your iPod as you walk home alone after midnight on Christmas Eve, stumbling through the crisp snow – whisky hip flask in your hand and a tear in your eye. If this song doesn't make your eyes well up with tears this winter, then you’ve got no heart. Merry Christmas!” (Liam Fray, The Courteeners).

16. Trad. – Greensleeves
"This takes me back to all the times I was in church just dying to hear it among all the other Christmas songs played during December masses, especially midnight mass. Yes, I was a Catholic altar boy most of my youth…" (John Famiglietti, HEALTH)

15. Eazy-E – Merry Muthafucking Christmas
"Maybe it stuck with me so long because I was seven and I had never heard anyone curse so much, but I believe it was the last hook where Mr E says “Merry muthafucking Christmas and have a fucked up new year. You biiiiiiitch” that got me. (Chris #2, Anti-Flag)



14. Old Italians – An Old Italian Song
"It is an old song by a choir from the Italian side of the Alps, who were founded by a group of very clever classical musicians. So it is basically a Christmas song sung by a group from high up in the mountains. To me, what I like about it is the feeling of hope and of festive spirit, and a very profound sense of beauty and joy." (Laurent Brancowitz, Phoenix)

13. Bing Crosby – I'll Be Home For Christmas
"It’s a song about a soldier at war who tells his friends and family that he’ll be coming home for Christmas to visit them all, but obviously he might not make it because he might die, so at the end he sings “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams”." (Christopher Owens, Girls)



12. The Fall – (We Wish You) A Protein Christmas
“It’s rare that I like a Christmas song, but I love this one. It’s really funny!" (Andy Wake, The Phantom Band)

11. Phil Spector – Silent Night
"It’s all the artists on the Phil Spector Christmas album singing huge harmonies and there’s glockenspiels and sleigh bells – it’s brilliant. It actually makes me think of those really old ’50s Christmas films, ones they show at Christmas." (Tom Fleming, Wild Beasts)

10. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine
"My favourite Christmas song is definitely ‘Mistletoe And Wine’. I could probably say something cooler than that, but if you’re picking Christmas songs I think you’ve
got to go all-out and plump for someone old and cheesy, like Cliff." (Scott Hutchison, Frightened Rabbit)

9. The Ronettes – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
"It’s from the Phil Spector album ‘A Christmas Gift For You’, which is also amazing. It comes with him sort of introducing the album. [Plays Spector’s spoken word intro] Can you hear that?! It’s him talking about how special Christmas is… it’s really fucked up. It’s no surprise that this guy went on to kill someone!" (Milo Cordell, The Big Pink)



8. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry
“It’s totally joyous, ridiculous and mischievous – it makes me rump-a-pum-pum my way round my house all December. I’ve got very fond memories of it being played when I was a kid too, on the morning of Christmas Eve while I made the worst Christmas decorations in the world for our house." ( Marina Diamandis, Marina & The Diamonds)



7. Johnny Marks – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
"Christmas in the UK is so different to back home in France. It’s boring in France. We don’t really have Christmas songs other than carols. Yeah, I know being French doesn’t excuse me from choosing a Christmas song that isn’t this one…” (Charlotte Gainsbourg)

6. Low – Just Like Christmas
“Anything with bells on it works well for me, generally speaking, and I always quite like playing this at a club or on a night out somewhere around Christmas time." (Andrew Hung, Fuck Buttons)

5. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
“It works outside of being a Christmas song – it’s just a really good Phil Spector record." (Dayve Hawk, Memory Tapes )



4. Kate Bush – December Will Be Magic Again
"There’s a line about jumping down in a parachute, something about Oscar Wilde, she sings about Bing Crosby singing ‘White Christmas’. I’ve always thought there was something essentially magical about Kate Bush’s music.” (Pop, The Chapman Family)

3. Band Aid – Do They Know It's Christmas?
“It reminds me of growing up in Scotland and listening to it at home in my bedroom before Christmas when I was really young. It’s an amazing, epic collaboration, the likes of which will never be done again." ( Max McElligott, Wolf Gang)



2. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
"Christmas is a time for getting so hammered that you end up picking fights with those closest to you and nursing a black eye come Boxing Day. So sing hosannas for the Ramones – Jesus’ second favourite band – for telling it like it is." (Lucas Renney)

1. The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York
"I love ‘Fairytale Of New York’. It’s an amazing song – the two voices are two complete contrasts and it works so well." (Ellie Goulding)

"I remember it being on a lot in my house when I was growing up because it’s an amazing tune. I wouldn’t rule The xx out of doing a Christmas song at some point, and this song is a pretty good model of how to do it." (Oliver Sim, The xx)

Pogues guest blog – How we wrote 'Fairytale Of New York'



 
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