Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody (or is that Evrybodee?) – what a miserable tune. I wonder if the secret of its longevity is the tension between its party-time lyrics and the melancholy plod of a melody and chord sequence? Perhaps if it had been one thing or the other it would have ended up like all the ‘dead’ Christmas singles.
Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, on the other hand, lifts my spirits because of Roy Wood’s sense of idiot glee, like a Woolworths Phil Spector, and because it’s the sister of See My Baby Jive which I love dearly.
Wham’s Last Christmas made me feel like I was in a new hell realm when I spent a morning with the first verse – no more – on a permanent brain loop. There it goes again.
The Pogues’ Fairy Tale of New York and Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry still appeal, the first for its sheer ambition and artistry and the second for its modesty.
The Plastic Ono Band’s Merry Christmas (War Is Over) hasn’t lasted so well for me, apart from the opening line, with Lennon’s accusatory tone still cutting after all these years.