Love it or hate it, Christmas music is a necessary part of any seasonal gathering. From seasonal stalwarts you can’t get enough of, to tiresome cover versions overplayed in shops and supermarkets, we all have our most loved – and most hated – yuletide tunes.
It’s not easy to keep everyone happy at this time of year, but our Christmas music playlist of firm favourites and unusual classics is sure to fill the whole family with festive cheer.
Here’s a rundown of w&h’s favourite Christmas music… Enjoy, be merry and don’t forget to dance your way under the mistletoe.
1. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
Two icons; one outlandishly odd, sweetly sentimental collaboration.
2. Last Christmas – Wham!
Three decades on, Wham!’s novelty song has grown into a woolly-jumpered Christmas classic.
3. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
The late singer’s haunting, hymnal cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah
was re-recorded and re-packaged by Simon Cowell and Alexandra Burke as
a Christmas song in 2009, but we think this version is the best.
4. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
even Bing could cram more Christmas references into three
strings-laden minutes and sound so classy. A chestnut-roasting
5. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
A shamelessly sultry Kitt tries to seduce Santa into granting her wish list on this 1950s charmer with barbershop backing.
6. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
That vocal range – wow! This modern classic is also famously part of the soundtrack to Love Actually, which will almost certainly be airing on TV during the festive season.
7. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
The raw power, emotion, and very danceable 1960s beat make this a classic that everyone will want to move to.
8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John & Yoko
in 1972 during the Vietnam War, this song is John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s attempt to remind us that
peace is of our own making, and that we should wish each other well
regardless of our differences.
9. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl
of us end up arguing over Christmas, so this jaunty, insult-packed tune
should take some of the focus off any gravy-based family tiffs.
10. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
Is there anything more
knee-trembling and sultry than Elvis’s voice? This swooning ode to
loneliness during the festive period should impress hipster relatives.
11. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas –
Ban kids from the kitchen and – deep breath – let Bublé’s soothing voice de-stress you. So what if it’s a false sense of serenity? Hang onto it!
12. Do You Hear What I Hear? – Bing Crosby
political one. Penned as a plea for peace during the Cuban missile
crisis, Bing’s choir-backed classic casts a calming spell you’ll wish
would drift through the whole house.