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Reviewer Picks: Favourite Christmas Songs



Jingle bells, jingle bells… it’s getting to that time of year again! Whether you’re doing some last minute Christmas shopping or are one of those smug types who do it all in November, we’re sure you’ll agree that now is a good time to crack open those Christmas tunes to help you really get into the spirit of things. Below some of our contributors have picked their favourite festive tunes. Some are familiar classics, some may be new to you. Let’s get the party started! Ho ho ho!

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Kimberley Manderson: Unsurprisingly, my favourite Christmas song is Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I mean, Springsteen and Christmas are two of the greatest words in the western world, so to have them together is just amazing. The late Clarence Clemons also provides a great “you better be good for goodness sake” in addition to his flawless sax skills. There really is nothing that The E Street Band can’t make cool. Somebody pass me a Santa hat!

Wham! – Last Christmas

Emily Bruce: This is one of my favourite Christmas songs because it’s one of the catchiest and most heartfelt out there. A tale of heartbreak that still manages to feel upbeat – quite a feat. Also you can’t not love the video featuring lots of snow and some most excellent festive jumpers.

Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland

Sophie Ahmed: My favourite Christmas song is a 90s take on a long-time seasonal success. I must say that the Cocteau Twins’ ethereal vibe really does lend itself to Winter Wonderland and although this rare gem isn’t quite as atmospheric or cryptic as you’d expect from the transcendent trio, it’s pretty damn blissful. When listening to it you learn that sleigh bells suit the band’s style and that their shimmering guitar sound and Elizabeth’s so-called “voice of God” also lend themselves to festive cheer. They only released 5000 copies of their Snow EP but it’s my first port of call every December.

Fall Out Boy – Yule Shoot Your Eye Out

Rebecca Stanley: My favourite Christmas song is Yule Shoot Your Eye Out by Fall Out Boy, quite simply because they’re my favourite band. The run up to Christmas is my favourite time of year and this song holds so many happy memories for me.

Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry

Rebecca Kidwell: When I was 10 my mum brought home a Christmas CD. We played it on repeat and now, I can’t go one single Christmas without it as the soundtrack – particularly Jona Lewie’s Stop The Cavalry.

It may not be a typical Christmas song (more of a protest, really) – but the hypnotic beat, the bells and even the snowy, obscure video puts me in a Christmassy mood. When Lewie sings “Wish I was at home, for Christmas”, I get the sort of shivers up my spine I used to get at 6am on Christmas morning, waiting for my mum to say it was a decent hour to wake up and open presents. It wouldn’t feel as much like Christmas should without that song.

The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York

Jo Cox: I can never really relate Christmas to carols or saccharine pop tunes vying for a coveted number one spot. Instead I like a bit of grit and swearing, so Fairytale of New York has to go down as my favourite Christmas song of all time. I enjoy listening to it so much that I can happily play it (and various covers) all year round.

Elton John – Step Into Christmas

Nicola Sloan: For me the seventies is the definitive Christmas song era with such glam rock icons as Wizzard, Mudd, T-Rex, Queen and Slade all releasing Christmas songs. Oh yeah – and Elton John too!

Glam rock and Christmas go hand in hand because glam rock is already pretty festive anyway, and Elton John’s undeniable talent , showmanship and wacky outfits should make him a strong contender in any Christmas playlist. But this is my favourite Christmas song because it’s one of the few I could listen to all year round, it’s undeniably feel-good (compared to, for example, Wham’s popular but bittersweet ‘Last Christmas’), and it’s also something of an underdog, often treading in the shadow of Wizzard and Slade when it comes to seventies Christmas tunes on the radio. But don’t worry Elton, you’ve had more hits than those two put together. Step into Christmas with me-ee-ee!