Christmas music falls in two categories: Songs that really complement
the yuletide spirit, or positively dreadful music that somehow ended up
associated with the season. The Engine Creative studio has been filled
with Christmas Music for the past few weeks and we want to share our
favourites with you.
We asked the team for their favourite songs for Christmas. That means they don’t have to be Christmas songs per se but songs they like to hear at this time of year. The results were interesting. Some people obviously really like a traditional Christmas but some choices are sure to raise an eyebrow or two!
Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
I love Bowie and, to me, the duet with Bing perfectly merges the old and the new masters. It has to be the version linked to above with the little bit of chat at the beginning – it’s quirky, festive and cool all at the same time. There’s also a slightly dark side to this version and I’m never sure why, but I like it!
Shirley Walker (Edward Scissorhands OST) – Danny Elfman
Sitting in front of the fire and spending hours watching Christmas films is just the best way of enjoying the time at home with the family. I could have chosen any number of songs from films (my favourite ever being It’s A Wonderful Life) but plumped for this beautiful, sweeping number from Danny Elfman that just feels how Christmas should sound.
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
From the musical school of ‘throw everything at it and the more sleigh bells the better’, my third choice would be anything from the Phil Spector Christmas catalogue. I also love the hint to the Northern Soul sound on some of these tracks and the idea that Christmas was better and had more of an innocence about it way back when. The album is a real Christmas gem: Various Artists – A Christmas Gift for You From Phil SpectorOde To Joy – Ludwig von Beethoven
From the soundtrack of Die Hard. The most perfect Christmas movie ever made. Also in Clockwork Orange for a bit of the old ultra-violence.
Twilight And Shadow (Lord of the Rings OST) – Howard Shore
I love the music in these films. They were the big Christmas movies for three years of the past decade so they remind me of December.
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
A cheeky Christmas track. I like the humour; “What do I want for Christmas? A yacht and a convertible car.”
I Drove All Night – Cyndi Lauper
No actual words about Christmas in this song but it has a feel of getting together and spending some quality time. And that’s what Christmas is all about really.
Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry
It just reminds me of the Christmases in the early eighties.
The First Noel (Carol) & Good King Wenceslas (Carol)
I have Yorkshire roots and these two carols bring back memories of snowy Yorkshire of my childhood and watching the BBC’s TV serial “The Box of Delights”, arguably the most Christmassy thing ever on TV.Elf’s Lament – Barenaked Ladies
I like this song because it is different to most Christmas songs. It’s from the point of view of the elves who decide to form a union after being unhappy with their working conditions.
Swiss Colony Beef Log – Eric Carmen (South Park)
It just makes me laugh. In fact, the whole album is really quite funny, especially after a good few glasses of mulled wine.
It’s Christmas Time – Status Quo
I like it because it is just really bad. Same style as Slade’s “Merry Christmas” but not completely played to death on the radio.Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl
A wonderful song. Full of hope at first and then at the end it really is quite sad. It is a favourite of me and my fiancee.
In Ducli Jubilo – Mike Oldfield
What can I say? It’s Merry!
A Winter’s Tale – David Essex
I sang it so badly in guitar school that they kicked me out *ah fond memories*.Christians And Pagans – Dar Williams
How Christians and Pagans come together at a family Christmas meal and discover they actually have a lot in common and that it doesn’t really matter what you believe in as long as you respect each other.
River – Indigo Girls
A classic Joni Mitchell song. It is set around Christmas time, rather than being about Christmas itself but it is still a Christmas classic in my mind. And from a Dutchwoman’s perspective, I can certainly understand the longing for a river to skate away on!
Gallery Carol – Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band
I am a big fan of traditional English folk music and Maddy Prior is one the finest singers in the genre. This song about the tradition of Wassail celebrates the New Year and never fails to cheer me up.
Christmas In Hollis – RUN-DMC
Because apart from being a cool song, it reminds me of watching Christmas movies and, in particular, Die Hard.
What’s This? (The Nightmare before Christmas OST) – Danny Elfman
Another film-related one. I love films and this is certainly one of the, if not THE best Christmas film ever.
Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl
I can’t think of a film for this one but it is a great song so it has to be on my list.Killing In The Name Of – Rage against the Machine
Awesome played loud on Christmas eve.
In The Cold I’m Standing – M83
Ambient mood builder for the Christmas present opening ceremony.
Christmas Steps – Mogwai
Perfect present contemplation and realisation music.I equate my Xmas songs to movies… so If I’m liking the film I remember the music. So, my choices are:
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Mel & Kim
Reminds me of Home Alone although it wasn’t this version in the film, it’s still crackin!
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! – Dean Martin
Reminds me of the end credits of Die Hard, a classic Christmas movie.
Jingle Bell Rock – Brenda Lee
Reminds me of the start of Lethal Weapon, another film I have seen many times at Christmas.
Actually, the last two aren’t really Christmas movies… just set at Christmas!All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Because it’s festive and romantic all in one!
Last Christmas – Wham
I actually love the video more than the song. It’s really emotional!
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Because it’s a good reminder what Christmas is really about!Baby It’s Cold Outside (Elf OST) – Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell
A lovely touching and ‘unknowing’ duet from the two main characters. Yum…
What’s this? (The Nightmare before Christmas OST) – Danny Elfman
When Jack Skellington discovers Christmas Town and breaks into song
it’s the highlight of Tim Burton’s stop motion extravaganza. Grab the new Disney Blu Ray, hook up a 7.1 surround system and let the track embrace you. Merry Christmas!