It seems that pretty much every singer has recorded a Christmas song. Some are originals; some are covers (which may or may not be better than the originals). Some of the songs are quite enjoyable; others are less so.
Here are some of the less well-known songs that have made it to my Christmas playlist. You may or may not agree with my somewhat erratic and eclectic selection.
I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey is possibly the oldest recording in the list. This is such a fun song that it is permanently on my MP3 player – proving, perhaps, that a Hippopotamus isn’t just for Christmas but for all year round.
We often complain that Christmas has become over-commercialised. But this is nothing new, according to this song by Tom Lehrer from the 1960s.
Continuing the same theme is Louden Wainwright.
In my next choice, Nick Lowe imagines what it might be like to be stranded at an airport on Christmas Day. I like the thoughts of taking photos with the X-ray machine, or having a sleigh ride on the baggage carousel. This song strikes a particular chord with me because a few years ago I was threatened with being stuck at Heathrow over Christmas after snow had suspended nearly all flights. In the end, my flight did leave – four hours late and with no in-flight meals.
Christmas songs should be fun to sing. This one by Bob Dylan evokes pictures of the bawdy singing of folk songs in pubs and taverns.
The Jacksons recorded Santa Claus is Coming to town, which is all right if you like the Jacksons and the High pitch of little Michael. Personally, I prefer the Bruce Springsteen version.
And finally, a song we all know – even if we can’t remember how many of each item were delivered. As cover versions go, I think this, by Tenebrae, is the best I’ve heard.