The Thaiger’s Best Christmas Singles, Ever!

As readers on The Thaiger platform will have noticed, it’s getting pretty close to Christmas. The team has been suggesting the best places to go to eat, drink, and make merry at this special time of the year.

Nostalgia always plays a big part in the festive season and there’s nothing better than wallowing in times gone by when life appeared to be easier and somewhat less stressful than it seems now. So, The Thaiger is going to take its readers on a trip down memory lane with …

Best Christmas Singles, Ever!

No. 10 Another Rock and Roll Christmas (1984) – Gary Glitter

At No.10 in the countdown to The Thaiger’s best Christmas Single, Ever, is the king of glam rock’s catchy toe-tapping Another Rock and Roll Christmas, which peaked at No.7 in the UK hit parade in 1984.

It was Glitter’s biggest hit since 1975’s Back With the Boys Again and features the line “I’m going to pull my cracker.” We’re sure you did Gary! We’re sure you did.

Key lyric:

“I’m going to pull my cracker.”

No.9 (1974) Lonely This Christmas – Mud

At No.9 in the festive hit parade, Lonely This Christmas by UK glam rockers Mud. The neat Tiger Feet four-piece registered their second chart-topper with this track, a kind of Elvis Presley pastiche in 1974.

Interesting anorak fact, Mud guitarist Rob Davis wrote Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Outta My Head.

Key lyric:

“It’s gonna be cold, so cold, without you to hold, this Christmas.”

No.8 Stay Another Day (1994) – East 17

Walthamstow’s finest recorded their only No.1 hit with Stay Another Day at Christmas in 1994. The song, from East 17’s second album Steam, was penned by the band’s singer-songwriter Tony Mortimer about his brother who committed suicide.

Mortimer won an Ivor Novello songwriting award for the beautifully gut-wrenching ballad.

Key lyric:

“Oh, don’t leave me alone like this, don’t say it’s the final kiss, won’t you stay another day.”

No.7 Happy Xmas (War is Over) (1971) John Lennon

John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over) was originally released in 1971 by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir and peaked at No.4 in the UK hit parade. It was subsequently rereleased after Lennon’s murder in December 1980 when it climbed two more places to No.2.

The track was written in protest of the Vietnam War.

Lennon did quite well in a British four-piece from Liverpool back in the 1960s but their name escapes me.

Key lyric:

“And so happy Christmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now).”

No.6 I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake

Greg Lake, from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, fame, said that he wrote I Believe in Father Christmas in protest at the commercialisation of Christmas. Written in 1974, but released in 1975, the song reached No.2 in the UK hit parade. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody denied him the coveted No.1 spot.

Lake said he was quite happy to lose to Queen.

“I got beaten by one of the greatest records ever made. I would’ve been pissed off if I’d been beaten by Cliff Richard.”

Key lyric:

“They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth.”

No.5 Last Christmas (1984)– Wham

Written by the duo’s lead singer George Michael, Last Christmas was released in 1984 as a double A-side with Everything She Wants. It peaked at No.2 in the UK where it stayed for five weeks. It was beaten by Band Aid’s awful Do They Know it’s Christmas, which obviously did not make The Thaiger’s top 10 list, and neither did the awful, screamy Mariah Carey for that matter.

The promotional video featured George, longing for a sassy brunette who was with his pal Andrew Ridgely at the beginning of the promo. But all turned out well in the end. It appears that three minutes of brooding and smouldering in the snow was enough for George to get the girl in the end which was a bit bizarre given he liked boys more.

All’s well in love and war, so they say.

Key lyric:

“A crowded room, friends with tired eyes
I’m hiding from your soul of ice
My God, I thought you were someone to rely on
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on.

No.4 I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday (1973)– Wizzard

Yet another 1970’s glam rock band features in The Thaiger’s best Christmas Singles, Ever! In 1973 Birmingham-based rockers Wizzard, fronted by Roy Wood, climbed to No.4 in the charts with I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday that become a household classic festive singalong.

The song has been covered by Girls Aloud, Sarah Brightman, Wilson Philips, and Kylie Minogue, among many others. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Wizzard.

Key lyric:

“When the snowman brings the snow.”

No.3 Stop the Cavalry (1980) – Jona Lewie

Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry is an anti-war song which peaked at No.3 in the UK 1980 chart. Ironically, John Lennon’s anti-war song Happy Xmas (War is Over) was one place above it at the time at No.2 while the sickly There’s No One Quite Like Grandma by St Winifred’s Choir kept both songs off the top spot.

Lewie revealed the song wasn’t meant to be a Christmas song but the line “wish I was at home for Christmas” was picked up by the record company who added a tubular bell to the production.

The song isn’t about one war in particular but several from the Crimean War to World War I, to the modern-day wars, or those wars fought before 1980.

Key lyric:

“Wish I could be dancing now
In the arms of the girl I love
Mary Bradley waits at home
She’s been waiting two years long
Wish I was at home for Christmas.”

No.2 Merry Xmas Everybody (1973) – Slade

Glam rockers Slade earned a sixth and final No.1 with Merry Xmas Everybody in 1973. Like many of its festive single counterparts, the song is released just about every year and has been part of the Christmas furniture ever since.

If this track doesn’t get you off your sweaty bottom and onto the dancefloor then nothing will. A classic among classics and many people’s favourite Christmas record. Sadly, there can only be one.

Anorak fact: the song was produced by Chas Chandler of The Animals who went on the manage the genius of Jimi Hendrix.

Key lyric:

“What will your daddy do when he sees your mamma kissin’ Santa, aha..”

No.1 Fairytale of New York (1987)– The Pogues

Released in 1987, Fairytale of New York climbed to No.2 in the UK hit parade when the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of Elvis Presley’s Always on My Mind kept them at bay. At the time, and since, conspiracy theorists reckoned it was deliberately denied the No.1 spot because there are a couple of sweary, controversial words in the lyrics.

Regardless, it is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in the UK.

The song is based on a novel of the same name by J P Donleavy and features a duet between the band’s lyricist and singer Shane McGowan and Kirsty MacColl.

The singers share an alternative, star-crossed love story. One side of the tale is told by a drug-addled woman of easy virtue while the other by a romantic drunken dreamer with a gambling habit. The outcome is something quite special.

It is the antithesis of a Christmas love song, which is why it probably works. Full of pathos, violent imagery, and desperation.

The story is told in flashbacks.

It begins with our drunken anti-hero in an NYPD prison cell. He’s sleeping off a day on the drink and we learn he had just backed a horse that won at odds 18-1. The song then shows the optimism of two young lovers on a fairytale night out in the Big Apple before reality bites – he finds comfort at the bottom of a bottle while his lover ends up on a drip in a hospital after a heroin overdose.

Arguably the most beautiful alternative love story ever told. Eat your heart out Romeo and Juliet!

Key lyric:

“I could have been someone.

“Well so could anyone. You took my dreams from me when I first found you.

“I kept them with me babe. I put them with my own. Can’t face it all alone I built my dreams around you.”

Did your song make it onto The Thaiger top 10? No? Well, let us know your favourite song and why it should be included.

ExpatsGuidesLifestyleThailand NewsWorld News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

Related Articles