Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

#21 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

Hello, everyone!  And welcome to Day #5 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR

In case you're just joining us, I'm counting down what I believe to be the best 25 Christmas tunes ever released.  Of course, that is strictly my own opinion.  Feel free to agree or disagree with me all you like.  But try to do it respectfully.  We are twenty days until Christmas and Santa Claus is still watching and judging you.

Watching and judging.

Oh...ahem.  That's right.  It's time to have a look at
song #21, isn't it?

Before I post it, I will say this as a bit of a disclaimer.  In Canada, we tend to have a listen to songs from the United Kingdom a lot sooner than the people of the United States do.  So as a result, I don't know if a whole lot of you will know who this artist is - or even what the song is.  But this song has always been a part of my Christmases from the time I was growing up, and on the rare occasion that the radio did play this song during the month of December, I loved it.

So, here's the song I have picked for #21

Born Michael Barratt in Cardiff, Wales, he changed his stage name to Shakin' Stevens when he was starting out in the music business.  Though his career in the UK began in the 1960s, it wasn't until he was in his thirties that his career really took off in the UK.

And, I suppose it's needless to say that in the United States and Canada, his career didn't seem to take off at all.  I have to admit, I didn't know that it was him who sang my twenty-first favourite Christmas tune until four years ago!

But in 1985, Shakin' Stevens released the tune "Merry Christmas Everyone" in the UK, where it topped the charts that Christmas.  You see, in the UK, it's not uncommon for a Christmas tune to reach the #1 spot, and not only did the song chart at the top of the pops in 1985, but over the last ten years, the song has re-charted - going as high as #17 in 2016!

The song is sort of arranged in a way that makes it sound as it was released at the beginning of the rock and roll era.  This was quite common with a lot of Shakin' Stevens' early works.  He was likely one reason for the brief period in the early 1980s when everything 1950s was hot again.  

The music video is quite nicely done as well, with somewhat decent production values for its time period.  And it does just what the song intends to do - makes everyone feel happy and excited that the holiday is here and celebrating it the best way they can.  From snowman building to sleigh rides to that incredibly ugly Christmas sweater Stevens is wearing - this video just screams Christmas!

They didn't have to look hard to cast some of the children in the video - two of them were played by his own children!

The final footnote I have to offer regarding this tune is that it was re-recorded and re-released in 2015 in an effort to raise money for the Salvation Army.  Only instead of the rock influenced tune that the original was flavoured with, Stevens decided to transform it into a country tinged tune complete with a banjo for emphasis.

So, why do I like this song so much?  Well, it's been a part of my holiday experience since I was a kid.  It also reminds me of a much simpler time, when the only thing you had to worry about was making sure Santa had the right cookies, or trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve night when the anticipation of opening gifts was too hard to handle.  Those are the days that I cherish the most, and while I can't quite go back in time to experience them again, I can think about them each time I hear this song.

We'll be closing out the twenties with another holiday favourite from the UK - this time, it's from a British chap...and I doubt you'll see any crocodiles in this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment