This week has been one of continuing internet woes, so this mornings Friday five is also coming to you from a coffee shop with free wi fi as I attempt to download yesterdays emails and maintain a tenuous grip on the outside world.
I’m sitting in the sun at the local town square. The fountains are bubbling away and topiaried reindeers and baubled wreaths decorate the gardens. Christmas is very definitely in the air…yet today the temperature is forecast to be 41C.
Carols are being piped through the outdoor speakers, and it’s making me wonder just how long I can stomach them for- see that’s one of my dirty little secrets, I really don’t like Christmas carols. In fact, they annoy the crap out of me. And at this time of the year, there is no escaping them.*
In our house they are on twice a year:
- On the first Sunday in December when the Christmas tree goes up. We open bubbly (and Miss T get soft drink in a champagne flute), put on the music and put the tree up.
- On Christmas morning for the pressie opening and bubbly.
So, given that most carols make me want to go running for the hills, I’ve come up with a list of exceptions. Five, in fact…fancy that…
1. Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The original Band Aid version, of course.
This came out at a time when I was discovering my political leanings. I remember hearing about the food surpluses in the West, and was appalled. It was only many years later that I really began to understand the complexities of the situation.
It was this song that directed me to study the politics of development.
Anyways, I can still pick the voices of each artist.
2. Wham’s Last Christmas
Daggy but true.
3. All I Want For Christmas is….
This is the only song by Mariah Carey that I can listen to without wincing.
I love also the version in Love Actually, which is, actually, one of my favourite movies.
I even like…and promise you won’t tell anyone…Justin Bieber’s duet of this with Mariah. Sad but true.
4. John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over)
To me this is the quintessential end of year, end of cycle song- and says it all.
5. Kate Ceberano’s Christmas Album
All of it. Her voice is amazing and brings life and interest to even the carols that would normally be on my top 10 most hated list.
So tell me, what are your favourites?
*Naturally I also make an exception for those impromptu busking choirs that gather on street corners- the good ones, that is…