Collaboration: Best Christmas Songs

Review of the Year 2016It’s Christmas Eve!

There’s only one more day to go until it’s Christmas day once again and so to celebrate we have a very festive-themed collaboration for today.

It’s quite sad because this is the penultimate collab for 2016. I say this every week but we’ve really loved working together on these posts.  It’s crazy to think that this time last year we were all studying together and now we’re (kind of) working together.

So this week’s collaboration is all about our favourite Christmas songs.  There’s so much choice when it comes to music in December, with a great selection of modern and classic tracks to get you in the holiday spirit.  We’ve tried to cover both the old and new stuff fairly evenly, although it’s really hard to resist the nostalgia of those classic Christmas tracks.

We hope that this time tomorrow you’ll be listening to some (or all) of these tunes as you celebrate the big day.  The three of us wish you all a very merry Christmas!

A Writer in Sight

IMG_7306I decided to mix things up a little with my Christmas picks for this collaboration and chose to focus only on songs that were released in the last 10 years.  Most of the great songs for the festive period are the ‘oldies but goodies’ from the late 20th century, but every now and again modern artists create musical masterpieces that belong up there with the classics.  With that in mind, I’ve collected together 5 Christmas songs from the last decade that are perfect examples of why this time of year is so great when it comes to music.

It’s Not Christmas Without You (Katharine McPhee)

A Writer In Sight (5)Starting this countdown off slowly is a track taken from American Idol runner up Katharine McPhee’s 2010 album ‘Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You’.  Sung as a ballad, ‘It’s Not Christmas Without You’ creates an emotional narrative as McPhee sings of being apart from her lover during the festive season, only to be reunited with him during the song’s tear-jerking climax.  With the smooth vocals and growing power behind the music, this is an intense love song that really makes you appreciate not being alone at Christmas time.

Christmas In The Sand (Colbie Caillat)

A Writer In Sight (4)Colbie Caillat’s 2012 single from the album of the same name is a Christmas tune with a bit of a warm Summer twist.  Wiping out all thoughts of a cold, snowy Christmas, Caillat’s single sees her take on a character who fondly remembers seeing Santa and his reindeer enjoying some free time at the beach.  The song provides a refreshing twist to a part of the music industry that has become somewhat worn out in recent years, but with its silly lyrics and festive instrumentation it still remains appropriately and enjoyable Christmassy.

Something About December (Christina Perri)

A Writer In Sight (3)Slowing things down again is Christina Perri’s beautiful Christmas ballad from her 2012 EP ‘A Very Merry Perri Christmas’.  Doing what festive songs do best, ‘Something About December’ reminds everyone of the importance of family and togetherness at this most joyous time of the year.  The combination of Perri’s unique and beautiful voice with her emotive lyrics is perfect and will undoubtedly leave you with a warm feeling in your heart this Christmas season.

One More Sleep (Leona Lewis)

A Writer In Sight (2)A Christmas album might not seem like the best fit for Leona Lewis but the lead single ‘One More Sleep’ puts those thoughts to sleep immediately.  The second that the song starts we are greeted with the festive power that builds throughout the track as Lewis eagerly counts down the days to Christmas, something we’re all too familiar with.  ‘One More Sleep’ is one of the more bubbly Christmas releases in recent years, and coupled with the singer’s world-class voice, it’s definitely one of the greatest too.

Everyday’s Like Christmas (Kylie Minogue)

A Writer In Sight (1)As my review of Kylie Christmas made obvious, I absolutely love this song.  The original track with it’s beautiful melody and romantic delivery makes it one of the most heart-warming Christmas love songs out there, whilst the Stock Aitken Waterman adds the camp and carefree fun that is reminiscent of so many of the festive classics.  Kylie and Christmas are a combination that will always work and across two versions of the song she has managed to encompass everything great about this time of year – love, laughter and a big celebration.

Give It Some Geek

SarahIt’s no secret that I love Christmas. I love everything about it, from the gaudy lights around town to the Disney tree we put up in our living room. Family and gifts and terrible jumpers; I love absolutely everything. We have the same traditions every year; Christmas eve meal, Christmas dinner, buffet for tea, then we do the whole thing again on New Year’s for the family who can’t make it on Christmas. Of course, I can’t forget the music. I had a really, really difficult time choosing only five songs for this list. If anything, I think the ones I’ve chosen are there because of the nostalgia. They really put me in a Christmas spirit.

Walking In The Air (Aled Jones)

Give It Some Geek (5)Cheesiness is a huge part of my Christmas, so it should be no surprise to see the main theme from the 1982 animated short The Snowman on my list. Whenever I hear it, memories of my childhood flood my head. Every Christmas after dinner my parents would put the video in and I would listen to Walking in the Air and try to hit those high notes. Not only is the singing beautiful, the instrumental composition is gentle, soothing and inspirational. It takes me back to when I used to do ballet and every Christmas we would stop our lessons for a night and dance to The Snowman soundtrack in the festive spirit.

Step Into Christmas (Elton John)

Give It Some Geek (4)A total contrast to the last song, Sir Elton John’s Step into Christmas is so fun and happy that I couldn’t leave it off the list. Even in public, I will start head-bopping when I hear it start to play. Again, the all-round cheesiness is what makes it perfect for Christmas. I want loud! I want upbeat! That, and Elton’s vocals are on top form here. Not to mention the piano accompaniment. He packs a festive punch and I challenge you not to smile by the end of it…

Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) (The Darkness)

Give It Some Geek (3)CHRISTMAS TII~III~IIIIME, DON’T LET THE BELLS RING! Okay if I haven’t heard this by December 25th, it’s officially not Christmas to me. Every year, without fail. There’s just something about the bells and Justin’s high notes that make me love this song. From the moment those guitars come in at the beginning, too. It’s rocky but it’s holly-jolly fun and it’s got a riff that really gets stuck in your head. Also, can I just mention that impressive red fur vest he wears in the music video? With nothing underneath in the snow. It’s memorable. It’s brilliant. Oh, it just brings up so many childhood memories, hearing this on the radio and the telly.

Where Are You Christmas? (Faith Hill)

Give It Some Geek (2)So I mentioned I have Christmas traditions. One such tradition is watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It’s a fun story and if you haven’t watched it, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. The accompanying song, if not full of cheesy lyrics, is really powerful and beautifully sung. The full version can be heard during the final credits of the film, and Faith Hill’s tones bring a mature twist to the childish version heard during the film. A ballad that hopes for Christmas to still be that wonderful, joyous occasion even as the world changes and dreams fade…hats off to Hill for stunning vocals, both soft and powerful.

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Wizzard)

Give It Some Geek (1)One of my earliest Christmas memories is sitting in the dining hall at infant school, eating my packed lunch as Wizzard’s festive song hummed through the announcement speakers. It has one of the catchiest tunes and the lyrics are just so damned happy. I could have this on repeat for the whole of Christmas and never get tired of it. Roy Wood sings in a smooth and bouncy way and then there’s the brilliant accompaniment. The sax riffs, the fun bells and the children’s choir. Normally I’m not a big fan of children’s choirs but well… it’s Christmas. Carol singers are welcomed. BRING ON THE FESTIVE CHEER! On that note, with I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday playing in the background as I’m typing, head-bopping and generally feeling merry, have a very happy Christmas, whap on those festive tunes with your family and celebrate! IT’S CHRISTMAS!

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Holly Quills and Ivy

HollyHey everyone! ITS CHRISTMAS!!! Can you tell I’m excited? I absolutely love Christmas, it’s the best time of the year; everyone goes home, visits family and friends. We all put our minds into thinking of thoughtful and unique gifts for loved ones which is so great. It’s the perfect time of year and the world lights up for it. Plus, the music that gets played at Christmas is the perfect soundtrack. After some thought I decided to stay away from modern Christmas songs and stick to the older ones. So on that note, here are my top 5 classic Christmas songs.

All I Want For Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey)

Holly Quills and Ivy (5)You’ve got to start with one of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time. Just a few notes in and everyone immediately knows what the song it is. It comes on at EVERY Christmas party, including my own.  It is almost impossible not to sing along to this when you hear it, and it makes you instantly feel christmassy which is great. Also, it’s sung by the amazing Mariah Carey…need I say more.

Last Christmas (Wham)

Holly Quills and Ivy (4)Personally, this is my favourite Christmas song ever, and honestly I don’t know why, but I just absolutely love it. Although it may seem a little melancholy in nature and lyrics, it’s still a really good song. It always reminds me of being a kid and watching the music video. I always thought that the snow in the video looked amazing and would wish for it to snow on Christmas Day. It never did.

Fairytale of New York (The Pogues feat. Kirsty McColl)

Holly Quills and Ivy (3)Oh this song! This will forever have a place in my heart as the song that brings everyone together when they try to sing both parts at the same time. The slower introduction is a great prologue for the upbeat rhythm that gets turned up whenever it is played. It’s a great duet/ group song so everyone please at least once try to sing it with whoever is around you.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland)

Holly Quills and Ivy (2)This song just makes my heart melt. Its just beautiful, especially the original version sung by the one and only Judy Garland (the queen that she is) in the amazing film Meet Me in St Louis. It’s such a perfect song to listen to when you’re relaxing with family or friends. If this song isn’t one of your favourites then I seriously question you because it is incredible, and if you haven’t seen the original version then watch it on YouTube. You will not be disappointed – I promise.

White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

Holly Quills and Ivy (1)The song that has us wishing for snow on Christmas every year (it doesn’t happen but we still wish for it). It paints such a picture perfect idea of Christmas; its beautiful descriptions honestly warm the heart. It’s a song I can listen to over and over again and never get bored of it. Bing Crosby’s smooth, silky voice is enchanting to listen to at this time of year. I know that this song will be on a lot of peoples favourite Christmas songs lists and no doubt will remain there for many years to come.


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