Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade / Robbie Williams & Jamie Callum / I Don't Know How But They Found Me / The Cure / Tony Christie

So, as you know - apart from last year when the Angels visited and everything was preordained - I normally don't have a clue what will be Day 25 when I start this. Things generally just seem to pan out.

This year, the not-so-big reveal came about because of a late night chat with a Canadian who said how 'envious' he was that Slade got played to death every year in the UK. Apparently, over there, it wasn't a hit, nobody knows about it and it provides not a penny to Nod and Jimmy's pension fund. This bloke loved the song and 'couldn't get enough of it at Christmas'. This staggered me and I tried to imagine what that world might be like. I couldn't manage it.

To be fair, I don't think we in the not-so-U.K. do take 'Merry Xmas Everybody' for granted. Not only has it stood the test of time well, in many ways it sounds better and smarter than it did back then. We are all surely aware that it is a fine tune, but it's astonishing how many seasonal tropes are actually missing from the song making it almost unique in its construction. There's no bells, choir, jangly noises - and that Harmonium! It's just a song about a normal working-class Christmas at a time when the country was in strife and on its knees. Fortunately now we've moved on...Oh wait!

Anyway, as the Calendar is now in its teens, it seemed only right to get a bit bolshie about things, throw a strop and put the biggest Christmas record in. Firstly, I can tell from my stats that a lot of people in other countries visit the Calendar and they might be, like Canada, oblivious to its charms and secondly, a lot of the accepted favourites have found their way in and Slade's absence is, frankly, getting a bit embarrassing. However, as a nod - see what I did there? - to the usual raison d'etre of the Calendar - for the first time I have added four other versions. I think I know which one will be clicked on the most!

And as Sir Holder of Nod proclaimed: Merry Christmas Everybody!
Accept No Substitute

Really? No, Really?

To be fair, they are from Utah and ordinarily, this might have snuck onto the Calendar anyway

I love you Robert, it was Christmas so we'll just ignore this, shall we?

That looks like a great party, Tone!

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