John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
“So this is Christmas, and what have you done.” There is no better introduction to such a playlist. This Lennon song was in the first Christmas chart I took an interest in. A classic!
Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
And the classic so on. Springsteen at his live posturing rock best. The spirit of Christmas starts here.
Elton John - Step Into Christmas
Lost in competition of early seventies Christmas songs, this is a great invitation.
Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
Number 1 at my first School Party. It doesn’t get happier than this.
Amazing Pilots - White Christmas
Can’t have a Playlist without this one, so let’s get as credible as we can. Northern Ireland’s great alt. country boys give it the right groove.
The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York
Now that we are in the mood, let us get serious. This Irish knees up takes us into the mess of living that Christmas gets to the heart of.
Over The Rhine - Little Town
The first Carol on the list gets a rewrite to fuse today’s troubled Bethlehem with the Bethlehem of that first Christmas. And you can’t have a Christmas playlist with Karin’s voice.
Willard Grant Conspiracy - O Come O Come Emmanuel
A scary prayer and Robert Fisher is the very man to bring out its menace. If this old carol actually happens the world is going to get tossed around something shocking.
Jackson Browne (with The Chieftains) - Rebel Jesus
So if the revolution comes we need a rebel to set it in motion. Jackson does the character sketch.
Dustin Kensrue - This Is War
The rebel makes war against all that needs fought against. Thrice’s singer sounding like Kurt Cobain stripped back and ready to shake his fist at the danger.
Tom Waits – Go Tell It On The Mountain
The Rebel is born and the war is going to be won so who better to spread the good news than Tom Waits guesting with The Blind Boys Of Alabama. Now there’s a Christmas treat!
Iain Archer - Little Drummer Boy
While we are ushering in the Messiah’s appearance here’s my mate Iain Archer and his amazing wife Miriam Kaufmann with a lovely version of this oldie.
Bruce Cockburn – Cry Of A Tiny Babe
The best and most detailed story song of the nativity. Brilliant and insightful, asking all the right questions from the reason for the season. “Redemption rips through the surface of time...”
Jill Phillips - Labour Of Love
It was not a silent night! The earthy reality of the birth and Mary place in it.
Low – If You Were Born Today
Low’s alternative Christmas record throws up this poignant sermonette.
Ricky Ross - Calvary
A song about Christmas with the title of Easter’s hill. Ricky Ross suggests that instead of getting Jesus straight to Easter we should
ponder on the lessons his life teaches us.
The Killers - Joseph
The conclusion of the playlist’s sermon. More questions about how we would do if we lived the story. Here we see Joseph as a hero too.
Rather him than me!
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
The nativity should not be left in the cupboard once we put away the turkey carcass and decorations. We should live it every day. My very favourite Christmas pop song from the era of Slade but even better!
Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa
Dylan’s Christmas record needed inclusion. Here’s the one that gets my girls dancing. Happy Christmas!
Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas Baby
Ok! A little indulgence but I still remember Rod as the archetypal rock star lad! This one from his Christmas record goes out like a prayer. “May the good Lord be with you...” Amen!