I know you knew that Chris Rea had a Christmas single, but did you know that in fact, he had two? Released almost exactly a year before Driving Home For Christmas, and regarded by ol’ Christmas himself as the superior of the two songs, Joys Of Christmas is very probably the least joyful Christmas song I’ve ever heard, including everything we listened to the year the theme was Sad Christmas.
In the one minute and twenty four seconds of intro before we hear any vocals I wondered whether I’d accidentally pressed the “play a song by Dire Straits” button but no, this is Rearrangements himself sounding just like them, at least until he starts to speak-sing very much in the style that Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson on their much-missed 2 Dope Queens podcast once described as White Nonsense.
This song is weird, but I like it; it’s idiosyncratic and less ‘put bells on and people will buy it’-cynical than most Christmas songs. On the other hand I can absolutely understand why, halfway through it, YouTube suddenly suggests that you listen to Driving Home For Christmas instead.