This is the only actual Christmas song ever recorded and officially released by the Beatles, which is why we have saved it for near the end, although if you listened to the 1967 Christmas message (yeah, I know you didn’t) you will have heard a version of part of it. This eventually had a re-edit and a release in 1995, as the B-side to Free As A Bird. I can’t argue that it’s a lost classic, but it is an Actual Christmas Song by the Actual Beatles, and it also has an entirely peculiar Auld Lang Syne flourish at the end, which is kind of more fun than the actual song, although I’m not sure about John’s Burns impression. Enjoy!
I know it’s really a New Year song, but I couldn’t resist the chance to include a clip from the best Christmas film of all, and if they can sing it on Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, then so can we. Also, I visited Scotland for the first time as an adult this year and fell in love with it, so it feels entirely appropriate to finish up with a little bit of Burns.
If you haven’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life then cancel your plans for the rest of the day and go and watch it immediately. If you have, remember that the following clip will make you cry, so don’t watch it on the train or at the office (and what are you still doing at the office? Go home!).
<A pause while you recompose yourself>
Together, all these songs provide about an hour of music, which as it happens is about how long you’ll need to eat the main course of your Christmas lunch, so as a Christmas present to you, here is a Spotify playlist of them all. Sadly Song’s song from Korea isn’t on Spotify (at least, it probably is, but I have no idea what it’s called so I can’t check), so in its place England finally gets a look-in with the King’s singers rendition of Adam Lay Ybounden. The clip from It’s A Wonderful Life is a bit longer and I’ve had to use different versions of one or two of the songs, but otherwise it’s largely the list you’ve already seen and heard here. Happy Christmas!
(If the embedded version doesn’t work for you, here’s a boring old link.)