Advent song for December 17: Do They Know It’s Christmas

Most cover versions of this song are pale imitations of the perfect original; this is the only one I found that did something interesting of its own. I hadn’t heard of Emily Hall, who is a British musician and composer who appears to be annoyingly talented and beautiful. This is almost a John Lewis ad version, but is saved from that worst of all musical fates by being a bit too up tempo to qualify.

December 13: Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Today we were going to have the 1966 Beatles Christmas message, but I don’t think I can bear to listen to another one. Plus there is no timely single to accompany it, since the last single the Beatles released in 1966 was Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby in August of that year, and then there was nothing until the spring of 1967. I blame the drugs. (Although to be fair, when they did come back it was with the double whammy of Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane, so they obviously did something useful with all that spare time. Drugs, mostly, I think.)

But I really need to listen to a proper Christmas song. As you know, Paul didn’t play or sing on Do They Know It’s Christmas?, at least not the 1984 version which is the only one we’re interested in (he played bass on the 2014 version, but I’m not going to make you listen to that). He was asked to be part of the 1984 recording but wasn’t able to make it, so instead he sent in a spoken word message which made up part of the b-side of the original single. So with this most tenuous of Beatle connections, please enjoy an actual Christmas song that you know. Make the most of it, because tomorrow we’re going properly weird.

Advent song for December 21

You didn’t really think I preferred the 1989 version, did you? Everything I said about it is true, but it’s still a pale imitation of the original – which, as I said the last time I wrote about it (are you paying attention?) is still the song most guaranteed to get people in pubs singing along at this time of year, despite being 26 years old. And, well, they’re all just so young and gorgeous. Except for Bono, who is only young, and Phil Collins, who is neither.

If tomorrow’s song doesn’t appear, it’ll be because I’m stranded at Dublin airport trying to get home for Christmas. Wish me luck!

Advent song for December 20

An unprecedented second appearance from George Michael here.  This is still the best Christmas song for singing along to in a crowded pub.  It’s literally impossible for people not to join in.

I like that, while everybody else looks twenty-four years older, Phil Collins looks exactly the same.  And sigh, but young Sting was handsome, wasn’t he?  And young Bono looked perturbingly like Zed from Police Academy.  There’s also a fleeting appearance from my favourite Geldof sister, Fifi Trixibelle.

Incidentally, I’ve no idea who sings the “Here’s to you” and “Here’s to them” lines.  If you can identify them, do let me know.