This is a Christmas song because it was the b-side to the 1980 single December Will Be Magic Again, and because it includes the line Cold and boozy, our holiday in the Alps which is Christmassy in spirit, if not in letter. In these uncertain times an upbeat holiday song doesn’t always fit the bill: this is mournful and beautiful and mad and sparse and feels right for a Monday.
I can’t think how we’ve never had this theme before, but it works out nicely because if there was ever a year to celebrate the achievements of Phenomenal Women (thank you, Maya Angelou), 2017 is it. So here are Christmas songs from twenty-four of my favourite female singer-songwriters, although I will definitely have missed some good ones so feel free, as always, to send me your nominations.
Point of information: some of the artists that will be featured have written amazing songs, but never a Christmas song. In those cases I have decreed that it is OK to have them singing someone else’s Christmas song, because they are too important to leave out altogether.
It’ll give you an idea of the calibre of songs coming up to enthral and delight you over the next twenty-three days that we are starting with Kate Bush and this very twinkly 1979 live performance of December Will Be Magic Again. If this doesn’t get you in the festive spirit, go away, drink a small sherry (or a sparkling cranberry juice with a slice of orange in it) and then come back and try again.