Advent Song for December 2: One More Sleep

This modern-day, less unsettling version of the Last Christmas video where lots of young beautiful people go to the countryside together to throw snowballs, is a little bit annoying, but the song is a gorgeous one and I’ve always loved the sound of Leona Lewis’s voice. A good thing about this year’s theme is that it gives me free rein to include a mixture of modern pop, jazz/crooner standards and carols, so that is what I’ve done, although I think this is probably the newest song on the list.

Talking of modern pop, and women with great voices, today’s bit of good news that you might have missed is Sia sneaking into a supermarket in LA last week and paying for strangers’ shopping by pretending to be a lottery winner called “CiCi” who wanted to share her good fortune. This is both inspired and inspiring. If you could just make one person’s day better, even, why wouldn’t you?

Advent song for December 23: One More Sleep

It’s sort of fitting that I forgot to publish this yesterday because now there really is one more sleep to go. And lucky you, you get to enjoy it at 6.45am because lucky me, I forgot to switch off my alarm even though I absolutely don’t have to go to work today, or (currently) ever again.

This is the almost-winner because if you’ve been playing close attention you’ll have noticed that all of the songs we’ve had until now are yet to become nailed-on stone-cold Christmas classics…except for this one, which just is.

Advent song for December 10

This is going to divide readers, partly because lots of people, especially people of discernment and taste like you, hate the X Factor and love Leonard Cohen, and were offended by the one’s appropriation of the other’s song for the winner’s single in 2008. To those people, I apologise.

Personally, I love the X Factor, but in the years I’ve been watching the only two singers it’s produced whose voices sent shivers down my spine are Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, who won two years ago and went straight to number one that Christmas with her version of Hallelujah. I think Leona has the better voice, but whereas she is very pure and bright and clear, there’s something velvety and sexy and womanly about Alexandra. I imagine she could do anguish better than Leona can. And I do like a bit of anguished female vocal.

Anyway, I’ve chosen the live performance from that year’s X Factor final rather than the recorded single, because it’s such a nice change to see someone singing live and not screwing up. It certainly seems to be beyond the powers of this year’s contestants, although they sometimes turn it up a notch for the final, so perhaps I should reserve judgement until tomorrow night.