Advent Song for December 9: Driving Home For Christmas

Coincidentally we are on our way to R’s ancestral home, though we’re on a train and it’s for a birthday, so it’s not an exact match for today’s song. We’re speeding our way through a whirlwind of Caledonia-based family and friends and getting a go at the Christmas markets while we’re at it, and although it’s minus one hundred and twenty degrees outside it’s all very twinkly and lovely. And tonight we’re staying at a hotel on a golf course! Although last night’s hotel gave us free mulled wine and mince pies, so it’ll have to outdo itself in more ways than one to measure up.

This is a ridiculous song but it’s one of my favourites, mainly because I like doing the voice (I’m better at it after a glass of mulled wine).

Today’s good news is a bit unusual because it’s not the kind of thing you get as an “and finally” on the news, but I read it in the small hours of this morning (all these Christmas parties are throwing me off-kilter, sleepwise) courtesy of my friend Jonathan, who shared it on Twitter, and – as I said to him – it’s SUCH an extraordinary relief to find that in the morass of uninformed and bad-faith opinions on the Labour party and antisemitism, there are people who think and feel the same way I do and are able to articulate it (which, despite trying, I haven’t really been). So do me a favour and read this article and don’t let’s speak again until you have. I’ll even let you skip the Chris Rea.

Advent song for December 24: Auld Lang Syne, Scotland/Bedford Falls

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.)