White Christmas, December 16: Neil Diamond and Cliff Richard, Together At Last

OK, not actually together, but – amazingly – spliced together by a dedicated fan, in possibly the best, and certainly the oddest, mash-up of all time. May your week be as much fun as this song is.

(Make sure to keep listening past two minutes in, where something exciting happens. And something else exciting, in a different way, happens at 3:53, and you know, you just really need to listen to the whole thing.)

White Christmas, December 15: Andy Williams

I’m sticking with Crooners’ Sunday, so here is my favourite crooner of them all, Andy Williams, whose voice combines the smoothness of a Frank with the depth and richness of an Elvis, and whose version of Sleigh Ride is my favourite Christmas song of all, not counting Mistletoe And Wine. There is NO SPACE for Frank or Elvis in this year’s advent calendar, believe it or not, so this is as close as you’ll get. (I can’t say the same for Cliff, but more on him tomorrow, and I think you’ll be glad you waited.)

But for now, don your Sunday slippers and ideally a cardigan, light a fire, and enjoy some Andy loveliness. The cut-in at 2:05 is cheesy, but I love it anyway.

White Christmas, December 13: Haunani Hahalewai

So I could have absolutely given you twenty-four versions of White Christmas which are only slightly different from each other, but it’s more interesting to vary it even if that means (and it does) missing out on some great singers. But! It also means we get some other, less famous, great singers in exchange, and Haunani Hahalewai is one of them. This version has bonus Hawaiian lyrics for added value, AND a whole bunch of other songs tagged on to the end, some of which you will know, though you may not have heard these versions. Don’t say I never give you something for nothing.

White Christmas, December 12: Liz Mitchell

You might believe you’ve never heard of Liz Mitchell but trust me: you’ve heard her sing. Here she is going solo, with a Calypso version of our favourite Christmas song which is fully lovely right up until the grinding key change just after 2:30. If I were in charge, there would be a committee that would decide when a key change was acceptable, and the answer would be ALMOST NEVER.

Still, I am delighted by how vastly indifferent the reindeer are. Enjoy!

White Christmas, December 11: Jerry Lee Lewis

Did you know Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive? I know he used to still be alive when I didn’t think he was, but I didn’t realise he was still still alive. He’s not even that old. I love this version, especially the signature piano sweeps (what’s the proper name for them?). I can’t remember if it’s OK to like Jerry Lee Lewis, but on the basis that it’s OK to like Michael Jackson (and it is), I’m going to say it is. Because I do.

White Christmas, December 10: David Hasselhoff

I know, but today is David’s birthday – not David Hasselhoff’s, but the actual David, my oldest friend David, with whom I almost certainly used to watch Knight Rider (although I occasionally get my childhood Davids mixed up: I think friend-David was Knight Rider and cousin-David was The Dukes of Hazzard, but I could have it the wrong way round, but I don’t think I do, and anyway it doesn’t matter because David Hasselhoff is certainly called David and from my childhood, so he’s allowed to do David’s birthday song either way).

Happy birthday David! Happy Hoffday, everyone else.

White Christmas, December 9: Darlene Love

I don’t know what’s oddest about this – the beach setting, the headwear, or the fact that the usually-left-off intro is spoken over a middle instrumental section. But it’s a bona-fide Wall Of Sound rendering nonetheless, and a suitably upbeat start to what will probably be the last week before Christmas where we all still have to go to work every day and look as though we’re actually paying attention.

White Christmas, December 8: Peggy Lee

Introducing “Crooner Sunday”: after Bing kicked us off last week, here’s a gorgeously lush and louche version by Peggy Lee. I had no idea whether Peggy Lee had recorded a version when I started putting this list together, incidentally, but when a song has been recorded as many times as White Christmas has, you end up finding that most people have done it at some point. Even Bob Dylan, though sadly no recording survives (I have been researching this quite closely; I hope you’re appreciative). So the way to make the list is to make a list of artists you’d like to hear singing White Christmas, and then google it. The list is still fluid, so I am open to requests should you have a particular favourite. Although that Guns’n’Roses version is totally not by Guns’n’Roses, so we’re not having it.