Since the dawn of Christmas, man has grappled with a single, profound question.
What are the definitive, Top 10 yuletide bangers?
Here at the Gryphon Music, we think we’ve finally cracked it. Scouring the entire North Pole, working more undeserved overtime than Santa’s elves on Christmas, our writers have slaved to craft the definitive Crimbo compilation.
Our voting lines, manned by 12 interchangeable X Factor twats, closed last night. We’ve collated the results. We’ve separated the bangers from the mash, the jingles from the bells. All to provide you with the ultimate soundtrack to your festivities.
And it’s finally here.
So without further ado, as voted by The Gryphon Music section, here are the official, Top 10 Christmas Crackers…
10. ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ by Michael Buble
Buble’s revival of 20th century big band swing has become somewhat synonymous with Christmas. Thanks to the success of his aptly-titled Christmas, he now emerges from hibernation only once annually to make a mint off of swooning mums. Still, it’s hard not to feel festive when this crooner kicks in. “You’d better watch out…”
9. ‘Stay Another Day’ by East 17
How about some old school cheese? While they’re the only 90s boy band to make our Top 10, East 17 have earned their place with this heartfelt ballad, written by band member Tony Mortimer about his brother who tragically killed himself. Plus it’s got bells at the end. That makes it a perfectly functioning Christmas song … right?
8. ‘Christmas Lights’ by Coldplay
This track has all the hallmarks of Viva era Coldplay. Martin twiddles on the piano, forlornly musing on loves lost, before the band behind him build to a climactic close full of “woahs”. Its pensive points form the ideal soundtrack for sipping a lonely sherry, while its ending should work for belting that booze back out again.
7. ‘Stop The Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie
In 1980, as Cold War tensions skyrocketed once more, Jona Lewie set about discreetly denouncing war. Channelling the voice of a WWI soldier pining to be “home for Christmas”, Lewie here juxtaposes a jaunty brass band with his subtle, anti-war message. Modest yet meaningful, ‘Stop The Cavalry’ is easily one of the most understated gems of the festive period.
6. ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey
A certified banger, no Christmas Top 10 would be complete without ‘All I Want For Christmas’. From the opening chimes through to an ending only just within human hearing, it’s a floor-filler through and through. Whether you’re bellowing it out at work’s Christmas do, or drunkenly mumbling it to your ex at 4am, it’s impossible not to sing along (badly) with Mariah for this feel-good jingle.
5. ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by The Waitresses
True to its title’s pun on rapping, Patty Donahue reflects on months of failed dates and spending Christmas alone in a monotone, spoken word style. But then, she runs into her man when she pops out to buy cranberries. It’s a brilliantly dry, new wave festivity, complete with a sick saxophone hook. What’s not to love?
4. ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ by John Lennon & Yoko Ono
“So this is Christmas,” Lennon begins bluntly. The song continues with his characteristic frankness, reminding us of Christmas’ real meaning: peace and togetherness. By the time Yoko joins for the chorus, accompanied by a choir of children, it’s hard not to believe war actually is over. A hopeful message to a divided world, this is a deserving Christmas classic all round.
3. ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ by Wizzard
Perhaps you could call it the marmite of Christmas; everyone has strong opinions on this yuletide Collossus. Some find the endless chorus infectious; others find it maddening. Personally, I shudder, recalling repressed memories of the Black Mirror Christmas special. But, love it or hate it, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Wizzard – hence their place here.
2. ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!
Editors’ choice for this year, this track sees George and Andrew take the sound of Christmas heartbreak and wrap it with cheesy synth and gratuitous 80s snare. Of course, your take on ‘Last Christmas’ depends almost entirely on your taste for melancholy and mature cheddar. Fortunately, here at The Gryphon, we have quite the appetite for both. Banger/10.
1. ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl)
With its unlikely blend of gritty realism and upbeat charm, ‘Fairytale of New York’ is the perfect tune to top our Christmas list. Effortlessly dancing between melancholic piano and upbeat ceilidh, The Pogues strike a magic balance. The lyrics are humorous yet heart-breaking, framing a quarrel between two embittered lovers recalling Christmases long gone.
All in all, it’s a fun tune with a deeper message; not every Christmas is a happy one. Being the miserable sods we are down at the Music Section, we quite liked that sentiment.
And on that note, we wish thee well.
Merry Gryfmus to all, and to all a good night.
Top 10 compiled by The Gryphon Music Section
Words by Sam Corcoran