Ho ho ho hokey ho….’Christmas is coming and the chain stores are getting fat, please put a  penny in the banker’s hat’ – is the refrain from our favourite xmas song that never was.

 

If the true spirit of xmas is the pagan mid winter festival where everyone gets wasted then we would wholeheartedly celebrate it but this hijacking by, first, the christians and secondly the capatitalists has made it a strange and rather demented exercise.

At least the soundtrack doesn’t have to be all evil Simon Cowell smirks though- over the years there have been some great anti xmas songs tapping into the melancholia and darkness of the period.

 

1. Gavin Bryars ‘Jesus Blood never Failed me yet’

A huanting lament put together in 1971 by Gavin Bryars from a loop of song sung by an unknown homeless man singing a brief stanza of a song on a documentary. His wavering voice sounds heartbreaking like a long lost ghost from distant past as Briars takes the crackling song from the tape and adds string and brass which are gradually overlaid over the stanza in what must be the ultimate xmas song- one day this will be the poignant number one.

Originally recorded in a documentary which chronicled street life in and around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo in London, the song was part of what was recorded for the doc. When later listening to the recordings, Bryars noticed the clip was in tune with his piano and that it conveniently looped into 13 bars and created this haunting musical piece. Even Tom Waits makes an appearance at the end…

For number 2 in top 10 anti Christmas songs please go here

 

 

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