Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Forte readers! Whatever you are doing for the festive season I hope that it’s a good one and a safe one at that too. Wow! Where did 2015 go? It really feels like yesterday that I was headed along to see George Ezra at the Corner Hotel and James Bay at the Northcote Social Club, but sadly that was the start of the year. Thinking back to being right up the front of those gigs I think myself very lucky. They were both so incredibly polished musicians and they are probably my two favourite gigs of the year.
With the big day coming up though, there is always the big rush on what to get that special somebody and whether your wallet is filled with lots of dollars this year or not, The Night Vibe has definitely got your back for stocking fillers regardless. When thinking about the day though, it always comes around to what music to play. Yes, there are probably a few people that will receive the latest T Swiz release and yes that’s great but when you think about Christmas Songs, what reigns supreme? Now I’m not talking about ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘Good King Wenceslas’, although they are some great traditional numbers, but what makes your top three of all time?
At Number 3, it would have to be ‘Santa Baby’ which is originally an Eartha Kitt song, yes it is an oldie but it is also a goodie. Released in 1953, it has over the years been covered by pretty much every important performer in music. It’s sultry and simplistic melodies are what lend itself to be one of my favourites. It’s really one of those songs that you hear and no matter what you are feeling and what is going on in your life, it just makes you stop and brings a smile to your face. The backing vocals and clarinet are what makes it feel like Christmas to me. Although it would probably be a lot easier to imagine if we were living in the Northern Hemisphere and it was snowing for Christmas.
Number 2 is the 1971 classic from John Lennon and something that everyone will know: ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’. Released as the seventh single outside his work with The Beatles, it is the standard Christmas song and something that brings all family together no matter what is happening. Speaking as a protest for the Vietnam War the song has been regarded as one of the best festive songs for the best part of 40 years and I am sure that it is one that will be on playlists until the end of time.
Number one is the best Australian Christmas track of all time and if you are a regular reader of The Night Vibe, you will know where I am headed with this one. I can’t recall the first time that I heard this song, but ever since, it is one that gets an absolute thrashing in December. What am I talking about? The one song in Australia that doesn’t have a chorus but a kick arse recipe for gravy. Paul Kelly, the man, the myth, the legend. With a groovy melody and an emotional story to make, this song has it all. Told from the perspective of a newly imprisoned fellow, it showcases how different it’s going to be not being at the family Christmas and how he wants his brother Dan to look after everyone for him. If you have not heard it, then you’re pretty crazy. It has become a staple of the Australian Christmas rounds ever since its release in 1996.
Now to the stocking filler ideas. I did give you the list of my favourite albums of 2015 and I think that this is probably one of the best places to start for what to get at the last minute. See a short list below and thanks for supporting my column this year, happy and safe festive season and see you all refreshed in 2016!
- James Bay- Chaos and the Calm
- The Paper Kites- Twelvefour
Written by Tex Miller