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The list nobody asked for is here!!!
My top 5 festive jams
Who doesn’t love a good carol, eh? Well, never mind because that person is invited to read no further! Such a Scrooge McDuck is unwelcome here! Rather, it is to you my, hallowed snowflakes, that I offer you these irreproachable seasonal bops, in the hope that they will be received into thine lusty mince meat and eggnog hearts, for to warble ever more (or at least until the Boxing Day sales).
First up is the legendary Jan Terri, an artist for whom (if you are unfamiliar with her) no introduction is possible, she is honestly sui generis. Jan’s Christmas groove is so wayward, and the lyrics so paint-drying-on-the-wall dull, it’s as if she’s attempting some wicked music industry satire, mauling the vapid, prosaic stars of today’s hit parade. (This argument is only *slightly* undercut by a delivery which makes her seem truly ashamed to have written such a pig-in-a-blanket of a song). Intentions aside, I defy you not to chuckle as you top your sprouts with “Excuse My Christmas,” on the go. Plus you’ll even learn some Spanish too!
Next up, my kween, the First Lady of cabaret, Mx JV Bond, a singular talent, a torch singer and an untouchable interpreter of jazz standards from the underworld. Her version of The Opal Foxx Quartet’s “Somebody’s House Always Burns At Christmas” sees her flash with malice and compassion, cool wit and genuine tenderness, it’s a masterclass in presence, and a performance which magnifies the broken brilliance of Benjamin Smoke’s desperate lyrics. In three and half minutes Bond drags the listener through the gutter, then up and away over the snow sprinkled houses of yesteryear. All hail!
And now for a real oldie-but-goodie! A 16th Century dirge straight out of a pre-Reformation mystery play, it’s “Coventry Carol” as performed by Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band. In a solemn minor key, this is about as bleak as office Christmas party playlists allow - unsurprisingly perhaps since its recounts the Massacre of the Innocents by King Herod. The brooding, sombre, almost sinister quality really comes into bloom as the harmonies kick in, when you can practically feel the weight of the entire medieval Church bearing down on you. For all its gloom though, it’s cut through with a real majesty, and Prior’s voice, clear as a bell, is full of celestial promise, but with shaded with just enough wryness to let us know that even though He survived the massacre, the road ahead for our boy hero will not be an easy one.
No festive season would be complete without hearing form our Judy G now would it? Before endless interchangeable crooners and shopping mall divas auto-tuned the life out of it, and gave the melody a non-surgical facelift to smooth out any suggestion that life is anything less than 1million percent perfect!!! at Christmas, the OG “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was something of a song of hope in the teeth of deepest despair. Taken from “Meet Me in St Louis”, Garland’s character, Esther, sings to soothe her little onscreen sister, to console her for the fact that the family have to up and leave for New York. As always Judy gives it her all, and the result is quite simply heart-breaking. It’s almost impossible to believe it, but these are the revised lyrics, since Garland thought the original was too bleak! And I ask thee, has a refrain ever seemed more fitting, as we endure our second pandemic Christmas apart? “One day soon, we all will be together. If the fates allow, until then we’ll have to muddle through some how.”
Oh Judy, love, I’m muddlin’ for all I’m worth love, believe me!!!
And finally, since I’m not *quite* enough of a bastard to leave you with the tear-jerkers, lez round off with this top shelf cracker, “You Ruined My Christmas”. I cannot explain how much I love this song, and the accompanying marvellously silly video. It joyfully builds upon everything you love about holiday songs, layering all those delightful cliches, sax riffs and sleigh bells into a truly towering trifle of nonsense. Jilted lovers, drunken bawling, three-part harmonies? Check, check and check! Once heard, never forgotten, you will be howling this all the way through ‘til New Year, and that’s my money back guarantee =} “Now, here’s to a miserable life!”
I hope you enjoyed these holiday hits, and if not, WELL WHO ASKED YOU??? BACK OFF JERK! Coming in here and kicking off like Maureen bloody Lipman!!! FFS! Smdh.
Thanks for watching, and thank you for being a friend <3 <3 <3
If you have a few quid to spare (now that you won’t be going to Spoons for a few bevvys with the girlies) why not put it to good use, and buy a gift for a refugee by clicking this link ? There are gifts for every budget and they will truly be appreciated.
See yous all in 2022!