(favourite with a "u" because they're all from the UK this round)
#4 - The Kinks, "Father Christmas" - This makes the list cuz, well, it's the Kinks and they are pretty much just cool, but it's another song that acknowledges that not everything is goodness and light on December 25th, however much we might want it to be. People struggle at Christmas like any other time of the year, and endemic poverty doesn't get the season off, and for some people the #1 list item is a job. From Janesville, WI, just this morning: "The closing of GM's SUV production eliminates 1,200 jobs."
#3 - U2, "Baby, Please Come Home" - Gotta love Bono crooning and U2 wailing on this song. And I'm in love and missin' my baby this year, so while in years past I'd just roll my eyes and think "whatever" when I'd hear songs about lovers separated for the holidays, I kinda get it this year. Maybe I'm a little mawkish, fine, but it's still a great song.
#2 - Band Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" - You thought this was going to be #1, didn't you? Well, I did too. I just changed my mind. It's great to watch the original video (link); they all look impossibly young, and it seems impossible that this song was released in 1984. Well, to be accurate what seems impossible is that 1984 was 24 years ago. I remember playing the 45 (kids, ask your parents) over and over and over on our Montgomery Ward stereo, listening through my Barry White headphones with the spiral cord plugged into the jack, both A and B sides, trying pick out all the voices, listening especially hard for George Michael (0:49) and Boy George (0:30). Yeah, okay, that should have been a tell. And everytime I heard it, no matter how many times in a row, I'd get goosebumps to hear Bono ripping out "Well tonight thank god it's them instead of you!" at 1:29. Still do. On the B side, I'd have the same reaction to hear (at 0:19) "This is Jon Ross from Culture Club saying 'Feed the World'! There are eleven million people starving in one country. Doesn't that make you think? Merry Christmas, everyone."
Merry Christmas, Everyone.