Christmas songs have always been funny to me. The classics that seem to play infinitely throughout December paint this pristine image of log fires and snowy fields. But Christmas for us Scots is less beautiful white snow acting as a blanket for the rolling hills and old cobbled streets, and more battling against icy winds and hailstones on your way down Buchanan Street. And let’s not even mention how impossibly difficult it is to manoeuvre Edinburgh’s steep slopes when it’s icy.
So I’ve always felt slightly alienated from your typical Christmas songs. I lean towards slightly moodier, grittier Christmas songs, and avoid the ones that build up a totally unrealistic expectation of a Scottish Christmas.
I love Frightened Rabbit’s “It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop”.
It doesn’t make any false promises of perfect winter weather or thousand pound presents or cosy fireplaces. It’s about forgiving and forgetting during the festive period. Of course, with any Frightened Rabbit track, it has that little bit of Glasweigan grittiness; “let the rot stop just for one day.” Continuing with the Glasweigan theme, “Plastic Mistletoe” by Aidan Moffat is beautiful. It’s sad as hell. It’s absolutely gorgeous though.
However not everything can suit my pessimistic needs, and every so often I need a song with a little more yuletide joy in it. “Bible Belt” by Dry The River isn’t even a Christmas song, but it’s an uplifting song that has lyrics about ice in it, so that suits me. One of my best friends, the gorgeous singer/songwriter Courtney Askey has done an amazing cover of it too that you should check out.
I’m also a huge fan of Sufjan Stevens’ entire Christmas album. He’s an absolute genius and he can make anything sound utterly beautiful.
I’m a massive fan of soul music too, so Eartha Kitt’s original “Santa Baby” fills my heart with absolute joy. I didn’t think it was possible to make the celebration of Jesus’ birth about wanting a yacht, or in any way seductive, so respect to Eartha for that.
Merry Christmas to everyone, no matter where you are. Even if you are in one of those places that gets flawless snow blankets, even if you do have a warm log fire in your living room, even if you get everything that Christmas songs promise but fail to provide to most people – I promise I don’t hate you, I’ll smile through the hailstones. Happy holidays to you all.
Luna Webster Bandcamp: http://lunawebster.bandcamp.com/