HC DURHAM'S ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

Confused by your Christmas music collections? Struggling to find the perfect song about Santa? Overwhelmed by the pressure of producing the tunes for the drive home? Fear not!

Our very own Jess Lord has consulted Purple Radio’s Head of Broadcasting, Matthew Calvert, to produce the ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST for you all (you’re welcome).

1. Jess: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Michael Bublé.

Bublé season is truly upon us. The man himself arises yearly from eleven months of hibernation, and brings with him a stunning array of Christmas tunes. This song’s a classic, he’s a classic, get it on those playlists NOW!

2. Matt: Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty McColl

I never knew this was such a marmite Christmas song until I came to university, but it seems the bells don’t quite ring out for Christmas day in everyone’s household when it comes to this song. This one will always be in my heart though, because it was the first song I ever sang to an audience. (Stop crying Nana!)

3. Jess: All I want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey

Need I really explain this choice? This absolute gem of a tune has been with us since 1994, and is the perfect Christmas karaoke track. Blast it through the speakers and get singing - it’s the perfect choice for a long drive home.

4. Matt: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Michael Bublé

Whenever Jess and I make a playlist together, there’s always a debate about what to include. Though I’m a fan of the traditional version of this song (see track 7), for me, Buble’s takes the biscuit. Christmas and Big Band music are simply a match made in heaven, and this version of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ has the best Big Band section of any Christmas song I’ve ever heard.

5. Jess: Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin’ Stevens

Snow is fallin’, all around you, children playin’, having fun... this is such a cheery and energetic song, it’s a must have - especially on Christmas Day itself. Send a link to your friends, it’s much cheaper than a Christmas card!

6. Matt: Stop the Cavalry - Jona Lewie

Though the jolly brass band section might fool you into thinking this is a merry tune, Jona Lewie’s 1980 classic is actually an anti-war track, taking aim at the Nuclear Powers during the height of the Cold War. Lewie famously missed number one that year, with two reissued John Lennon tracks taking the top spot in the wake of his murder on the 8th of December.

7. Jess: Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson 5

What a song – this pick is a winning combination of 70s rhythm and blues, mixed with a little Christmassy magic. It really puts a smile on your face, so enjoy it and get singing! (Although Bublé’s version is of equal gravitas, nice choice Matthew).

8. Matt: Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea

The title alone justifies the choice here. Nothing will make your journey homeward bound more festive than the husky tones of Chris Rea. This song comes with a warning though - played too often and in combination with the old vino, your mother will start doing ‘that’ dance that mams do. (They’re like gremlins - give them wine when listening to Chris Rea and mayhem will descend.)

9. Jess: One more Sleep - Leona Lewis

A slightly more modern selection from the X-Factor Queen herself, Miss Leona Lewis. This is a cute song which includes all the features of a great Christmas song: bells, references to snow and of course, a bit of a Christmas romance.

10. Matt: Somewhere in My Memory - John Williams

It saddens me that there will be a generation who didn’t grow up on Home Alone. So in the interest of keeping the tradition alive, make sure you play this around the younger members of your family. Don’t we all long for a time when we were like Kevin McCallister, young and making mischief. For me Christmas is all about tapping into my inner child for one day of the year. Every year, when the 25th of December rolls around, I find him again, that little boy who grew up, but remains tucked away safe and sound, somewhere in my memory…

BONUS TRACK (and you thought this playlist couldn’t get any better…): Warm this Winter - Gabriella Cilmi

We desperately need to reclaim this tune from the ‘in time for Christmas’ sofa adverts, because Ms Cilmi deserves more than that association. This is a fun little lively tune, with the stunningly unique voice of Gabriella Cilmi. It’s also remarkably Christmas-lite, clocking in only one reference to the season. So if you’re not all that into Christmas, you can still enjoy ‘winterval’ with this one.  

Check out our Christmas Playlist on Spotify! 

https://open.spotify.com/user/1110860950/playlist/3WvOT8SRgE0DcI5F6l9CQJ