The record which topped the charts during my first Christmas, in 1957, was Harry Belafonte singing Mary’s Boy Child which is When a child is born played backwards. It wasn’t until 1967 with The Scaffold’s Lily the Pink, that the Christmas songs became novelty songs – you’ll never hear the choir of King’s College Cambridge singing Ernie during any of their Nine Lessons & Carols services.
1956 had Johnnie Ray singing Just a walkin’ in the rain – if he’d had released that during Christmas 1962 he’d have had to have changed the words to Just a walkin’ in the snow as Britain witnessed its worst winter since the Black Death.
Is it, that at Christmas, peoples’ music tastes change so dramatically that they are bound to buy the worst record that week?
Why would you buy Long-haired lover from Liverpool (1972) sung by someone who’d rarely travelled outside of Utah? In my view the 1980 hit There’s no one quite like Grandma is correct – my maternal grandmother had no teeth, stockings which were never fully pulled up properly and the most vituperative person ever. And Mr Blobby (1993) – if Mr Blobby’d been one of the three wise men, then fair enough, he deserves a Christmas No. 1; but he wasn’t unless there were actually four wise men carrying gold, frankincense, myrrh and a yellow, spotted bow-tie.
Bring back Johnny Ray singing Just a walkin’ in the disturbingly mild for the time of year.