On the festive theme (well, it is nearly Christmas after all) you may have noticed a little bit of fuss centred around a couple of Christmas songs these past few weeks.
First up, there’s been an outcry across the Atlantic, where several radio stations have banned the 1944 seasonal song Baby, It’s Cold Outside, suggesting the lyrics promote rape culture, jarring awkwardly in this day and age in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Hot on the heels, that then thrust the spotlight firmly back onto The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s much loved Christmas anthem Fairytale Of New York and the perceived homophobic slur in the lyrics, the use of the word ‘faggot’ which the band maintain is actually old Irish for a lazy person and not a gay insult.
I’m not going to get into the whys and wherefores of those arguments here (let’s face it, we’ve already got enough on our plates trying to get our heads around Brexit).
I’ll leave you to decide whether they are offensive or not.
But I do love my Christmas songs.
I might be in a minority and I’m sure anyone who’s ever worked in a shop will detest the likes of Slade, Wizzard, Paul McCartney, Boney M and Mud having being subjected to them on a round the clock basis since mid August, but I do enjoy hearing them blasting out of the radio as December 25 draws nearer.
It’s fab to see the charts filling up each year with the songs we know and love and always return to, although I’d like to see both Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad and Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses getting a little bit more recognition than they currently do.
And I freely admit that it is probably about the only time of year when it comes socially acceptable to start listening to Shakin’ Stevens and Mariah Carey.
And while I’m not suggesting that many of these songs are musical masterpieces (they aren’t) they are as much a part and parcel of British Christmas as mince pies, The Queen’s speech and crackers.
Although I’ve never been quite the same after discovering that East 17’s Stay Another Day, which I always presumed was about a bloke being separated from his girl over the Christmas period, is actually about lead singer Tony Mortimer paying tribute to his brother who committed suicide.
Whether it’s Chris de Burgh, The Darkness, Wham, Band Aid, Elton John or whatever else takes your fancy over the coming weeks you can guarantee that the same crop of festive classics will feature firmly on your party playlist.
As Slade’s Noddy Holder says in his band’s 1973 classic Merry Xmas Everybody, the old ones indeed are the best.