Sunday, 28 November 2010


I love Christmas - loves it I do! It's the inner child in me.

But this year, I make no bones with the fact that I'm more excited about this Yuletide time of year than I have been in years. The reason? Two words - Alyson Rees!

We'll have been together officially for a year as of Boxing Day so this will be our first proper Crimbo together and whilst she lives with her parents in Llanboidy you wouldn't think it such has been her impact on my house these past 12 months! Most notably at the moment is the Christmas Tree and decorations that we've been putting up today around the house! I bought this house Aneddfa, 5 years ago this December. Never in that time have I gone all Christmassy with it - I've never had the time or compulsion too. But this year, it's all change! This Christmas is gonna rock!

My Top Xmas Hits!

A big part of this wintery season for me is always the music. I love Christmas music at this time of year as it really puts me in the mood. It does annoy me when I hear it in October because it tends to lose some of that sparkle when you hear it too early.

Normally I turn the music on, on December 1st and no earlier but this year I'm a few days early because I'm just too damned excited with it all (and it's the first day of advent also!).

Christmas songs from down the years are so numerous and splendid, I have found it near impossible to try and collect in one small space here, a sample of my favourites. But I've given it a go. Now don't be surprised if you find some big hits excluded from this list. There are some songs that for me are oveplayed at Xmas time and which have made them lose their appeal somewhat.

Here, in no particular order are the Cole Xmas Hits which I look out for each year...

First, a wonderful Bing Crosby hit. No, not 'White Christmas' (yawn), but 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas'

Then there's the fantastic Brenda Lee and she's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Jona Lewie's anti-war 'Stop the Cavalry' is a classic.

The Beach Boys are legendary. Their Xmas hit I think is greatly under-rated. It's 'The Little Saint Nick'.

Andy Williams is rarely wrong and certainly not this time. For 'It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year'

Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews certainly new the temperature 'cos 'Baby It's Cold Outside'.

An under-rated Yule-tide hit comes from Chris Rea - he's 'Driving Home for Christmas'.

My father liked Boney M. I like Boney M. I love their rendition of 'Mary's Boy Child'.

Don't you ever forget Bobby Helms and his 'Jingle Bell Rock'.

Here's a little bit of Celine Dion singing one of the spine-tingling tunes of all time - 'O Holy Night'.

Want some Dean Martin? Want some Snow? You've got it! 'Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow'.

But we can't some Christmas without some Elvis. Less of the white stuff, this is a 'Blue Christmas'

Continuing on the more melancholic vibe, it'll be 'Lonely This Christmas' for Mud.

I blame Aberystwyth University friend Christopher Shaw for this one. Only in the past year have I suddenly realise how awesome David Essex's 'A Winter's Tale' is. A wonderful, haunting melody.

Say what you want, I don't care. I've always been fond of Robson and Jerome's version of 'I Believe'.

Upping the tempo again, another under-rated Xmas hit, this time from Elton John - 'Step Into Christmas'.

Shakin' Stevens can not be overlooked. 'Merry Christmas Everyone'.

Then coming towards my all time top Xmas Hits. Band Aid, 1984 really was something else. Again, shivers down spine time. Do they know it's Christmas?

An all-time hit is Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas'. Wow!

If I had to choose a Mark Cole all-time Christmas Number 1. Then I think there can only be one. It has to be Kirsty McColl and the Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'.

This has been a right-old varied bag of Xmas hits - apt as my musical tastes have always been eclectic. But to finish off, just to show that the good old-fashioned Christmas song isn't dead. Here's a modern hit that should deserve to be in anyone's all-time Xmas hits list for years to come.

From the genius that is Peter Kay, courtesy of Geraldine McQueen, to remind us all that is great about this time of year, it's 'Once Upon a Christmas Song'.

You'll be singing it over and over and over again...

Merry Christmas!

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