This is a list of oddly specific Christmassy songs that are not actually Christmas songs for those who want to listen to something other than Mariah Carey during the holidays.
1. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
I am yet to meet a single person who does not know the words to this song. A classic that always gets everyone singing (or shouting depending on how much eggnog has been drunk), this song always makes me think of Christmas – I feel like I always hear it when doing the Christmas shopping, and it always gets people feeling festive.
2. Bewitched – Laufey
I may be biased when it comes to Laufey, but her songs just have something about them that make the world seem a bit softer and brighter.. The beautiful orchestral music is perfect for slow-dancing around the kitchen to, preferably when baking something festive.
3. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
Any Smiths song will forever remind me of my friend Will. I’ve many memories of him dancing around at our Christmas parties and singing at the top of his lungs. Always the DJ of our annual get togethers, the Christmas playlists were full of The Smiths, and it was only when there were five in a row that anyone protested. Some may say it is depressing, but this song always reminds me of the loud laughter and the heat of crowded bodies in the living room.
4. 2 Become 1 – Spice Girls
I know there might be some protest about this but during my extensive research on non-Christmas-Christmas songs, though this song has absolutely no relation to Christmas, it is in an awful lot of Christmas mixes, so I felt I must include it on the list. Also, everyone knows the words to this song so it can’t hurt to play it at any festive get-togethers.
5. What Time Do You Call This – Elbow
It will likely be a recurring theme for me to associate a lot of these songs with a certain person, but I can’t listen to Elbow without thinking of my Grandad, their ultimate no.1 fan. You might know this song from the painfully cheesy rom-com “Man Up”, and I must admit that it is how I found this song. Though I did lose an hour and a half of my life to this film, I am grateful for the discovery of this song. The piano prominent throughout is reminiscent of many classic Christmas songs, as is the chorus of voices, the beautiful harmony reminding me of the many carolers you come across during the Christmas season.
6. Lovers Rock – TV Girl
Again, being a longstanding fan of TV Girl, my opinion may be skewed, but being one of the best indie pop bands, I had to put them in this list. The repetition of the simple strings is evocative of many Christmas songs, and one can only swoon at the romantic sound and content of the song, with dialogue samples from the 1940’s radio show “Dangerously Yours” in which the pirate Jean Lafitte strikes up a prohibited romance with a woman from Louisiana.
7. This Is How It Feels – d4vd, Laufey
This song is the epitome of wistful beauty. It feels nostalgic and bittersweet, and the colourful and rich piano swells with emotion in each chorus. The dreamy feel to this song is similar to that of other melancholic Christmas songs.
8. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
This song is a non-Christmas-Christmas-classic. With a tongue-in-cheek harmony and the simple guitar progression, this song is an easy listen and has a fun, festive feel about it, making it perfect for your non-Christmas-Christmas playlist. Also, if you haven’t seen the music video for this song I would highly recommend it; it tells a story of a man who controls the night and day with a cog – in Claymation, of course.
9. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
With its warm chords and what can only be described as Church-like acoustics, this song is perfect for Christmas. But, for those that enjoy this song for its vivid religious imagery, I am sorry to tell you that Cohen (the writer) is a Jewish Buddhist, who meant for the lyrics to be about sex and spirituality, Jeff Buckley having described it as “the hallelujah of the orgasm”. Sorry guys.
10. Stay Another Day – East 17
Yet another classic has made its way on to my list. Despite its legacy as a Christmas classic, East 17’s signature song is NOT a Christmas song – but nevertheless, I had to put it on the list. It was the Christmas no. 1 in 1994, and although the video is also festive, featuring the members of the band wearing white parkas in the snow, it actually has a much darker subject matter.