A good festive song is for life, not just for Christmas

Child refugees: more cash is needed from the government

COMMENT: Government needs to dig deep to find extra cash

Have your say

Just imagine Christmas without the festive music – utterly unthinkable!

In fact I’m so smitten that the Now That’s What I Call Christmas album has been playing in my car all year.

Okay, I admit I’m a lazy tyke and couldn’t be bothered to remove it in January.

That said, a good Christmas ditty ranks up there with turkey, stuffing and port as a seasonal must-have.

When you think of Paul McCartney, Slade, Mud, Elton John, John & Yoko, Jona Lewie, Shakin’ Stevens, Dean Martin and countless others, the musical heritage at Christmas is as rich as my mum’s brandy-saturated Christmas pudding.

Looking at this great canon of work, one wonders why there hasn’t been a decent Christmas No 1 for nearly 20 years.

The ’70s and ’80s threw up a great volume of memorable, legendary tunes that have stood the test of time.

Yet I reckon the last proper Christmas No 1 was East 17’s Stay Another Day and that was in 1994!

The formula for a festive favourite is pretty simple.

It consists of some bells, a catchy chorus, a cursory mention of Jesus and chanting children.

How hard can it be?

Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody is a glistening example of the shallow simplicity we’ve grown to love in our Christmas songs.

The chorus of ‘So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun’ could have been written by my three-year-old son – yet millions of us have sung the line millions of times.

Slade singer Noddy Holder told me years ago that the royalties from that song alone keep him merrily going for the rest of the year.

But Leon Jackson’s 2007 Christmas chart-topper When You Believe won’t earn him enough to buy an Iceland microwaved turkey roll for one.

In case you’ve forgotten, he won The X Factor that year

For a recording artist, surely it must be the holy grail of achievement, a song that is loved year after year.

After all, a good Christmas song is for life, not just for Christmas.