WHEN we think of Christmas tunes, it’s difficult not to have the same ones popping in our head time-after-time.
You know what I mean, ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’.
And I’ll agree – these are good, catchy songs.
But sometimes, truly great songs will slip through the snow-covered cracks – even if they have been recorded by artists of legendary status.
Here are our top picks of Christmas songs that have been long forgotten – but are definitely worthy of another listen, even for memory’s sake, this year.
‘Christmas night in Harlem’ (1955)
The tune for ‘Christmas Night in Harlem was composed in 1934, by the legendary Raymond Scott however it wasn’t until 1939 that wordsmith Mitchell Parish wrote its accompanying lyrics.
But in 1955, Louise Armstrong brought the song back to life, and it remains the most celebrated of all the covers.
Favourite lyric: ‘Ev’ry gal struttin’ with her beau, through the streets covered white with snow’.
‘The Little Drummer Boy’ (1965)
In 1963, Johnny released this song on his Christmas album, ‘The Christmas Spirit’ and despite receiving very little radio airplay, to this day it remains a firm childhood favourite of many.
Favourite lyric: ‘I have no gift to bring, that’s fit to give our King’.
‘Blue Christmas’ (1968)
Blue Christmas tells the tale of unrequited love during the holiday season. And while this song has been covered by the likes of Dean Martin and The Beach Boys over the years, it will always be famously known as an Elvis Presley classic.
Favourite lyric: ‘And when those blue snowflakes start falling, that’s when those blue memories start calling’.
‘December Will Be Magic Again’ (1980)
Showing off her distinctive style and seemingly endless vocal range, this song is atmospheric and upbeat in equal measure. While it failed to appear on any of her albums, it has made its way on to various Christmas compilations over the years.
Favourite lyric: ‘The white city, she is so beautiful… Upon the black-soot icicled roofs.’
‘The Perfect Year’ (1993)
A beautiful interpretation of ‘The Perfect Year’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’, this emotion-filled song can be found on Dina’s album, Only Human, released in 1996.
This song was originally released in 1993, and quickly became a big hit for Dina, helping her to become the only British female to have two singles simultaneously in the Top 10 in that decade.
Favourite lyric: ‘It’s New Year’s Eve and hopes are high. Dance one year in, kiss one goodbye.’