Tuesday 16 December 2014

Christmas number one? Bah Humbug! by Ruth

There are various ways musicians can measure success. At the high sales end, it’s fairly easy to measure. Chart position, of course. Number one means most sales, and that’s certainly a well-known and long used measure of success. Christmas number one is still seen as a big deal, and there’s usually a competition, dominated in recent years by the winners and runners up of X Factor, possibly something a bit left field (though not Leftfield. Not yet, anyway), and almost certainly a charity single or two.

And many of us get involved in some way; we download the song we want to win, or at least, the one that has the best chance of beating the one we definitely don’t want to win. But when was the last time you listened to a song you downloaded as part of this race?

Personally, I’m actually a bit of a sucker for a decent Christmas song. I have all sorts of issues with the hype around Christmas and the expense, and the way it almost feels that if you aren’t going to have The Perfect Christmas Day (As Seen On The Adverts), why, there is something wrong with you. However, I do love carols (we wrote our own!) and songs with choirs and jingle bells and catchy choruses…

However, I like to buy music that I know I’m going to listen to, rather than helping someone’s quest to get their song to the “most sold” position in the most widely known sales list.

As such, I want to tell you about this song, called Bah Humbug, which has genuinely funny lyrics (making a good point but without being heavy handed), a catchy chorus… and lots of jingle bells. AND half the proceeds go to CALM, a charity that has its work cut out at this time of year, with its aim of supporting mental health in young men, who often find it hardest to ask for help or admit that something is wrong.

And you know what? It’s probably not a player in the race to be Christmas number one. Which in some ways makes me like it more. And you know what? Unlike some of the songs I’ve bought in the past to support them in that ultimately futile race… this’ll be on my playlist next year, too.

So have a listen to it, but remember, if it makes you laugh, or even raise a wry smile, you have to buy it too. Otherwise you’re like those people on Church Street in Liverpool who dance in front of the busking drummer on your way to Concert Square but don’t give him as much as a penny for his efforts…. and that really IS a bit Scrooge-like!

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