MFMM's Christmas Playlist Bonanza
It's that time of year again!
Christmas for many of us is a time for family, feasting, pastry, parties and all-round celebration. But if you sit quietly enough anywhere in the UK, somewhere in the distance you will hear something that we here at Music for my Mind find very special. Whether it be a beautiful carol as old as the hills, or George Michael’s mournful lyrics of love, or even Mariah Carey giving it all she’s got, music surrounds us completely at Christmas time.
There's magic in the diversity of Christmas music
But Christmas music is more than just the background to the party. Each year those firm favourites, often played a little ahead of time in the dying days of November, announce that Christmas is around the corner and the tried and tested preparations need to be started.
We recently asked our friends and supporters to share their favourite festive tunes with us, and we received some truly wonderful suggestions. We’ve compiled a playlist from these and added some of our own favourites to create the MFMM Christmas Bonanza playlist! One of the most wonderful things about Christmas songs, and about our playlist in particular, is that it is a real hodgepodge of styles, eras, voices and meanings, so there’s always something for everyone to enjoy.
Some interesting facts you might not know about Christmas songs
For a song to become a beloved favourite is no mean feat, and often there is a curious story behind it. Some of them are quite surprising, like the fact that ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’ was written during a summer heatwave, or that many firm favourites such as ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ and ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’, where written by Johnny Marks, a practicing Jew who didn’t celebrate Christmas!
Some of the stories are very old, like the fact that ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ dates from the 8th or 9th century, and some are completely unexpected, like the fact that ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie and East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ aren’t actually Christmas songs, but an anti-war anthem and a mournful ballad about the loss of a brother respectively. And some stories are particularly poignant, such as the famous fact that ‘Silent Night’, or ‘Stille Nacht’, rang out over the trenches during the First World War, and helped to unite the two warring sides into a temporary armistice for Christmas day.
Our Christmas playlist is ready to listen to now!
Christmas songs are immensely important at this time of year, and for each of us, at least one holds a special place in our hearts. We have included the requests of all the friends and supporters who contacted us in our playlist this year – and what a wonderful selection it was!
One request was for Christina Rossetti’s momentous ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, and went on to say ‘because it contains an important truth – we all have something to give: our heart’.
Another friend asked for ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ because they “used to organise ‘An Evening of Christmas Cheer’, which used to finish with a rousing chorus of the above song and, when we came to the figgy pudding verse, a very large pudding would be shared with everybody!”.
And if listening to our playlist makes you wish you had a playlist of your own which you can listen to beyond just the Holidays, our Playlist Maker is a free-to-use tool, where you can create your very own personalised playlist, with music from your teenage years. Or perhaps you have a loved one or friend living with dementia or memory loss – you can use it to help them create their own playlist!
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
With a massive thank you to those who requested particular songs, and to everyone who has done so much to support us throughout the year, we at Music for my Mind wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with music and joy!