This week I have been listening to one of my favourite Christmas songs, Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade. The song was Christmas number one in 1973, beating off other Christmas Classics like Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas. The tune has greater significance for me, as it was written in my hometown of Walsall.
As intended, the song brilliantly reflects a British family Christmas, with family the key theme of the song. The children are getting excited as they hang their stockings on the wall ready for Santa and enjoying playing in the snow. The parents are worrying if they have enough room to fit everyone in the house, before cheekily smooching, Dad dressed as Santa. Granny is telling us ‘the old songs are the best, then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rolling with the rest’. The whole family are having fun.
Written in a bleak time for the country, the strikes of the seventies, the song is very uplifting. ‘So here it is, Merry Xmas/ Everybody’s having fun/ Look to the future now/ It’s only just begun.’ The catchy chorus, supported by a simple drumbeat and big power chords, is great to sing along to at Christmas time, especially when a bit drunk. You can dance to it with family or friends and enjoy screaming out together ‘It’s Chriii-stmas!’.