For many of us, driving is an inescapable part of Christmas. Whether it’s heading off to visit relatives or collecting the kids from yet another party, the festive season can really pile on the miles. With thousands of new and used cars on the road, and poor weather conditions, driving at this time of year can be a stressful experience. Why not cheer yourself up and keep passengers entertained with some festive Christmas music?
If the idea makes you groan, then maybe you’re not picking the right songs. For every stale and overplayed novelty hit, there’s a true classic…
The Beach Boys often paid homage to the motor trade, so it’s no surprise that their 1963 hit ‘Little Saint Nick’ describes Santa’s hot rod sleigh in loving detail. Along with Chuck Berry’s ‘Run Rudolph Run’, a great track when traffic is flowing well.
Stuck in a jam? Nod along to Chris Rea’s pain in ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, or, if you’re starting to wonder if you’ll even make it in time for the festivities listen to ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ by the Eagles.
2016 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Bob Dylan has a history of doing the unexpected. In 2009 he released an album of Christmas songs. While Dylan’s raspy vocals aren’t to everyone’s tastes, it’s hard to resist the manic energy of ‘Must be Santa’, listen carefully to the reindeer names!
Travelling with children? Then put on something to make them bop along in the back seat, but choose carefully, because these are the Christmas songs they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. The Jackson 5 Christmas Album is full of child friendly favourites, including ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, which is good for a giggle when they work out the joke. But as an insurance policy, it’s advisable to have an audiobook for them if and when you want some peace and quiet on the road.
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The Pogues’ ‘Fairy-tale of New York’ might not be one to play when there are kids in the car, but adults will appreciate its refreshingly cynical take on the season and Kirsty McColl’s ferocious vocals. If you’re in a reflective mood, Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘7 O’ Clock News / Silent Night’, this blends the classic Christmas carol with a 1960s news broadcast, is perhaps the most beautiful and thought provoking Christmas song you’ll ever hear, one to play driving on your own late at night.
Safe and tuneful travels to you all this Christmas, wherever you’re driving.