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From Band Aid to Grande, here is a definitive guide to the best and worst Christmas songs

The comprehensive guide to the finest and most questionable festive anthems

Christmas is fast approaching and now that it is officially December, we have license to bark IT’S CHRISTMAS to anyone, unfortunate enough to be in earshot. That shout is a constant at this time of year and it is often set in motion by the opening bars of a classic festive tune.

These songs are generally met with absolute ecstzasy and reminds us that Pigs in Blankets and Christmas Day hangovers are just around the corner. Essentially, they are the cornerstone of the season and without them the festive period would just not be the same.

However, Christmas songs can be a source of insanity and for retail workers who have to deal with the incessant looping of NOW That’s What I Call Christmas, I would probably advise you to either move sectors or stop yourselves from playing the videos below.

Indeed, there are some absolute horror shows out there which serve only to make us sigh and wish for summer (in my case getting back to when Jordan Pickford wasn't flapping for footballs and instead saving penalties against Colombia).

So, it is high time to separate the good from the bad and look at the ones to play on heavy rotation and the ones to avoid:

The Top Three

Wham – Last Christmas

Seriously, what a song. Honestly, if anyone has any criticisms of this masterpiece then I would genuinely love to hear them. Last Christmas is synonymous with all that’s good about the season and if this is not on your festive playlist then get it added straight away.

Wham’s original rendition is, yes, a work of art but it also allowed for a masterful adaptation by JLS on the X Factor in 2008. The high-water mark for this performance came halfway through when band member, JB wished us all a merry Christmas in the most eloquent of fashion:

If this doesn't shows why Last Christmas one of the best tunes out there, I don't know what does.

Band Aid – Do They Know Its Christmas?

Geldof at his best and Midge Ure, don’t forget Midge Ure, they always gets overlooked.

This song is great for two reasons. The first is that it is a genuine classic and the fact that it is generally confined to just one season is criminal as I would happily play this all-year-round.

Regardless of whether you resent the amount of 80s music your parents subjected you to, it is impossible to deny that this is one of the best songs of all time and deserves its place on this list.

The second is that it inspired this:

End of argument.

Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues – Fairytale of New York

I have no superlatives that suitably sum up just how good this song is. The song tells the story of a couple in New York City on Christmas Eve, recovering from a binge on booze (sound familiar?) and trading insults in a call and response format.

Whilst this song’s music video is not a great advertisement for dentistry in the UK, given Shane MacGowan’s lack of pearly whites, it is a Christmas song for the ages and it is no surprise that it has regularly polled as the greatest festive tune of them all.

So, if you can ween your parents off that Michael Bublé album, you need to have these masterpieces on your playlist for the big day – which might help with the hangover a bit more than the fourth replay of ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’.

The Worst

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

You know what, The Killers are a decent band to be fair, with an impressive roll call of songs including the likes of Human, Somebody Told Me and All These Things That I’ve Done. They are a difficult band to criticise, because objectively they have been consistently class.

However, this 2007 song it seems Brandon Flowers and co. sought to take their reputation and tear it to shreds as this has got to be one of the worst songs of all time, let alone just in terms of Christmas.

Basically, the premise is as the title suggests: a boy begging a psychopathic-Santa not to shoot him.

Come on Brandon lighten up man, it's Christmas.

NSYNC – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

Before you ask, I’m not putting this on the list because I have an aversion to frosted tips (I mean that is true). It’s on here because it is a horrendous song.

The four minute disaster from everyone’s favourite late-90s American boy band is as torturous as it gets. I mean I’m sure it is against the Geneva Convention to use this song as it is simply too inhumane.

If you think I’m being overly harsh, listen for yourself.

Ariana Grande – Last Christmas

Do you know what this is? This is sacrilege. I think we should impose economic sanctions upon the USA for being home to this song-destroyer.

Alright, I’m done with being melodramatic. I’ll try and impose some logic and coherence upon this argument.

I heard this song in Morrisons the other day and honestly it was that bad that I had to leave the store without buying any food at all and this, I can assure you, is a rarity. It’s one of those songs which should not be covered as nothing will come close to the original but if you are going to do so then it has to be impeccable.

This is far from impeccable, if anything it sounds as though Grande spent about five minutes on this cover and the end result is a bell-jingling-laden disaster. It’s filled with unnecessary pop samples that make you wince and would not sound out of place on a dodgy JD advert. Thank you, next.

Now, I’m sure Ariana Grande, the former members of NSYNC and The Killers will make public statements expressing their deepest regrets for their part in these songs but until they do, I will apologise on their behalf.

In the meantime, I suggest you grace your ears with the sounds of Band Aid, Wham and The Pogues in order to celebrate Christmas the right way. Not with a Bublé album.

In the words of JB: Merry Christmas.