LLast Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to keep me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special! Well, already recognized? Sure, this is the free and certainly a bit bumbling translation of the unrivaled best Christmas pop song of all time, “Last Christmas”, by Wham!
And for Christmas this year? Which stars bring us the pre-Christmas cocoa and Ugly Christmas sweater mood? Well, first of all there is the obligatory Beatles cover for the festival of love: Katy Perry sings “All You Need Is Love”, and of course it’s fantastic, but that’s simply because the song is fantastic and Katy Perry’s version is just everything steals, even the happy trumpet at the end.
And yet you are never quite as enlightened afterwards as after the original version with the exuberant violins, 7/4 time, marching direction love !, and, well, these four immortal voices – and anyway it’s always been a cheap marketing ploy, one Covering a Beatles hit, just think of the Vodafone advertising, which pretended to have somehow reinvented “Hello, Goodbye”.
But Katy Perry is not the only one spamming our Advent season with tried and tested things, there is also Abba, they are definitely old. Her song “Little Things” was released on Friday with the accompanying video and is a mixture of “Grandma is now singing in the choir” and, actually, nice Abba moments (when the harmony is put on “Little Things”, for example). Unfortunately, it ends with obligatory children’s singing, which turns grandma’s church choir into an afternoon in the community center, you don’t even need that for Christmas. In the accompanying video, children with very wet, googly eyes watch old Abba songs in order to dance after them. That’s what you call a surrealist Christmas.
Another song for the festival with a matching video was released on Friday by two other pop greats: Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John are releasing a song with the admittedly not incredibly inventive title “Merry Christmas” and a video in which they feature famous scenes from famous Christmas films and videos Recreate famous Christmas hits. Even in the announcement for the song, Ed Sheeran put a scene from “Indeed. . . Love ”after. Nice idea, nice implementation, and there are at least a few festive bells in the song.
It is the bells that made “Last Christmas” such a timeless, even eternal Christmas classic, at least that is what Andrew Ridgeley, the second man from Wham! next to George Michael, the FAZ in December 2019. John and Sheeran tell no great heartbreak story, but sing about kissing under the mistletoe and drinking wine. “I know there’s been pain this year / but it’s time to let it go,” Sheeran sings, and of course he’s right. Unfortunately, his “Merry Christmas” is still not a “Very Merry Christmas”.