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Nouse's Musical Advent Calendar: Day 21

George Wood relates why he prefers the less traditional festive side of Bing Crosby.

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Photo: Stephanie Chapman
Photo: Stephanie Chapman

Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters - Mele Kalikimaka

Too many Christmas songs frame the holiday season in a Dickensian winter wonderland, gleefully forgetting that half the world's in the heart of summer. Heck, in the 20th Century there were only seven official white Christmases in England, so why do we still cling to the image of a snowy Christmas?

I blame Bing Crosby and his 'White Christmas' (or Day 1 of our musical calendar). Fortunately his joint recording of this Hawaiian-themed number, written by composer Robert Alexander Anderson, rectifies things a little. With a "land where palm trees sway" sung against a charming slack-key guitar (that jaunty instrument you hear in almost every Hawaiian song ever), 'Mele Kalikimaka' holds a big middle finger up at those dreaming of a white Christmas.

Personally, I had the experience of spending Christmas abroad one year (sadly I wasn't on holiday). At 35oC temperature, the last thing you want to be hearing is another song about how the fire inside is so fucking delightful. My friends are bemused by how much I love 'Mele Kalikimaka', but it's the perfect remedy for a summery Christmas.

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