Christmas Posts 2016 part 7

I’m not religious – but I do enjoy a fair amount of what might be termed religious music. As well as choral works, singing Christmas carols is kinda fun, just as much musically part of Christmas to me as much of the music I have posted here over the last few weeks.  And my absolute favourite Christmas carol of all is ‘Silent Night.’

There’s an article over on Wiki about how the song was first written and performed in Austria on Christmas Eve 1818, by a priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and Franz Xaver Gruber. Mohr had first written the words in 1816, which makes it 200 years old this year. (I idly wonder how much of the music I have featured on the blog over the last ten years will be listened to in 200 years’ time.) Written in German, the original version is Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht. According to Wiki, during the famous Christmas Day Truce in 1914, it was sung by both British and German troops simultaneously as it was one carol both sides knew.

It has been performed by many, many artists over the years. Sinead O’Connor, above, (who has apparently just turned fifty) recorded a version for the 1991 TV film The Ghosts Of Oxford Street.

The carol has reportedly been translated into over forty languages, and that includes Gaelic. Enya originally recorded a version in the late 1980s:

The quintessential Christmas record of the last twenty years is Low’s Christmas album. It could almost have been written with them in mind…

Meanwhile, Sufjan Stevens’ version is as ethereal as Low’s – but much more trippy…


The return of Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O'Connor

It’s now over twenty-five years since Sinead O’Connor released her debut album, The Lion And The Cobra. And she’s now about to release her tenth album, entitled I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, wiith a new single ‘Take Me To Church’ out now.

Her last album, 2012’s How About I Be Me (And You Be You?) was a great record with great tracks like ‘Reason With me,’ ‘4th & Vine’ and her cover of John Grant’s ‘Queen of Denmark.’ Last year she sang backing vocals on three songs on Grant’s latest album Pale Green Ghosts -‘GMF’ ‘Why Don’t You Love Me Any More?’ and ‘It Doesn’t Matter To Him.’

I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss is out on August 11. The tracklisting is as follows:

1. How About I Be Me
2. Dense Water Deeper Down
3. Kisses Like Mine
4. Your Green Jacket
5. The Vishnu Room
6. The Voice of My Doctor
7. Harbour
8. James Brown (with Seun Kuti)
9. 8 Good Reasons
10. Take Me to Church
11. Where Have You Been?
12. Streetcars

Stream ‘Take Me To Church’ here

The return of Sinead O’Connor


A few weeks before Christmas, I received an email from her PR company to say that Sinead O’Connor was releasing a new album How About I Be Me (And You Be You?) on February 20.

Now, that was certainly good news to me. I first came across Sinead O’Connor…no, not with that song but back in 1988 when she appeared on The Roxy and Top Of the Pops performing a song called ‘Mandinka’. This was followed by a mesmerising track called I Want Your hands On Me and then a certain Prince cover brought her massive success.

Quite why a woman with a shaved head seemed so controversial I don’t know. She was forthright in her opinions – and that shocked many. Rather like with Madonna, people seemed to forget it was her msuic that bought her to attention in the first place. More fool them.

The tracklisting for her new album – her ninth -is as follows:

1. “4th And Vine”
2. “Reason With Me”
3. “Old Lady”
4. “Take Off Your Shoes”
5. “Back Where You Belong”
6. “The Wolf Is Getting Married”
7. “Queen Of Denmark”
8. “Very Far From Home”
9. “I Had A Baby”
10. “V.I.P.”

Apparently it does NOT include the song ‘How About I Be Me?’ but you can buy that track off downlaod services now – nice reggae feel to it, worth checking out and buying.

You can stream two tracks here:

2 new songs by sineadoconnor

She will be playing five dates in 2012:

9th March, Brighton St Georges Church

10th March, London Queen Elizabeth Hall

12th March, Bristol St. Georges Hall

14th March, Glasgow Oran Mor

15th March, Manchester Manchester Cathedral

Be Careful What You Wish For…

…it may come true.

Way too much snow today when we woke up. So much for the BBC’s weather website. (I suppose I am guilty of seeing both the Beeb and the Guardian as being close to objective truth).

If you are on a quest for more Christmas-related music, check here and here on the NME blog.

I’m having difficulties accessing mediafire to post for Christmas tracks, so enjoy some videos for today:

More Celtic Soul, Brothers?


Celtic Soul would, I suppose, bring to mind the likes of Van Morrison, Dexy’s Midnight Runners (maybe Deacon Blue if I was feeling very generous)…but what about the Pogues?

The song that the Pogues are unquestionably best known for is, of course ‘F**ryt*l* *f N*W Y*rk’ which comes out every year, a festive favourite for the Post-punk generations and those that followed. In 1987 it reached no.2, capitalising on what had already been a pretty successful year chartwise for the Pogues, who had enjoyed their first ever Top Ten Hit earlier in 1987 with their collaboration with The Dubliners on ‘The Irish Rover.’

So…was there a Christmas no.1 contender from the Pogues twelve months later…? Well, yes…and no. ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah’ is certainly not a Christmassy sounding song, which might, partly, explain the reason it only reached no.43. It does have a lot of brass on it, and yet bares no relation to that year’s earlier hit ‘Fiesta.’ If the Pogues had wanted another tearjerker song, i suppose they could have issued another single off the fantastic If I Should Fall From Grace With God LP, ‘Thousands Are Sailing.’ But perhaps two Christmas singles in a row dealing with the Irish diaspora (well, sorta) might have been a bit much.

This track wasn’t on the next Pogues album, Peace and Love*

Anyway, this is an excellent track, so enjoy!

The Pogues -‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.’ mp3


Another Pogues single that wasn’t included on an official Pogues studio album had been the 1986 no.42 (ouch!) single ‘Haunted.’ This song was notable for several reasons:

a) It isn’t Shane MacGowan singing but Cait O’Riordan, who had also sung lead on the track ‘A Man you Don’t Meet Every Day (on their peerless Rum, Sodomy and the Lash LP
b) It came out on MCA, not their usual company Stiff
c) It was on the soundtrack to the film Sid & Nancy.
d) It was the last single that O’Riordan did with the band, as she left to marry Elvis Costello.

The Pogues -‘Haunted.’ mp3

Several years later, MacGowan did record a version of ‘Haunted’ when he had ‘split’ from the Pogues, recorded with Sinead O’Connor:

Shane MacGowan & Sinead O’Connor -‘Haunted.’ mp3

*It was included on the re-issue, but the first Pogues album it appeared on was the compilation The Best Of The Rest Of the Pogues in 1992.