Every December, it seems as if we hear the same 20 or so Christmas songs on endless rotation on the radio, in shops and at parties. But as RTE's John Creedon points out, it is possible to have a classy musical Christmas by thinking outside the selection box. And the best classy Christmas songs include:
Christmas Baby (Please Come Home)
Originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963, her version was ranked the Greatest Christmas Song Of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2010. It's been covered many times, most memorably by U2 and Bruce Springsteen.
River -- Joni Mitchell
Have yourself a melancholy Christmas with Joni's bleak mid-winter classic. There'll be tears before Santa comes.
2,000 Miles -- The Pretenders
A jaunty, chiming guitar-riff and chiming bells, but the song is actually about James Honeyman-Scott, the band's original guitarist, who died of a drugs overdose at the age of 25 in the year it was released (1982). It's been covered by Coldplay.
Please Come Home For Christmas -- Charles Brown
This mellow R'n'B slice of Christmas cake by Charles Brown was a big hit in 1960. Perfect with a brandy and your baby in the wee small hours on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Wrapping -- The Waitresses
This slightly obscure Christmas classic from US new wavers The Waitresses opens with the words "Bah humbug!" and gets even better from there.
A Christmas Gift For You