Saturday 17 November 2018

Radio review: Christmas is music to cold ears


Christmas classic: Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan
Christmas classic: Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan

Eilis O'Hanlon

In the Christmas movie Fred Claus, a visitor to the North Pole is driven to violence because the elf DJ keeps playing Here Comes Santa Claus over and over again.

Strictly speaking, Christmas FM ought to provoke the same response; but there's something heartwarming, amid so much political rancour, about tuning in to a pop-up station devoted entirely to cheering up, rather than depressing, its listeners. If nothing else, it proves that Irish people are perfectly prepared to throw themselves into the Christmas spirit, as long as it's not foisted upon them too early.

Muireann O Connell played her first festive song on Today FM's Lunchtime last Monday, asking listeners to pick from her specially formulated "jingle jangle" scale, ranging from one for songs that are associated with the season but not particularly Christmassy, such as Joni Mitchell's River, to five for out and out Yuletide fare, such as Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, with Chris Rea's Driving Home For Christmas hovering somewhere around the middle.

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