When this column appears, we’ll be right in the middle: mulled wine, cookies, Christmas markets, “Last Christmas” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on the radio. In any case, we know it: Every year, pop stars and even the hardest rock bands delight us with Christmas carols.

    The classics come from Bing Crosby, Elvis and John Lennon, there were the expected tearjerkers from Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen delivered wonderful contributions, and AC/DC or Twisted Sister were no slouches either , not to mention Slade.

    And it doesn’t stop: in 2022, among other things, “Not So Silent Night” by Sarah Connor, “Under A Winter’s Moon” by Loreena McKennitt – and Louis Armstrong’s first Christmas album, “Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule”. Dead or alive – it doesn’t matter, everyone loves Christmas carols.

    Let’s cut a small path through this blizzard of contemplative to bizarre songs. Let’s focus on a few female perspectives. Not for emancipatory reasons, but simply because it’s fun. At least in my inner circle (with people between 14 and 79), it is still mostly women who enthusiastically decorate and think about holiday menus during the Advent season, and they usually have a better sense for the right gifts.

    And more recently, the most interesting Christmas works have come from women too – because they effortlessly combine traditional things like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” with more realistic considerations of holiday madness. On “Tinsel And Lights” Tracey Thorn mourns the carefree times in the title song (“We all have some things about how the time goes/ That we’d rather not know”) – and yet falls in love with this magical time of year again.

    Kacey Musgraves sings in “Christmas Makes Me Cry” (“A Very Kacey Christmas”) that she always tries to have happy holidays, but then she starts missing everyone who’s gone, and then they come Lonliness. With Thea Gilmore, the chaos of human nature is always taken into account anyway, also on “Strange Communion”, where she talks about the “Drunken Angel” and in “December In New York” states that sentimentality is not her job. Naturally, it’s different with Jewel, who also sings the “Ave Maria”, “Joy To The World” and “Gloria” on “Joy: A Holiday Collection”; she even came up with a Christmas version of her hit “Hands”.

    Also recommended are “Noël” by the particularly enchanting Joan Baez, “Wintersong” by Sarah McLachlan and “Midwinter Graces” by Tori Amos. Those who like it wilder are well served with Amanda Shires’ “For Christmas”. She doesn’t have any tinsel in front of her eyes, but describes the ambivalence of the family celebration in pieces like “Gone For Christmas” appropriately – she finally wants a real tree, but all she really wants is peace and quiet: “I want fifty-two weeks paid vacation / I want to own my own radio station/ And I want you gone for Christmas.” Who doesn’t know that?

    Incidentally, the best German Christmas album does not come from Helene Fischer, but still from Andrea Jürgens.

    ttn-30