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  • Words by Mr Tom M Ford, Features Writer, MR PORTER

Only at this time of year could a porcine puppet in a dress release a song and it be considered fair game. Miss Piggy singing "I'm the Christmas Queen" may well be an extreme example of bad festive music, but it's indicative of a general mentality: a collective need to feel jolly, ramp up the nostalgia or enjoy songs ironically. When else could a Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey duet be feasibly acceptable? (Don't, whatever you do, google their version of "All I Want For Christmas is You".)

There are of course definitively festive songs that are a force for good. The rousing spirit of a decent Christmas carol is undeniable, and there are age-old songs, which, let's face it, are great. The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" is always a favourite, especially when the mulled wine has kicked in (just ask Mr Shane MacGowan).

But to find Christmas classics that work whatever your mind-set is a tricky thing. In search of such a playlist, we enlisted the help of Mr Rob Wood - music expert and founder of bespoke company Music Concierge. From Run-D.M.C. to The Ramones - he's put together a list to soundtrack your day whether you're wrapping presents or getting ready to go to the pub. Head to Spotify now to check out his picks, and feel some Christmas cheer without the cheese.

Listen on Spotify

"It's Christmas! Let's be Glad!"

Sufjan Stevens

"Astonishingly enough, good Christmas songs do exist. There just aren't many. This is one."

"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (Yesking Remix)"

Billie Holiday

"The great Ms Billie Holiday gets all dubbed up for yuletide."

"Christmas is Going to the Dogs"


"Mr Mark Oliver Everett (better known as 'E') considers the merits of the modern holiday season."

"Christmas Rappin'"

Kurtis Blow

"Mr Blow's tips on the dreaded task of present wrappin'."

"Swingin' Them Jingle Bells"

Fats Waller

"The perfect crazed tune for when the sugar and alcohol high kicks in post-Christmas lunch."

"Zombie Christmas"

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler

"Christmas music for people who don't like Christmas music."

"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)"

The Ramones

"The best example of a genre that should not exist - Christmas punk. Guaranteed to even get granny pogoing around the mistletoe."

"Christmas in Hollis"


"Christmas Day in the 'hood has rarely sounded so joyous. Yo ho ho."


James Brown's Funky Christmas

James Brown

"The Godfather of Soul made the best Christmas album ever, believe it or not. Get up (and jingle)!"

"Warm December"

Julie London

"Put this on just before you pass out from the sheer weight of sausage rolls, chocolate and port. It's the ultimate Christmas fireside song to snooze to."

"Fairytale of New York"

The Pogues

"One of the few sweet and sentimental Christmas songs that is remarkably both credible and actually a pleasure to hear."