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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

8 Days of Christmas #6: Slade

Well you couldn't do a Christmas Music Countdown without Noddy and Slade could you?

At this time in 1973 this was the #1 song and it seemed to come out every year since then! Old Noddy Holder and Jimmy Lea have made a packet on this (in 2013 apparently they had over £500,000 in sales alone on this song!).

It was released 7th December and stayed in the charts up until February 1974!

"We'd decided to write a Christmas song and I wanted to make it reflect a British family Christmas. Economically, the country was up the creek. The miners had been on strike, along with the grave-diggers, the bakers and almost everybody else. I think people wanted something to cheer them up – and so did I. That's why I came up with the line 'Look to the future now, it's only just begun'. Once I got the line, 'Does your Granny always tell you that the old ones are the best', I knew I'd got a right cracker on my hands." - Noddy Holder, 2007.

"Merry Xmas Everybody" was featured in the "Famous Last Words" section of the December 1999 issue of Melody Maker magazine, in which Noddy Holder explained some of the song's lyrics. For the line "Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?", he stated "I always hang up a stocking on the wall if the wife lets me. This lyric was originally very different - it was taken from the first song I ever wrote, in the acid flower power days of 1967: ‘So won’t you buy me a rocking chair to watch the world go by and a looking glass to look you in the eye’. You can imagine why we never released that." 

For the line "Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?", Holder stated "It’s the one day Father Christmas has got to stay sober, cos he’s got a big job to do, so he’s got to lay off the booze for one day of the year. I like a hot toddy when I get up on Christmas morning, then I shall have a drop of wine at lunchtime. Maybe then I’ll progress on to a little vodka and, after that, I’ll move on to brandy." 

For the line "Are you waiting for the family to arrive?", Holder said "Lyrically, I wanted it to be a working-class thing. Christmas is a family time, and you always want the family around. But there’s another side to it. Quite often, in a lot of families, you invite people that you don’t really like, out of a sense of duty. Though I’m lucky, cos I get on with all my family."

For the line "The old songs are the best", Holder stated "When your granny comes round at Christmas time, and you put on the modern songs, she always says they’re not as good as they were in her day. As soon as she’s had a couple of sherries inside her, she’s up dancing, showing her knickers off. Old songs aren’t always the best. There are good songs today, as there were in the past."  

For the line "Look to the future now", Holder stated "I always wanted this song to be our optimistic song and certainly this year, with the new millennium, it works even better. I’ve got a lot of things on the horizon, like the BBC1 documentary on Slade, with guest stars like Noel Gallagher and Ozzy Osbourne talking about us." 

For the line "Do you ride on down the hillside", Holder stated "I always remember as a lad we used to knock these old sledges together with old orange boxes and go tobogganing down this big old quarry. In the older days, it always used to snow regularly at Christmas, so using your sleigh was something we did." 

For the line "Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?", Holder stated "I do like a white Christmas and we don’t seem to get many nowadays. It sets the mood for the whole of Christmas, I reckon. And yes, I will be outside building a snowman with my little lad if it does snow." 

For the line "Everybody’s having fun", Holder stated "I want everyone to have fun. If you have fun and a sense of humour, you can get by in most situations. When I’ve had a few drinks, I like to have a good party. It takes me a bit of time to warm up these days, but my enthusiasm has not waned over the years. At parties, I tend to get too pissed to care what anyone else thinks, ha ha!"
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