Slade – Merry X’Mas Everybody

This is a reblog from last year but… history hasn’t changed. This is fast becoming my favorite rock Christmas song second only to John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

This is one that I haven’t heard as much but if you live in the UK you probably have heard it MANY times. This is a great Christmas song that was released in 1973 and ever since it re-enters the charts every December in the UK. The song never hit in America but it went to #1 in the UK Charts. I first heard it on a Doctor Who episode in the mid-2000s and have liked it ever since.

This went straight in at #1 in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies on the day of its release, making it at the time the fastest ever selling record in Britain. It eventually became Slade’s best-ever selling single in the UK, selling over a million copies.

In the UK this has become a standard, and it is usually reissued in its original form each Christmas. On several occasions, the song has re-entered the Top 40.

UK copyright collection society and performance rights organization PRS For Music estimated in 2009 that 42 percent of the earth’s population has heard this tune.

The song was written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea of Slade. It was produced by Chas Chandler formerly of the Animals.

From Songfacts.

This was based on a psychedelic song, “My Rocking Chair,” which Noddy Holder wrote in 1967. In 1973 the Slade vocalist decided to convert it into a Christmas song after a night out drinking at a local pub. He and the band’s bass player and co-writer Jimmy Lea camped out at Noddy’s mother’s house and got down to changing the lyrics to make them more Christmassy. Jimmy Lea incorporated into the verse parts of another song which he was then writing and Noddy re-wrote the words incorporating different aspects of the Christmas holiday season as they came to mind.

When Noddy Holder wrote the line “Look to the future now, it’s only just begun,” he had in mind the strikes that were blighting Britain at the time. He told the Daily Mail On Sunday November 10, 2007: “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 gravediggers, 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.”

The harmonium used on this is the same one that John Lennon used on his Mind Games album, which was being recorded at the studio next door.

This was recorded at the Record Plant studios in New York while the band were on a tour of the States in the summer of 1973. When they recorded the vocals, they sang the chorus on the stairs in order to achieve the echo that they required. Guitarist Jimmy Lea recalled to Uncut magazine in 2012: “All these Americans were walking past in their suits thinking we were off our rockers singing about Christmas in the summer.”

Producer Chas Chandler opened the song with a howl recorded during some of Noddy Holder’s vocal exercises.

A few months before Slade recorded this song, drummer Don Powell was badly injured in a car crash. Though his physical recovery was quick, the mental scars took longer to heal. Noddy Holder explained to The Daily Mail December 18, 2009: “The doctors told us to get him playing drums again as soon as possible to boost his confidence. But he was suffering from short-term memory loss – he could remember our old songs, but not the new ones. So, instead of recording live, we built up Merry Xmas Everybody layer by layer. That gave it a more poignant, restrained sound. It was something new for us. But the fates were with us and it became our biggest hit.”

Noddy Holder explained to Q magazine January 2013 how the song was originally inspired by The Beatles: “I wrote the original verse with the lyrics, ‘Buy me a rocking chair, I’ll watch the world go by. Bring me a mirror, I’ll look you in the eye,’ in 1967 in the aftermath of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper,” he said. I was being psychedelic. Dave (Hill) wrote another part to the song but it didn’t work so we put it away. Then in 1973 he remembered my verse one day when we were trying to write a Christmas single. We changed the words to, ‘Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall?’ and the rest fell into place.”

Noddy Holder’s earliest childhood memory served as inspiration for one of the song’s lines. He recalled to the Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine: “As a lad we used to knock sleds with old orange boxes and go tobogganing down this big old quarry in the snow at Christmas. It was the inspiration for the line ‘are you hoping that the snow will start to fall.'”

I want that hat he starts off with… in this video…very subtle.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ‘ton up’ on his sleigh
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya that the old are the best?
Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the rest

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

What will your daddy do
When he sees your Mama kissin’ Santa Claus?
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?
Do you ride on down the hillside in a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head then you’ve been slayed

Chorus (4x)
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Slade – Merry X’Mas Everybody”

  1. I love this song – but wtf give me a decent Christmas carol. M bigest challenge Buche de Noel

    Cake:

    100g sugar
    100g flour
    5 eggs
    1 sachet of vanilla sugar

    Cream: (adapted in 2015!)

    130g sugar cubes
    2/3 cup of water
    4 egg yolks
    315 g butter
    315 g dark chocolate
    2 ml of coffee extract

    Cake:

    Mix 4 egg yolks with sugar and vanilla sugar.
    When it is creamy, add one full egg, and mix for a few minutes with a spatula.
    Slowly add the flour to the mixture, and fold in the beaten egg whites.
    Put buttered wax paper on a rectangular tray and spread the mix evenly. Put in a warm oven (200°C) until slightly brown (about 10 minutes).
    Take out and turn over on to a cold surface and cover with a wet tea towel.

    Butter Cream:

    Melt the sugar on low, with water, and get a thick syrrup.
    Pour the syrrup on the yolks, while stirring, until fully cold.
    Add the soft butter and mix to obtain a smooth cream.
    Divide into two.
    Perfume half with coffee, and half with melted chocolate and a bit of water.

    Setting:

    Remove tea towel.
    Spread coffee cream, roll lengthwise, cut the ends, cover with chocolate cream.
    Decorate.
    these days

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just looked that up…now that looks great Bruce…so you use coffee instead of cocoa? I must try that.

      BTW…My favorite carol is Silent Night…I think it might me the best song ever written.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How the heck did that recipe get there???Perhaps I thought I was posting it on a recipe website elsewhere. Obviously I’d been eating raisins soaked in brandy or something. Anyway, it’s not out of place there, except I apologize for taking up so much of your space. I think I had copied the recipe on my computer to print it off to use in the kitchen… BTW – I think my favourite carol is “O Holy Night”.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh please Bruce… I got a great recipe out of it! I showed my wife and she wants to make it. I never pass up a good recipe… anytime Bruce! I just thought… Bruce is really in a festive mood!

        I like that one also… it’s a beautiful carol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve worked out how that recipe got there! My computer won’t let me right click anymore (it caught a disease) and I had copied the recipe to paste in order to print it off, and then copied a line of a Christmas carol to paste in your comments. I didn’t check it did I? You got the recipe, and goodness knows where the line of Christmas carol went. Anyway – that recipe we’ve used and refined for the past 19 Christmases!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It was a happy mistake in my favor.
        The IT person in me has to tell you but you probably know… if it is malware causing it… download a free trial program called malwarebytes and try it. That is what we get for our corporate users. No I don’t work for malwarebytes!

        My wife wants to get the ingredients today… we will see how that goes and if we have time.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks for the malwarebytes hint – I shall try it today – probably while your wife is out getting the ingredients. Incidentally, we don’t use 2 ml of coffee extract (unless you already have it in the cupboard) we just use a bit of instant coffee. I;m gong to be pretty grateful to you if this malwarebytes thingy works. I was trying to fix a very simple problem and downloaded what I thought was a solution and got all this trouble happening. I have another computer. Never realized before how often I right click!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks Bruce I will tell her. I hope it works out because it looks great.

        If it is malware then it should fix it. When you install it just install the basic program… not the real time agent… that way you can keep it. I hope it works! Right click is pretty important! The real time agent is cool but not necessary.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. No luck with malwarebytes – the problem is I can’t right click and therefore can’t seem to run as administrator. Anyway – I’ve bothered you enough. Malwarebytes found 78 instances – shows you where I’ve been these last five years or so…!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. No bother at all Bruce. It’s what I do…or did do before I became a dreaded Director. It’s a good program but obviously it’s not your problem.
        Yea it could be a lot of things but one last thing I would do…if you are running Windows…use “system restore” and restore it back to when it was working. You won’ t lose data…just any programs that you have installed since then…like the malwarebytes.

        Like

  2. Max, I remember you posting this last year and my liking it. This year I like it even better. The background info is appreciated. So strange it never became a hit in the US but it’s one of their standard Christmas songs in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

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