We had a bit of a job on our hands to condense the best of ska Christmas songs down to a top ten so go easy on us if your favourite is missing. In terms of originals of the species they don’t come much more perfect than Jamaica’s the Skatalites who got together way back in the mid 1960’s. Their ‘Snow Boy’ is an effortless piece of tropical ska that was originally released as a b-side on Bob Marley’s ‘One Cup of Coffee’ single in 1962. Also representative of the original Jamaican ska scene is Desmond Dekker’s down tempo ‘Christmas Day’, something quite unexpected but entirely wonderful at the same time.
You could hardly put a ska Christmas song list together without including the poster boys (along with Madness and the Specials) of the 2 Tone ska revival Bad Manners. Their ‘Christmas Time Again’ features a punishing beat and a tale of Christmas woe, self-inflicted though it may well be. Representing the third wave of ska bands is California’s Reel Big Fish who take Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters’ summer sounding ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ and turn it into a hyperactive child with too many pressies to open up. Fun times though.
Our favourite of the lot is The Granville Williams Band’s ‘Santa Claus Is Ska-ing To Town’ which lives and breathes through the prism of that treasured Christmas chestnut of yore. You won’t hear a groovier piece of Christmas music over the holidays.
Published by SpiritOfXmas | g+ profile