Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth...
Holly Frith

15:04 9th November 2010

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Shane MacGowan will be joining The Priests as they attempt to claim the Christmas top spot

The single 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth' will be released December 12 on Epic Records.

This unexpected collaboration covers the massive 1977 Christmas classic by David Bowie and Bill Crosby.

Speaking about working with The Priests, MacGowan said: ''The Priests are very talented singers and the track sounds good and hopefully people like it. We changed some of the lyrics from the original and we like it the way it is.''

MacGowan will be performing throughout December on The Pogues Farewell Tour.

Christmas hits

  • 20 – Bobby Helms – ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ - There have been numerous interpretations of this 1957 classic, but none have worked quite so well as the Bobby Helms original. There’s no better way to start our countdown than with this tune – so lets get this festive journey going.

  • 19 – The Kinks – ‘Father Christmas’ - Here The Kinks try to prove that there’s nothing necessarily ‘uncool’ about putting your name to a Christmas song. ‘Father Christmas’ – about that big man in the sleigh– is a perfect lament to the Christmas season.

  • 18 – Bing Crosby – ‘White Christmas’ - Bing must have lived in a place with a much higher snow rating than outside our office because we haven’t seen a drop yet. Still, we’ll put this on and keep praying that we’ll se a ‘White Christmas’ eventually.

  • 17 – Hot Club De Paris – ‘Will You Still Be In Love With me Next Year’ – Here, Hot Club De Paris prove that you don’t have to be at the end of your career and struggling for inspiration to create the perfect Christmas single. The most recent song to appear on our countdown, ‘Will You Still…’ takes the Christmas tradition and spins a menacing 21st century web with it.

  • 16 – Brenda Lee – ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ - It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.’ A song with just about every ingredient that’s required to make a Christmas song work, it’s no wonder it has survived since it was originally recorded in 1958.

  • 15 – Band Aid – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ - One of the most iconic charity singles of all time, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ brought together the likes of Bono, Duran Duran and Paul Weller under the pseudonym Band Aid. Although it was given a re-working in 2004, it wasn’t a patch on the sentiment of the original.

  • 14 – Frank Sinatra – ‘White Christmas’ - It’s no wonder that Sinatra – one of music’s most infamous performers – was able to create ‘White Christmas.’ His voice was made for this time of year so why not grab a mince pie and munch your way through the rest of our countdown with this spinning in the background.

  • 13 – Beach Boys – ‘Little Saint Nick’ - If it ever snowed in California, we’d expect that they’d put this song on at full volume. While the band’s sun blessed vocals might not sound like the most natural combination for a Christmas song, they worked surprisingly well on ‘Little Saint Nick.’ Indeed, is there anything they can’t do?

  • 12 – U2 – ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ - As we’re all aware, it’s not like U2 to miss out on a novelty record. Their cover of ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ almost felt overdue when it was released in 1987. Originally written by Phil Spector, it took U2’s version to get the song out to a wider audience.

  • 11 – Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Christmastime’ - ‘Christmastime’ was understandably seen as an unusual side-project for the Smashing Pumpkins. Released as part of a compilation album in 1997, the song saw Billy Corgan’s vocals melt brilliantly into a 45-piece string ensemble.

  • 10 – The Killers – ‘A Great Big Sled’ - It’s becoming somewhat of a tradition for the Killers to celebrate Christmas with a festive song. Released to raise money for RED in 2006, ‘A Great Big Sled’ features the kind of jovial chords and trademark sleigh bells that are enough to put anyone in the Christmas mood.

  • 9 – Bing Crosby And David Bowie – ‘Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth’ - Recorded for a Bing Crosby Christmas special, the unusual pairing of Crosby and David Bowie worked fantastically on this Christmas song. Starting with a rather cheesy conversation between the duo, ‘Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth’ develops into a surprisingly good yuletide single.

  • 8 – Paul McCartney – ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ - It took Paul McCartney eight years to follow in John Lennon’s footsteps with a justifiable Christmas single. He didn’t suffer with the weight of expectation, however, as ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ has become one of the catchiest Christmas singles of all time.

  • 7 – Slade – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ - A song that’s featured in more supermarket adverts than, well, Wizzard’s Christmas smash, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ has kept Slade and Noddy Holder’s pensions ticking over nicely. Yes it’s cheesy, but isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

  • 6 – Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ - One particularly member of the Gigwise office secretly thinks this is the best Christmas song ever. While that person will remain undisclosed, it’s hard to deny that it’s become one of the most familiar and catchy songs to hear during the yuletide season. We certainly wouldn’t normally be so keen to listen to Mariah Carey.

  • 5 – The Ramones – ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’ - It’s a hard task but The Ramones still manage to bring punk rock to Christmas with their song ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight).’ Released in 1987 the song is exciting, relentless and a nice armistice from their usual punk aggression.

  • 4 – Bruce Springsteen – ‘Santa Clause Is Coming To Town’ - Just about every artist you can think of has tried to cover this song, which was originally penned by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. For us though, Bruce Springsteen’s interpretation is the best. There’s nothing like the Boss giving it some at Christmas time.

  • 3 – Wizzard – ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas’ - We guarantee that not a year has gone by in your life when you’ve celebrated Christmas and not heard Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas.’ Understandably, therefore, it’s been covered by just about everyone from Spice Girls to Ash and made its way onto our countdown.

  • 2 – John & Yoko And The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir – ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ Recorded at the end of 1971, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over),’ is one of the main reasons that most modern day Christmas songs feature some kind of child choir. Not many work as well as they do on this song however. A true Christmas classic.

  • 1 - The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl – ‘Fairytale Of New York’ - For many Christmas isn’t Christmas without hearing The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale Of New York’ at least once or twenty-five times during the festive period. We’re not sure whether it’s the few-to-many pints of Guinness vocals or the catchy Celtic riffs, but we couldn’t imagine a Christmas going by without this.

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