The holidays are certainly a time for new songs to hit the airwaves. When you turn on the radio, you’re bound to hear a mix of old and new Christmas singles across all genres. The United Kingdom is certainly no different and every once-in-a-while, you’ll see a British Christmas song that involves London. These songs can be entirely about London or simply make reference to London locations while addressing other Christmas themes. The five songs below stretch from decades back to the near-present and if there’s something you think we left out, you can share that with us in the comments.
“Christmas in London” – Julia Fordham
Singer-songwriter Julia Fordham entered the charts in 1988 with her Top 40 hit “Happy Ever After”. She’s experienced modest success ever since, charting more Top 40 hits and attracting a loyal fanbase. Her original Christmas song “Christmas in London” was released in 2011 and is peppered with Christmas imagery. It also makes reference to walking in Camden and listening to choirs in Trafalgar Square. It has a sweet melancholy as it describes the end of the holiday.
“Father Christmas Down Hounslow High Street” – Robb Johnson and the Irregulars
Robb Johnson and the Irregulars are a folk-rock group that regularly delves into political satire. Johnson has been around since 1985 and has released around 40 albums either as a solo artist or with other collaborators. His album, The Ghost of Love, came out in 2009 and is a theme album with each song describing something that happened to a woman named Mary around Christmas at different points in her life. “Father Christmas Down Hounslow High Street” is a whimsical recounting of the parade that makes reference to the character Noddy and the requests Mary’s son makes to the parade’s Father Christmas.
“London for Christmas” – Limahl
Limahl (born Christopher Hamill) first came into the charts as the lead singer of the band Kajagoogoo before the band sacked him and he started a successful solo career. “London for Christmas” was released in 2012 and is a love song where the singer talks about celebrating the holiday with his love in London, including references to the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, riding the London Eye, and watching a show in the West End. The music video also takes special care to show off the city at the holidays, including Trafalgar Square, CoolBritannia, Harrods with its Christmas lights, and the Christmas villages that spring up all over the city. The end of the video shows him posing with fans while out shooting, including some SantaCon pub crawlers.
“Christmas Time in London” – Nina & Frederik
While Nina & Frederik may have been from Denmark and the Netherlands originally (they met as kids when Frederik’s father was the Danish ambassador), it didn’t stop the folk/calypso duo from writing a song about the holidays in the United Kingdom’s capital. Released in 1961, the song describes a lot of Christmas imagery in the City, focusing on how each part of the city looks from Leicester Square to Big Ben.
“Christmas Lights” – Coldplay
Coldplay formed in 1996 and hit the big time with their album Parachutes and its single “Yellow” in 2000. The band has gone on to experience numerous chart-topping albums and in 2010 they released the single “Christmas Lights”. The song tells the story of a man who regrets a breakup wandering the streets of London trying to win back his love. The title is referenced in the lyric “I took my feet to Oxford Street” which is one of the city’s best-known locations for Christmas light displays during the holiday. The original plan for the music video was to film on Oxford Street, but the band’s recording schedule didn’t permit it, so the final product takes place in a set made to look like an old theater and at the end pulls out to a shot of the London skyline with fireworks.