Christmas can be a time of loneliness and suffering for many people. I think that’s why I am so very fond of the new Christmas song from the English progressive rock band Big Big Train.
Their single is called “Merry Christmas” and, like its refreshingly direct name, it goes straight to the heart of the holiday. The song’s chorus exhorts us to “give a little peace, joy, love, and light to the world.”
Not sure what that means? Check out the band’s video for it on YouTube, which tells a story about a lonely guy and the daily grind.
Unlike most new Christmas music, the song is an instant classic, destined for my permanent playlist. The trenchant lyrics ask: “When did the ringing of tills drown the pealing of bells? Who cares as long as the products sell?”
The dramatic turning point in the video happens when the sad bloke, wandering away from his office job, goes into a church, where a choir of children sings.
Bass player Greg Spawton explained, “We wanted ‘Merry Christmas’ to be a proper Christmas song, so it features the Big Big Train brass band, The Chapel Choir Choristers of Jesus College, Cambridge, and, of course, sleigh bells.”
For me, it illustrates how the spirit of Christmas can turn despair into hope. The magic of Christmas arrives when we glimpse how suffering can be redeemed. Surprisingly, goodness can transform the darkness.
Because justice demands the addition of this superb single, my Top Ten (Prog) Albums of 2017 list now gets the BBT Merry Christmas EP added to it, which of course rounds the year’s list out to a delicious baker’s dozen!
What an amazing year it has been for Big Big Train…