Doesn't look like Frosty's coming out to play this Christmas, so here's a bit of artsy fluff from 80s/90s post-punk band The Cocteau Twins. Liz Fraser's diction was famously usually garbled - using her quirky haunting vocal inflections like another instrument, so much so that their work was often more like instrumental than vocal - or very reminiscent of glossolalia. Sugar hiccup, Pearly Dewdrops' Drops, and The Spangle Maker were favourites of mine. And the band led me to explore and enjoy their 4AD label mates and spin-off projects at the time. Still, Liz's vocals are pretty clear on this one, tho thankfully that unique voice is still completely recognisable.
So, indulge me. I've always loved the original by the Waterboys, and Mike Scott didn't pitch this as a Christmas song. However, with the repeating notion of stars above, and the aching desire for relationship, it works as a Christmas song for me. And my (no longer secret) guilty pleasure amongst the rootsy blues and raucous rock songs listed so far is... the absolute beauty Ellie Goulding's cover. From the clipped phrasing to the liquid silky vocals, I'm a sucker for this every time.
"How long will I be with you? As long as the sea is bound to Wash upon the sand.
How long will I want you? As long as you want me to And longer by far.
How long will I hold you? As long as your father told you, As long as you can.
How long will I give to you? As long as I live through you However long you say.
How long will I love you? As long as stars are above you And longer, if I may."