Hallelujah - No Christmas Number 1 for Cliff
The poor girl had won the X factor, but by the time Alex Burke had stopped crying (which was an incredibly long time according to some) the knives were already sharpened... Not only here in Northern Ireland, where Eoghan Quigg's failure was put down to some kind of huge anti-irish conspiracy... but also among those who loathed the idea of a Cowell-produced version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" being number one at Christmas. Now, to a large extent I am one of those people... her version was overblown, but it could have been worse... It could have been Eoghan singing it! Or worse still, Cohen himself!
But this has produced a huge surge of support for the threatened Christmas single by Peter Kay as the Northern Irish Transexual "Geraldine" which is unashamedly aimed at causing Simon Cowell maximum annoyance. After all this is the season of "Goodwill to all men - except Simon Cowell."
It has also sent a huge number of people scurrying to itunes and other download sites to find the classic version by Jeff Buckley, leading to it leaping up the charts... which must also annoy Mr. Cowell somewhat, I am sure. However, the fact that this, and multiple other versions have been used as the pseudo-religious song of choice in the background of emotional scenes in every American drama series of the last 10 years (even my beloved West Wing), not to mention in Shrek, robs any sense of artistic purity from these un-Cowellised versions...
Meanwhile, that piece of sentimental tat "Little Drummer Boy" by Terry Wogan and Aled Jones is still a likely contender (Bring back "Away in a Manger" all is forgiven!)... I'm not sure that the fact it is in a good cause adequately excuses it... Indeed I am sure they might make more if they took money to keep it off our airwaves...
But whatever is number one... at least it isn't likely to be Cliff... And for that I am quite happy to say "Hallelujah!"
I do wonder however, how many will think about what the word "hallelujah" means... Or, for the TOG-meister's fans, whether they will follow the little drummer boy to find the real Christmas number one... the X Factor that lies behind Xmas.
For a much more thoughtful reflection on this subject, have a look at Mr. Moo.