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Tyler Clark presents: Local Mythologies writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #5 - Badly Drawn Boy, “Donna and Blitzen”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #5, and a completely unironic Christmas love song from Badly Drawn Boy.

#5: Badly Drawn Boy, "Donna and Blitzen" (2002)

Although it's not generally included in the holiday movie pantheon, About A Boy has sneakily become one of my favorite Christmas movies of the last few decades. Part of that might come from its treatment of the holiday music industry; as Will Freeman, Hugh Grant spends the movie repulsed by (and beholden to) a Christmas song, written by his father, whose assured annual ascendence up the charts keeps him flsuh with royalties and devoid of his own artistic expression. That grim little layer of context makes it hard to listen to tracks like "Winter Wonderland" or "Sleigh RIde" and not imagine the Wills they might've created.

For a movie critical of holiday music, though, About A Boy pulled no punches when it came to its own contribution to the songbook. Written by Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy), "Donna and Blitzen" skips the jadedness of the movie's early acts and goes right for the emotional fragility. It's a lovely, sentimental piano ballad that, in a different world, could've been a sunnier companion piece to "Fairytale of New York." If Gough earns any royalties from this one this year, I hope he buys himself something nice.

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Categorized: Christmas Top 25

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