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25 Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown: #17 Oi! To the World

December 9, 2011 20 comments

One of the songs that people have suggested for this, that I keep seeing mentioned as a big favourite by this person here or that group of listeners there, is “Fairytale of New York,” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. I am sorry to say that it is not to be. I’ve listened to it more than once and am perfectly willing to admit that it’s a good song, and if I kept listening to it I might rate it even higher than that, but I can’t call it a good Christmas song. It’s, you know, gritty and kind of sordid.

Gritty all by itself wouldn’t have been too bad; today’s pick, “Oi! To the World,” is kinda gritty itself (and has the extra advantage of being the only Christmas song I’ve ever heard to namecheck Indiana Jones). But to much different effect; it’s witty and bouncy and the ending is at least partly positive, and then there’s the great chorus.

About that chorus. I’ve listened as carefully as I could, and I’ve checked lyrics sites online, and it seems like the last line of the chorus is, “And “Oi!” to the world, and everybody wins.” To me, though, this is not completely settled, because a) I’m not 100% sure that that’s what I’m hearing (in every rendition of the song, anyway), and b) it makes so much more sense for it to be “And “Oi!” to the world, and everybody in’t.” (Contraction of “in it”.) I mean, everybody wins, what’s that mean? Wins what? And that might be what the singer’s singing.

Oh well.

There are two versions of the song I know of. One’s the cover by No Doubt, which is the one I know best. The other is the original by the Vandals, which I only looked up last week and turns out to be not all that different from No Doubt. They’re both good, but the originator wins the tie, so let’s break some heads in honour of the Vandals and Oi! To the World.

#25: Sleigh Ride
#24: Huron Carol
#23: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
#22: The Twelve Days of Christmas
#21: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
#20: Fuck Christmas
#19: Jingle Bell Rock
#18: What’s This? & Making Christmas