A festive Ashley Thomas pays tribute to the most glorious of Christmas tunes.
Sorry, JC, Christmas belongs to MC.
So, Christianity has its pros and cons, even at this time of year.
But in this extra-festive period of reflection, let’s not worry too much about the questionable impregnation of a young girl. Move aside, Mary, and rejoice for the time when our favourite vocal-disintegration-mime-chanteuse, Mariah Carey, returns to save us all.
A boon for Decembers everywhere, the release of All I Want For Christmas Is You in 1994 finally gave this dreadful month an everlasting reason to keep happening. Her musical masterpiece rises every year with its unholy trinity of 1) a pleading dedication to Santa, 2) an insanely desperate middle eight and 3) THE transcendental moment of Mariah’s career at 03:21 that nobody ever leaves unsung – “yoooooouuuuuuuu!!!”
From the twinkle of the opening music box right through to the hysterical crescendo, MC slays (sleighs?) her waythrough four minutes of Christmas shimmer and super-seasonal affective disorder – cosily wrapped up in familiar backing track ripped right out of Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).
Pretty much the only song in existence with a justifiable fade ending, literally ALL HUMANITY is left pondering questions of pressing festive significance: ‘Does Mariah end up getting what she wants?’ (No.) ‘And if Mariah Carey can’t get what she want for Christmas, what hope is there for mere mortals with empty hearts?’ (None.)
We are skidding between euphoric adolescent obsession and the vague hopeless optimism we have for love as adults. We don’t know if MC is waiting for Santa to deliver home a distant paramour or if she’s pining for some abstract dreamlover, draped in a ridiculously Mariah ‘winter ensemble’.
And then we realise it’s not really about Christmas at all. As adverb-loving MC might say, All I Want For Christmas is that universally bleak moment when everyone around you is luxuriating in their winter wonderland and you LITERALLY WANT TO DIE because you want ‘that’ so much.
The immaculate refrain ‘I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know’ says this song is only ever about loving someone who won’t love you back.
In love or not, Mariah knows we’ve all been there – and we’ll be back again next December.