December 28th, 2008

Christmas, Advent

Advent 2008: Christmas Is All Around

I've mentioned the movie Love Actually a couple of times this month, thanks to its soundtrack containing two of the songs I've featured during my Advent project: Darlene Love's "All Alone on Christmas" and Olivia Olson's "All I Want For Christmas Is You." I mention it once more today, because there's one more Christmas song featured in the movie that I want to share, one that plays a crucial role in the movie: "Christmas Is All Around," performed by Bill Nighy as Billy Mack. Mack is an aging rocker and former heroin addict who is mounting a comeback attempt with a novelty song aimed at the coveted Christmas Number One single. He is well aware that the song is not very good, but having nothing to lose, he throws himself into promoting it with gusto, and soon it is locked in a battle for the top spot with a new single by the hugely-popular-in-the-UK-but-virtually-unknown-in-the-US boy band Blue. Does he pull it off? Watch the damn movie and find out for yourself. When you do, you'll notice that the song can be heard throughout the movie; you may also notice that Billy Mack's assessment of it is spot on: it's not that good. But it is a nice pastiche of the kind of songs that used to contend for the UK Christmas Number One spot, and it's also a bit of an in-joke for director Richard Curtis, in that it's a parody of "Love Is All Around," the Wet Wet Wet cover of which became an enormous hit (15 weeks at number one!) in the UK after it was featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral, which was written by Curtis.

Bill Nighy as Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around (MP3, 3.5MB)

Previous Advent posts:

2003: The Nativity of Christ
2004: Christmas Trees
2005: Christmas Wishes
2006: The Nativity of Christ
2007: The Holy Innocents
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