As Christmas charity singles go "First Christmas Alone" from Police Dog Hogan is pretty unique in that the subject matter of the song directly relates to the charity that will hopefully benefit, namely the homeless charity Crisis At Christmas.
It has also melded a lot of the pre requisites of a yuletide song such as bells etc to a beautifully constructed lyric that is both comic and tragic at the same time, as we hear the tale of a drunken shop Santa.
"It's that time of the year when I hide my beer
behind the throne on the second floor
Sleep it off in the sleigh in the window display
Soon as they close the front door
There's a shortage of elves so i'm here by myself!
I've got ice cream in my beard"
The words are sung out over a tinkling piano, with something eminently quotable on every line in a way that means we can truly believe that "me and the lights are both lit!"
As things develop we find out that it is his first Christmas alone, and get to hear of the sadness of visiting the house where he once lived and seeing the Christmas lights.The band kick in with a prominent mandolin and the quality lines keep on coming
"I know I'm in trouble, i'm seeing double, is that twins or just the one kid?"
There is also no shying away from the flaws in the main character of the song and an acceptance of wrongdoing
"I know I did wrong but if love is as strong as they say
Let me back in your heart if just for one day"
Things then go into full Christmas mode, with backing singers, key changes in one of the most instantly likeable songs you will ever hear. This certainly deserves its place in the pantheon of great Christmas songs it really is that good, where it can nestle nicely alongside The Pogues & Kirsty McColl.