My local mall, like malls everywhere, seems to think that we would really like to hear sickly saccharine Christmas songs all day and every day.

At least I can do my shopping and get the hell out of there - unlike the poor sods who have to work in the malls. Imagine - at least eight hours of being subjected to banal Christmas tripe a day - plus overtime. Surely, this is 'cruel and inhumane' treatment by anyone's standards.

But there's one 'Christmas' song I've always had a sneaking regard for and its 'Stop the Cavalry' by Jona Lewie.

Ironically, it was never intended to be a piece of Yuletide pop.

Says Lewie: `'The soldier in the song is a bit like the eternal soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, but the song actually had nothing to do with Christmas when I wrote it. There is one line about him being on the front and missing his girlfriend - `Wish I was at home for Christmas' - the record company picked up on that from a marketing perspective and added some tubular bells.'

It went to number two on the UK Christmas charts in 1980 and was only prevented from making it to number one by a re-release of John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

It sure beats the cloying sentimentality of 'Do They Know Its Christmas?' and bloody Cliff Richard singing 'Mistletoe and Wine'.

It's anti-military message, as a unwinnable war continues to be fought in Afghanistan, remains entirely relevant today.


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