back to article 3 billion have suffered Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody'

The PRS for Music has chillingly announced that Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody could have been heard by 42 per cent of the world's population - a cool three billion souls whose lives have been enriched by Noddy Holder and chums' ubiquitous Yuletide anthem. The song has apparently already been enjoyed in 47 countries around the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    I read that as...

    “"...lifting-the-skirts type Xmas songs."

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      lifting-the-skirts Christmas song...?

      ...hmm. Could be the context. I'll bet you wouldn't have mis-read that quote if it had been anybody else but Noddy... especially considering that, given the reputation of British Christmas parties (damn, I'm jealous), there may well have been some serious skirt-lifting while that tune was playing.

  2. Sam Tana
    Thumb Up

    Top Tune

    It's a classic of the genre, and no wonder Sir Nod calls it "The Pension"!

    Top tune for Christmas 09? Carry You Home from The Lancashire Hotpots (see their MySpace site). And I've just downloaded the Christmas 09 compilation from the FolkCast podcast, which is bloody brilliant!

  3. Fogcat


    I thought it was just be 3 billion times.

  4. N2


    To clear the dance floor of all but the most terminally, hopelessly drunk!

  5. Cliff

    I've heard it 3 Billion times myself

    Or so it feels. //shudders///

  6. lglethal Silver badge

    wont someone please think of the retail workers!

    Having worked retail in my youth i would like to send out my heartfelt condolences to all those stuck in an office/store/sub basement whose managers feel that it is acceptable to listen to christmas carols on repeat for the entire month of December (and if your really unlucky half of November and January too!)

    I can remember one year as a young fella working at a local department store in Australia and being subjected to Mariah Carey's Christmas Carols on repeat for a 6 week period. I was only a casual (read weekends and nights) but i still came so close to cracking...

    ... to this day im still in therapy.

    1. Someone

      Scarred for life

      It doesn’t get any better with time. Years have passed, and still the only Christmas tune I can bear to hear is Fairytale of New York. The UN should appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate Mr Holder.

      1. Chris Hedley Silver badge

        Re: It doesn’t get any better with time.

        That much is obvious: how /does/ one improve on perfection? I'm an unashamed fan of that song ever since I first heard it some time in the 1800s. Still can't remember the lyrics, though.

    2. TeaLeaf

      Not just Christmas,

      I was working in the records section of a department store when 'Amazing Grace' on pipes and drums first became a hit. The manager insisted it be played constantly. Although I love the pipes (esp. The Black Bear), to this day I can't stand 'Amazing Grace' in any form.

  7. Rasczak

    It isn't Christmas....

    ...until I hear this on the radio. This year that was today at about quarter to 2. Iiiiiiiiiiiittttt'ssssss Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssstmaaaaaaaaaaaasssssss, let the festivities begin Neville.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    Tolerant planet this.

    3 Billion people have been subjected to this globally?

    It's a miracle that we haven't been invaded, stomped into the ground and had all our recording studios confiscated by a multinational coalition formed from Every Other Country In The Entire Bleedin' World.......

  9. Anonymous Coward

    title goes here

    i'd make a joke about MIME-type for that video, but that'd be a cheap shot.

  10. Johnny Canuck


    First time I heard it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but...

    ...what about the attempt to get Killing In The Name to Christmas number 1? Surely 720,000 Facebookers makes it count as a tech news story? I think they actually have a chance you know!

  12. Mike Flugennock

    "Suffered"? Hey, c'mon, El Reg, it's not that bad...

    ...though I suppose it's just a story demanding to be written in that oh-so-loveable smartassed El Reg style. Still, I wouldn't have you any other way.

    I'm an old Slade fan from back in my high-school days -- yeah, a Deadhead who digs Slade, go figure -- and I have to admit with embarassment that I only heard "Merry Christmas, Everybody" for the first time early this year; of course, Slade never got really huge here in the States (a lot of critics pissed and moaned about them being "too British"), so "Merry Christmas, Everybody" never made it over here. I'm totally down with Sam Tana on this one, though; what a sweet tune -- sweet, but not cloying; a great party tune, but not brazen about it (like "Mama Weer All Crazee Now").

    Granted, I've heard very little of modern British Christmas music, but if "Merry Christmas, Everybody" is any indication, it's certainly a cut above the crap we're saddled with over here ever year. The only other one I recall right off is Jethro Tull's Christmas single from the mid '70s -- I forget the title -- which I also loved; a bit of classic Ian Anderson snark.

    (pint of beer icon, because El Reg has no Noddy's Top Hat Icon)

    1. nineworlds

      Jethro Tull

      Ring Out, Solstice Bells, I believe; definitely a cut above, that one. Recently we've had Christmas No. 1s inflicted by the hype of the X Factor, which has just about killed the whole process.

      1. Mike Flugennock
        Thumb Up

        oh, yeah, that's absolutely a great one, but... was another one I was trying to remember -- it was one where Anderson takes a mean shot at materialistic, drunken people at Christmas parties.

        But, yeah, "Ring Out" is a really fine one -- especially if, like myself, you're not really a Christian and prefer to celebrate the Solstice instead. Something about a two-weeks-long party complete with dancing virgin maidens and homebrew that really does me good. Those Druids really knew how to do it up, huh?

        1. Sam Tana

          Another one indeed...

          Tull have several that might fit the bill, but it's probably A Christmas Song

          ("When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,

          You just laugh when I tell you to take a running jump;

          you're missing the point I'm sure does not need making,

          that Christmas spirit is not what you drink.)

          or maybe Another Christmas Song

          ("How many wars you fighting out there, this winter's morning?

          Maybe it's always time for another Christmas song.")

          Hey, Santa! Pass us that bottle, will ya?

        2. Graham Marsden
          Thumb Up

          You mean...

          ... "Just Another Christmas Song" by the Tull

          "Hey, Santa. Pass us that bottle!"

  13. Sheepdog

    and you thought terrorism was the new threat

    Neo-sladism is in the mainstream (A warning from history:

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      D'ahh ha ha ha ha hahhh

      Oh, man; that's freakin' _rich_... especially considering that, iirc, they'd had one comeback around 1980ish, and finally hung it up around '91.

      Ironic, though, as sadly, Hill and Powell were at last report still touring as "Slade" with a forgettable bass player and some other guitarist who's trying to fill Noddy's boots by simply playing really loud and howling like a maniac. Sorry, dude, there's more to it than that. I caught some footage of Dave, Don, and Two Other Guys on YouTube recently, and what a goddamn' loud, sloppy FAIL. I mean, jeez, it's not like Hill and Powell really need the money anymore, is it? I mean, c'mon, you guys; it was a blast, a helluva party for about twenty years, but it's finished. Why can't you just kick back and enjoy getting honorary doctorates and growing old gracefully, like Noddy'n'Jim?

  14. MJI Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Better than the xcraptor

    A classic - lets make it number 1 this Christmas

    1. Ben Holmes
      Thumb Down

      Tell you what...

      ...lets not.

  15. David Adams

    Have you heard...

    ...The Christmas single by Bob Dylan??

    As mad as a bag of Badgers!!

    But up beat and catchy.

    1. Alan 6

      @Have you heard...

      Bob Dylan has blatantly ripped off Schnitzelbank by The Animaniacs...

  16. Steve X
    Thumb Down


    Now I'll have that going round in my head all evening :(

    I still have an original 45 somewhere, bought by a well-meaning family friend 'for the children'...

    Ah well, everybody's havin' fun...

  17. Slick Rick
    Thumb Up

    It's a classic

    I wonder if today's junk will still be played in 35 years time? Proud to admit is was the first ever single I bought back in Xmas 1973, real singles pressed on vinyl, remember those.

    Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Noddy Holder belting out this this terrific song.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns


      Oh yes, I'm sure the latest X-craptor winning track will still be around in 35 years. What was his name... oh, forgotten already.

  18. Ed Jackson

    If I had a time machine...

    If I invented a time machine, sod going back to watch the crucifixion or looking at dinosaurs. I'd go back and find Noddy Holder's father while he was still a boy and irradiate his testicles, just to get rid of that bloody song.

  19. EddieD
    Thumb Up

    Cheesy but..

    It's still a classic - upbeat, cheery, celebratory, a bit of a laugh, all the things that Christmas is meant to be. It says a lot about music that even after 35+ years it's still going strong just about everywhere in the world. Me, I love it, and Merry Christmas to Noddy and they boys

  20. Hugh G. Rection
    Thumb Up

    Merry Christmas everybody!

    As another paid-up member of the old farts club, I can assure you that in 1973 we needed all the halp we could get to cheer ourselves up, and this song went some way towards doing that. Another activity that helped was the entire team disappearing down the pub for several hours one day close to Christmas Eve. I can't recall exactly what day it was, althought I do recall that the boss was furious, but couldn't fire everyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Hugh G. Rection

      'As another paid-up member of the old farts club, I can assure you that in 1973 we needed all the halp we could get to cheer ourselves up, and this song went some way towards doing that'

      So what you're basically saying is that Noddy's song is perfect for today's Brownian economy.

      1. Hardcastle


        I think the next pint goes to you for figuring the context for this (f)article precisely. Then, the next pint goes to me because I'm thirsty...

  21. The Original Ash

    Good song!

    However, the *ONLY* Christmas song allowed to be played before Christmas Day itself is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues.

    "You're a bum, you're a punk!"

    "You're an old slut on junk! Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed."

    See? Bit of Christmas cheer...

    1. Steve X

      Ah yes

      "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot

      Happy Chrismas your arse, I just pray it's our last."

      Kirsty MacColl had a great way with lyrics(*), and is sadly missed. Come to think of it, it was 9 years ago this week that she was killed :( I'll raise a glass to her.

      *(Always liked the line from another one of her songs "I put you on a pedestal, you put me on the pill". Now /that's/ social commentary).

      1. Rasczak

        A way with lyrics

        A great way with the delivery I'll agree and the same words wouldn't have the effect sung by anyone else, but she didn't write them. New England was a Billy Bragg song, and of course he sang it from the male perspective. You are right about the social commentary though, what else do you expect from Billy Bragg.

        Mind you as a youngster, when I first heard it, the Kirsty version, I was just amused that they got away with having "bloody" in it, how times change.

        Of course you're not allowed to hear those lyrics from Fairytale any more, muted out on the music channels so they are, taking the Beebs lead and impeccable timing,, but not backing down like the Beeb did.

        How about a mass request to the music channels to play it, in full, on Friday.

        Raising a glass to Kirsty's memory.

        1. Fogcat


          Raising a glass to Kirsty's memory.

          I'm not much of a fan boy and I've only been emotionally affected by the death of two musicians, mainly because I suspect they would have been great people to have a drink with; one was Ian Dury and the Kirsty.

          Thanks girl!

      2. Dave Harris

        Bard of Barking

        Sorry Steve, that last was from New England, courtesy of one William of Bragg

  22. Coruscating Frenzy
    Thumb Up


    As one of the 30,000 people who heard them play it as part of their 1980 Reading Festival set, on August Bank Holiday, I can say that, given the right alcohol threshold, it pretty much works all year round.

  23. Number6

    One of the better ones

    Compared to most of the crap that's put out as Christmas records, Slade stand out as one of the better ones. If I hear certain Christmas tunes on the radio (including any of Sir Cliff's offerings) then I turn off or tune to something else. This one does at least have a decent tune and captures the fun part of the season.

  24. Gary 23

    As the song says...

    The old ones are the best.... (Well, they're old for me anyway)

    Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade;

    Lonely this Christmas - Mud;

    I wish it could be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard;

    Stop the Cavalry - Jona Lewie;

    Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard;

    Last Christmas - Wham;

    Let them Know it's Christmas - Band Aid (Original)

    All of these, and a few more, piss over any recent Chrismas "hit"... Especially X-Craptor. And these will still be played for years to come.

    BTW.... I find it really funny when die hard X Factor fans can't even remember who won X Factor before Alexandria Burke.... In a year, they'll even forget about her too!

    1. lpopman
      Thumb Up

      snowy title bit

      I know when it's Christmas when I hear Stop the Cavalry

  25. Julian Smart


    This song has 2 effects on me. (1) it makes me want to rip the person responsible for this music selection limb from limb, and (2) it without fail conjures up a huge elephant in the room, namely the billions of people who plainly _won't_ be having fun at Christmas, for whatever reason. So this piece of crassness doesn't bring any cheer whatsoever, it's just brainless and annoying. As it was probably meant to be. (On a par in annoyingness with Live and Let Die with the fabulous line "this world in which we live in". Why aren't people throwing rotten vegetables at P.McC. when he sings this crapulence??)

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Pleeze

    You think it's bad listening to it.? Imagine what it was like being a teenager in the 70's with a surname of Slade...

    No matter how original and funny you think you are I and my namesakes have heard all the puns before !

    1. Richard 102

      Mr. Slade, ...

      ... as someone who was christened Richard Burton in the late sixties, you have my sympathy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pair of whiners

        "Mr. Slade, ...

        ... as someone who was christened Richard Burton in the late sixties, you have my sympathy"

        You should see what it's like for me.

        J. Christ.

  27. luxor
    Thumb Up

    Best Xmassong ever.

    It's just a pity Slade are remembered for this one song rather than any other of their great tunes.

    Hard to think it was way back in 1973 when it went straight to number one and still sounds fresh today.

    Give me this over any of that X factor crap any day.

  28. Ryan 7

    Bloody PRS...

    Money-grabbing b*****ds!

    Thumb Up

    Noddy is a Legend

    He should have a statue on the fourth plinth of Trafalger Sq.

    The nation salutes you.

  30. shay mclachlan

    Silent night

    Silent Night by the Dickies. No namby pamby warbling there.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "huge representation of Santa formed from empty whisky bottles"

    pics or it never happened!

  32. bexley

    has nobody made any christmas music since the late 70's?

    I have wondered for years why we all appear to be stuck in an audio time-loop come christmas time.

    Why do we always go back slade every year, sure, i know pretty much every christmas song has been naff but it's not as if that slade riff is any better, it makes me clench my teeth every year when it play's in all the shops.

    I have even been known to walk into a shop, then walk straight out again to avoid that song.

    bah humbug

  33. Richard 102

    On the other hand, ...

    ... how about we listen to Father Christmas by The Kinks? Always good for the season.

  34. Steve Smith 5

    Ok, it's a bit cheesy but...

    it beats the f**k out of anything produced by x-factor hands down. Then again a dog farting into a microphone would be a better listening experience than any x-factor sh*te.

  35. Steve Roper

    I escaped!

    Luckily where I work we don't play music in the office, and if people want to listen to music they do it on earphones. So I've never heard this song (and I didn't click on the video in the article either!). And since I always wear earphones when I'm shopping to block out the store music I'm not likely to!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh I'm soo depressed

    Miserable bunch of feckers aren't you all? It might not be high art but it's damn good for it's purpose, if it wasn't then it wouldn't still be being played would it now..

    FFS, I'd rather have Slade played ad-nauseum than whatever shit has escaped from Simon Bowel or any of the other vapid fuckers he does business with.

    In fact, can we have them slayed?

    Paris.. All I want for Christmas

  37. Anonymous Coward

    New Christmas Appeal

    Slade: the background music to your shopping experience for 3 months of 30 years.

    Make it stop.

    Somebody please make it stop. How about the other 4 billion who've never heard it have a quick whip-round to pay for it never to receive any more air time, ever? I feel a new festive charity appeal gaining momentum already.

    "Do you have unwanted gold in your house?" Oops. Wrong appeal. "Have you never heard Slade at Christmas? Or in the three months leading up to it? Consider yourself lucky. For just £2 a month you can ensure that 3 billion people never have to endure this aural blight again. Please, give a moment of your time and £2 a month to make Christmas for 3 billion people less cheesy and predictable."

    Sit back, and watch the CASH roll in!

  38. pctechxp


    This dreadful bilge is on a par with I wish it could be Christmas every day by Roy Wood and Wizzard and of course Boney M

    The only Christmas track I can just about stand is Farytale of New York by The Pogues but in another couple of years that'll be on the list too.

    When I hear this in a shop I cant help wishing for a shotgun to take out every speaker I can find.

  39. Yorkshirepudding

    Better than

    the shit that x-factor pump out each year

    More CHEESE!

    1. Richard 39


      come on EL Reg where's your article on Rage Against the Machine currently beating the Xfactor pleb in sales? It's IT related because 750,000 facebook members are downloading it!

      I demand a Reg spin on this hot topic :-)

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Christmas just Ain't Christmas.......

    .....Until you hear Noddy sing........

    1. tiggertaebo

      couldnt agree more

      but I've heard that track far too many times and I'm still waiting for something that qualifies as "singing"

  41. WotIfink

    Be honest...

    Don't you wish you'd written Noddy's song?

    If he's had enough royalty from it already for his pension pot, I'd be happy to help ease the burden by taking the remainder...

    Anyway, its a good fun song and I just wish he'd get back together with the others so I could hear it live...

  42. Anonymous Coward

    seriously ..

    a long discussion about Christmas songs and no-one mentions Kevin Bloody Wilson?

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