And they say there's never anything good on the radio…

I drove up to my parents' for a few hours on Christmas Day and while I was on the road the radio did that thing that all station programmers are said to aspire to, but never actually achieve: it played the three songs I most wanted to hear at that moment, in a row.

I'm not a big fan of Christmas songs, no sane person truly is, but there are some I can tolerate and three I like a lot. One you hear often, one you hear sometimes, and one you hear so rarely that you'd have more chance of winning the lottery than have it randomly play on the radio while you're driving.

Nevertheless, let it be noted that on Christmas Day 2005, Virgin Radio played Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses, a near-miss of a festive hit from the early 80s which I bought as a kid on white vinyl.

The final notes faded out and I was smiling nostalgically when, glory of glories, the start of Fairytale of New York kicked in. Anyone who saw my recent “In Memorium” post will have already guessed that song was always going to be at the top of my “listenable Christmas songs” list – it has been since the moment I first heard it. I drove along enjoying it and thought “all I need now is for them to play Jonah Lewie's Stop the Cavalry“.

And blow me if that isn't exactly what they did.

Not everyone likes that song, but I do because it's so wonderfully morose and downbeat.

Nice one, Virgin.

Trouble is, in the middle of all that I drove five miles past the motorway services where I needed to stop to buy flowers and petrol and had to turn back, making me late for Christmas dinner.

Worth it, though.