On the first Christmas, the bright Star of Bethlehem guided travellers and wise men to the stable where Jesus Christ was born, or so the Nativity tale states. Precisely what the Star of Bethlehem was is unclear: a supernova, a comet, a “great conjunction,” or an alien spaceship burning as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

The latter is the theory posited by Chris de Burgh in “A Spaceman Came Travelling.” It is a Christmas song of epic scale and ambition, and restraint. While telling the story of the spaceman coming down and meeting Jesus and his mother, de Burgh’s tone is light and wondrous. We are hooked immediately as de Burgh near whispers his explanation:

 

And over a village, he halted his craft,

And it hung in the sky like a star. Just like a star.

 

We are still left questioning. De Burgh never truly explains why this spaceman has chosen to stop and deliver his message to mankind to this particular mother and child. But that doesn’t matter because it is beautiful. Keyboard arpeggios rise to a crescendo on the backdrop of a flowing drum fill, as de Burgh unleashes the message: “la la la la la la la la la la.”

 

With this conclusion to his tale, I fall in love with “A Spaceman came Travelling” as an oddball in the world of Christmas songs. Most are translucent, hiding nothing from us. While Roy Wood of Wizzard tells us that he wishes it was Christmas every day, de Burgh shows us why we should wish it was Christmas every day. Because the “sweetest music” of something otherworldly would fill the air.


From the blog

The Christmas reading list

If you’re prepared you’ve probably already bought all your Christmas gifts even if it isn’t yet December, if you aren’t and you have a music lover in your life then how about a nice music related book? I’ve got a few recommendations for you here, there are plenty more I’ve enjoyed over the years – […]

For Your Ears, For Your Eyes #2

The latest newsletter has dropped this week, the second of our recommendations issues. Featuring Charli XCX, Zuzu, The Avalanches, Everything is a remix and a few more. Check it out at the link below and don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss future emails – link in the site footer! For Your Ears, […]

The mailing list – For Your Ears – For Your Eyes

We’ve just sent out the first issue of our mailing list with our fortnightly recommendations. If you haven’t read it yet you can do so here. https://mailchi.mp/f200e38df083/for-your-ears-for-your-eyes But why not sign up using the form in the footer and make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Some Podcast Recommendations

So much to listen to, so little time. I’m sure it’s the same for most people – I have a queue of new music I want to listen to, along with wanting to rediscover and enjoy old favourites and then add to that an ever increasing queue of podcasts to take up my listening time. […]

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