♫ Last Christmas ♫

With just 11 days until Christmas, I suppose it’s time for me to play at least a few Christmas songs, eh?  I chose this one tonight because … it was a hit on both sides of the pond, and those wonderful people who still put up with Filosofa’s snark and ranting are about equally divided between the two geographical sides of the big pond.  

Written and produced by George Michael, this song actually has very little to do with Christmas – it’s about a failed relationship. Only the phase “Last Christmas,” when the relationship comes to a head, refers to the festive season. Despite this, it has become an annual Christmas standard, especially in the UK.

This was released as a charity record with its proceeds going to famine relief in Ethiopia. Apart from Do They Know It’s Christmas, which prevented it from reaching #1, Last Christmas is the biggest selling Christmas song in the UK. George Michael features on both songs. (Hint:  you will be hearing ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ before the end of next week)

The song originated one Sunday in 1984 when George Michael and Andrew Ridgely were visiting Michael’s parents.  Says Ridgely …

WHAM-Christmas“We’d had a bite to eat and were sitting together relaxing with the television on in the background when, almost unnoticed, George disappeared upstairs for an hour or so. When he came back down, such was his excitement, it was as if he had discovered gold which, in a sense, he had.

We went to his old room, the room in which we had spent hours as kids recording pastiches of radio shows and jingles, the room where he kept a keyboard and something on which to record his sparks of inspiration, and he played me the introduction and the beguiling, wistful chorus melody to ‘Last Christmas.’ It was a moment of wonder.

George had performed musical alchemy, distilling the essence of Christmas into music. Adding a lyric which told the tale of betrayed love was a masterstroke and, as he did so often, he touched hearts.”

Two chart facts:

  • Last Christmas is the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach #1.
  • In Japan it has sold over 600,000 copies, making it the best-selling single that did not reach that country’s Top 10.

The songwriters of Barry Manilow’s hit single Can’t Smile Without You sued George Michael for plagiarism in the mid-’80s, claiming that this song lifted its melody from their tune. The case was settled out of court with Michael giving his first year’s royalties to Band Aid.  Hmmmm … I don’t see the two tunes as being the same at all, but then, I am legally deaf, so perhaps my opinion doesn’t count.

Last Christmas
Song by Wham!

Ah, aha
Ooh
Oh

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away (you gave it away)
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special (special)

Once bitten and twice shy
I keep my distance
But you still catch my eye
Tell me, baby
Do you recognize me?
Well, it’s been a year
It doesn’t surprise me
(Happy Christmas) I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying, “I love you, ” I meant it
Now, I know what a fool I’ve been
But if you kissed me now
I know you’d fool me again

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away (you gave it away)
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special (special)

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special (special, oh)

Oh, my baby
(Ooh)

A crowded room, friends with tired eyes
I’m hiding from you, and your soul of ice
My God, I thought you were someone to rely on
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart
A man under cover but you tore me apart, ooh
Now, I’ve found a real love you’ll never fool me again

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away (you gave it away)
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special (special)

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, (you gave) you gave it away (me away)
This year (ohh), to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special (special)

Face on a lover with a fire in his heart (I gave you my heart)
A man under cover but you tore him apart
Maybe next year, I’ll give it to someone
I’ll give it to someone special (special, someone)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: George Michael
Last Christmas lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

35 thoughts on “♫ Last Christmas ♫

  1. Americans have weathered bad times in the past. We’re Norman Rockwell people who enjoy the middle of the road so extremes come and go but don’t stay. I agree with those who are optimistic and believe the Congress can’t afford to leave on holiday until they give a package to keep people from going hungry and being thrown out of their homes. Also, once the vaccine starts to work and people can get back to jobs, the economy will speedily improve. I feel good about the incoming administration. Take heart, Jill, and don’t waste energy on how bad things can get. Save it for the good times to come. I have confidence in the new administration. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  2. Oh how interesting, i can like comments again but only from my WP reader. But it won’t allow me to like or reblog directly from your post. So it’s an WP issue and not my browser or operating system. Oh well… isn’t technology grand…. not.

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    • That is really strange! I have that problem on TokyoSand’s page, but it is because when she downloaded a plug-in, her ‘like’ button disappeared. I don’t download plug-ins any more, for there’s always a trade off.

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  3. It’s a nice song and I don’t have memories that interfere with it so I can enjoy it. I don’t think it matches the other song much but at least some of the money went to a good cause. Stay safe. This is a good day as Joe Biden is now securely the next president and the vaccine is beginning to be given out. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m keeping safe, thinking of you and hoping you are both safe and happy, my friend. Yes, Biden has cleared most all of the hurdles, but this nation is far from being at peace. Sigh. I’m hoping to see a kinder, more settled nation by this time next year.

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    • Same here, John … not one of my faves, either, but it’s more fun than some of the serious Christmas songs. I was gonna play “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” next, since it was the Christmas song my own granddaughter loved most when she was around age 2 (I always wondered if there was a message in that). But, Suze threatened to come slap me silly if I did, so I guess I won’t! 😉

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  4. A nice enough little ditty though it can be a bit of a pain played so often.on every radio station. I think George Michael had a fantastic voice and like a lo of his work. He did Elton John and Queen beautifully.
    Cwtch

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  5. I can safely say that this one will never feature in my musical Advent Calendar: it’s an abomination and I hate it with a vengeance! The video just makes it worse. I make myself a promise each Christmas not to listen to this or Mariah Carey, and I usually manage to keep it! It’s just as well I don’t listen to pop radio, though: Carey is currently #1 and Wham #2 in our top 100!

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  6. the riff is almost exactly the same as Manilow’s song. and please, for mercy’s sake, do not highlight grandma got run over by a reindeer. I would have to come slap you silly! lol

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    • Ha ha … would you believe that I would have played “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” sometime between now and Christmas, but the threat of being slapped silly made me hesitate. Then again … if it means I get a visit from you, it might be worth it! 😊

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