"Don't try gate-crashing a party full of bankers. Burn the house down! Take Jesus, take Marx, take Hope." — The back cover of London O, Hull 4.
The Housemartins' harmonies are legend, the range of voices, the compositions, the layers; in two studio albums, London 0, Hull 4 (1986) and The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death (1987), these lads reconfigured songwriting and musical arrangements, tainted with lyrics oriented toward socialism, Christianity, and a deep loathing for royalty and the British elite.
"Caravan of Love" was written by Chris Jasper, former Isley Brothers and Isley-Jasper-Isley member, and reached #51 on the Billboard Chart in 1985.
On December 16, 1986, the Housemartins released an acapella version of the song. Here is a link to the reverent video:
Why is the headline not "Is Caravan of Love, written by Chris Isley, a Christmas song?"
I did not stumble across the Yule Blog entry about the Isley version, and the Housemartins acapella version was released around 36 years ago. I do love counting years.
So you're probably thinking, "What the funk is the Yule Blog?" A blog specifically about yule songs, debating the greatest yule songs in the world. (Band Aid will not be on the list.) The Housemartins post is from December 22, 2017, "Day 23."
"I've been spending the last few days debating whether this is Christmassy enough to include on the Yule Blog, and whilst I was pondering this dilemma in the kitchen Magic Xmas Radio started playing it. So there – it's officially a Christmas song. Mind you, they also did play 2 Become 1 by The Spice Girls…The best place to start when talking about this subject (or indeed any subject) is Hull. The Portsmouth of the North. One of the first things you'll notice about listening to their body of work is how earnestly loving and warm Heaton's lyrics are. The liner notes to London 0 read, "Take Jesus, take Marx, take Hope." There's a real innocence which reflected his beliefs at the time."
Click here for a post from December 8, 2022, "Yule Blog '22 #1 – Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson. The Yule Blog is a present you can unwrap with each new post, even if the present was from 2016.