Rachael Bletchly: ‘Mariah Carey finally finds herself in tune with UK’s mood’

After 26 years squeezing into that little red dress, Mariah Carey has just got the best gift ever.

Her most famous single has hit No1. It usually tops the poll of festive turkeys.

But the pop diva has finally found herself in tune with our national mood.

Because this year, all we really want for Christmas is glitter and schmaltz and a right good singsong.

Shops began playing festive tunes in November, we were downloading Christmas music early and cancelled carol concerts and nativity plays made us yearn for tuneless renditions of Away In A Manger.

Everyone had a festive lyric on their lips…including the Prime Minister when he urged us to have ourselves a merry LITTLE Christmas.

Before, that is, he had to changed it to a teeny-weeny one.

Wags have been rewriting lyrics to suit the cruel yule. “I’m dreaming of a s***e Christmas unlike the ones I used to know”. “We three kings of Orient are, all in a bubble so off to the bar”.

“Rudolph the red rose reindeer had a new persistent cough, and when the doctors heard him he had to take a fortnight off.” Because we really need some jollity and laughter after this dreadful 2020.

But today many of us felt like crying when our plans got turned on their heads.

The new restrictions mean it will be lonely this Christmas for single folk, like me, living in Tier 4 areas.

And everyone else will be wondering if it’s really worth driving home for a few hours with the folks, now we can’t just stay another day.

We won’t be rocking around the Christmas tree and it’s not really looking like the most wonderful time of the year.

But, as my heart sank at the thought of not seeing my family, I remembered the lovely Christmas Eves of my childhood.

My brother and I used to go to the hospital where Mum was a night sister and join the nurses for carols.

They’d turn the ward lights off and we’d creep in holding lanterns and sing Silent Night to the patients.

Our frontline NHS staff won’t have the time, or energy, for much singing this year.

In fact, you wonder if they’ll know it’s Christmas at all. So here (with apologies to Band Aid) is my own musical message…

“It’s Christmas time, there’s still need to be afraid.

At Christmas time, we let things slide and ignore what’s said.

And in our world of Covid we can spread a lot of pain.

So DON’T throw your arms around the world this Christmas time.

Just say a prayer, pray for the poorly ones

At Christmas time it’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window and it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the docs and nurses grafting, feel the bitter sting of tears

And the Christmas bells that ring there are the beeps and flatline tones

Well, tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you.”