Last Christmas/Jingle Bells Mashup

Kate Paine: vocals and piano

Every year my family records Christmas songs at home and sends them out instead of Christmas cards. What started ten years ago with our then three-year old daughter singing the wrong words to Jingle Bells has turned into a wonderful family tradition.

I’ve always wanted to tackle Last Christmas, not because it’s a favourite but because of how ubiquitous it is, an ear worm bombarding us in the months before Christmas.  I found the idea of trying to turn it into something a bit different intriguing. How it became a mashup with Jingle Bells (equally as ubiquitous!) is a bit of a mystery, but sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow!

Last Christmas was written by Wham! in 1984. Jingle Bells was written by James Lord Pierpont, and originally titled One Horse Open Sleigh.


A Night Like This

The Swan Big Band, with Kate Paine (vocals)


Written by David Schreurs and Vince Degiorgio, and originally recorded by the Dutch singer Caro Emerald in 2009, this is one cool song.

‘From where you are
You see the smoke start to arise
Where they play cards
And you walk over
Softly moving passed the guards’

The Girl from Ipanema

The Swan Big Band, with Kate Paine (vocals)

Recorded by the wonderful Swan Big Band at Hardstudios Switzerland, with Erwin Lorant conducting and yours truly singing, this is an oldie but definitely a goodie.

Tall and tan and young and lovely…


The Girl from Ipanema was written in 1962, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes (English lyrics by Norman Gimbel).

Big thanks to @Hellzapoppin’ Disaster (HPD) Dance Group, Florian Wetter at Hardstudios and the ETH Polyball Committee for letting us shoot part of this video at the 2017 concert. Thanks also to Scott McNamara for amazing camera skills and Leo Laguna, for editing the footage!

Golden Slumbers

Kate Paine: vocals and piano

This time I’ve chosen to reinterpret a tiny song by one of the biggest bands in the world, so no pressure there, right?

This song is based on Cradle Song, a lullaby by the Elizabethan playwright Thomas Dekker, and first published in 1603.

Paul McCartney came across the words and piano music and, in the time-honoured tradition of musicians everywhere, decided to do his own version of it, which appeared on the B side of Abbey Road in 1969. It’s a sweet, sweet song.

Here are the original words by Thomas Dekker:

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise;
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.
Care is heavy, therefore sleep you,
You are care, and care must keep you;
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.




Walk Away Renee

Kate Paine: vocals and keyboard

I love this song, but hadn’t heard it for ages. Then there it was on the soundtrack of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and I couldn’t get it out of my head, so here’s my take on it.

The first version I ever heard was from Rickie Lee Jones in 2002, a very hard act to follow indeed, but the song was actually written in 1966 for the band The Left Banke. It’s been covered many times, including by The Four Tops in 1967 and Rick Price in 1993.

‘Just walk away Renee. You won’t see me follow you back home.’



The Coventry Carol

This beautiful carol is from the sixteenth century. Traditionally performed as part of a mystery play, it’s about Herod ordering the death of all male infants in Bethlehem, and is a lullaby sung by the mothers of all those poor babies about to be murdered.

Cheery stuff! But also a nice antidote to all the cheesy stuff.

Merry Christmas.

Kate Paine: piano and vocals



I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, because even though the song’s crying out to be sung there’s not much you can do to improve the original. And so it is with this song, released by Bruce Springsteen in 1985.

Kate Paine: piano and vocals