Check out this post and this post for an explanation of the concept and rules (basically: write me some erotica using the title of a Christmas song as your starting point). This page will be the home for all your daily song title prompts between now and Christmas Day.
Check back here each morning at around 10.00 (UK time) for details of that day’s prompt (plus an updated list of previous song titles), and if you want to write something for it, just ping me the link at some point in the following 72 hours!
*UPDATE (23/12): As it’s almost Christmas, I’m now declaring open season on all the past prompts. If you want to write me something, pick whichever one you like and send it to me by New Year’s Eve – that’s now the official cut-off for posting links on my site!*
Thursday 24th December (day 19): Fairytale of New York (The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl)
“It was Christmas Eve, babe / In the drunk tank”
There’s simply no better way to kick off December 24th than with Shane and Kirsty, belting out ‘Britain’s favourite’ Christmas song. A rousing, tragicomic tale of toxic love, the two singers trade blows, coming together only for each chorus, their voices blending into one as the bells ring out for Christmas Day.
Its only real flaw is overexposure, but even with every shop, bar and radio station playing it on loop from mid-November onwards, I still fucking love this song. The dynamic between the two also lends itself perfectly to erotica, as does the title – what more could you want from your penultimate prompt??
Wednesday 23rd December (day 18): Stille Nacht (Franz Gruber/Joseph Mohr)
My favourite Christmas carol – the nation’s favourite carol, by all accounts – was written in 1824 in the small Austrian town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg. Simple and elegant in both English and the original German, it’s the latter version I prefer, for reasons both aesthetic and personal.
My family has many Christmas traditions; among my favourites is my parents’ insistence that my siblings and I sing a carol outside the (closed) living room door before we’re allowed in to see the tree and all our presents. We chafed at the whole ritual as children, endured it as stroppy teenagers, and finally grew to love it once we hit adulthood. We’ve sung various carols over the years, but Stille Nacht has been by far the most popular choice, and I have a vivid memory of the three of us practicing the first two verses in German one Christmas in the mid-90s, determined to get it exactly right.
An overtly and unashamedly religious carol, that hopefully won’t prevent a few of you from tackling this prompt – I’m curious to see what erotic potential you can squeeze from it! Write something to make me blush as I sing it with my siblings on Christmas morning…
Tuesday 22nd December (day 17): All I Want For Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey)
Despite being kept off top spot in the UK by East 17’s Stay Another Day, this remains one of the biggest – and most popular – Christmas songs of the last 30 years, thanks mainly to Mariah’s effortless, soaring vocal performance, and the sheer romantic exuberance of the lyrics. Love it or hate it, you’ll be hard pressed to avoid humming along each time it pops up on the radio during December.
I’d be especially interested to read any stories or essays that manage to subvert the song’s sweet, happy tone in favour of something darker, but if you’d rather double-down on the upbeat optimism that’s just fine too! After all, in Ms Carey’s hands it’s pretty damn infectious…
Monday 21st December (day 16): Ding Dong Merrily on High (traditional)
The bane of asthmatics everywhere, the words to this uplifting carol were written in 1924 to a tune that first appeared in the 16th century. Best sung either with gusto or not at all, it barrels along at a cracking pace, punctuated only by the lung-busting chorus.
Your response to this prompt certainly doesn’t need to ‘beautifully rime’, though if it does I’ll be doubly impressed! Maybe that elongated ‘o’ feels like a good start for something orgasm-themed; or even a piece about breath-play. If you’re really stuck, write me a filthy story about a school/church carol concert, whether that involves fiction or something more autobiographical!
Sunday 20th December (day 15): Driving Home For Christmas (Chris Rea)
Over the next few days, plenty of people will be making the long drive back to see family, friends or loved ones for the Christmas weekend. This Chris Rea classic (not words I ever thought I’d type) perfectly captures the mood of that journey, and is also maybe my 2nd-favourite love song (ish) about driving to see someone (Roy Orbison’s ‘I Drove All Night‘, for anyone interested…).
Lots of great things you can do with this prompt, but for anyone short of ideas, the line ‘top to toe in tailbacks’ does bring to mind all sorts of rather filthy mental images…
Saturday 19th December (day 14): The Twelve Days of Christmas (traditional)
I went to an erotica slam last night at Sh! London, and after one of the readers had to drop out the breach was filled by a brilliant (and brilliantly filthy) adaptation of The Twelve Days of Christmas, written by a former Sh! employee and sung with gusto by everyone in attendance.
As a result, it seemed only right to offer the original carol as your day 14 prompt. Dating back to 1780, it acquired its current tune in 1909, and has been a staple of primary school carol concerts ever since. Whether you want to use one of the individual lines as the base for a story/photo (lords-a-leaping and maids-a-milking both feel like they could write themselves…), or take a broader view and tell people about your 12 filthy days of Christmas, there are plenty of ways to tackle this prompt – you could even use last night as inspiration and write your own version of the song.
Friday 18th December (day 13): White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
The current theme for Molly Moore’s Kink of the Week meme is semen, and in honour of that I decided to include Irving Berlin’s festive classic, White Christmas, as your day 13 prompt. Bing Crosby’s iconic version of this song is estimated to be the best-selling single of all time, and as we sit through the warmest UK December for 70 years, I’m sure there are plenty of us wishing for sleigh bells in the snow instead right now.
You can obviously use the prompt however you see fit, but if you can find a way to make your story/essay/photo spunk-themed, so much the better. Tell me about your favourite ‘white’ Christmas, for example…or write something properly filthy about a very different kind of snowball…
Thursday 17th December (day 12): Back Door Santa (Clarence Carter)
Sigh. I wasn’t going to do this – I wasn’t going to take song requests – but then @chiaroscuro popped up in my Twitter feed last night with a link to this piece of absolute filth, and honestly, how could I not??
This song is not about Christmas. Title aside, it’s not really about anal either, but it’s still a dirty, raucous, sexual piece of festive soul music, and I look forward to seeing what you all do with it…
(Who am I kidding: please just write me something super-horny about butt sex. Please.)
Wednesday 16th December (day 11): O Tannenbaum/O Christmas Tree (traditional)
This has been one of my favourite Christmas carols* since I was a little kid, when my mum would play it on the accordion and sing the German version for me and my siblings, much to our delight. Based on a 16th-century Silesian folk song, the version we know best was written as a lieder in the early 19th century by an organist from Leipzig. It is a loving ode not just to the Christmas tree’s beauty, but to its fidelity and constancy:
“Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.”
Green in summer and winter, even when it snows, its enduring colour “will mich was lehren” – it’s trying to teach me something.
Maybe you want to explore those themes further in a story or essay, or maybe you just fancy writing something filthy about fucking in front of the tree – filthy enough to make me blush when I hum it to myself at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve!
*Apparently the tune is also used for the official state songs of Iowa, Maryland and Michigan!
Tuesday 15th December (day 10): Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses)
A quite extraordinary song for day 10 – until just now, I don’t think I’d fully appreciated how barmy/brilliant the lyrics really are. It already reads like a (fairly exhausting) short story, as The Waitresses’ narrator takes us through her romantic trials and tribulations (“Waited all night for him to show / This time his car wouldn’t go”, “And he has provided me / With the world’s smallest turkey” [oi oi…]), before finishing with a meet-cute in her local grocery just before the big day.
All that, plus some super-sweet sax – what more do you want from a Christmas song?! You can go pretty much anywhere you like with this one – enjoy!
Monday 14th December (day 9): The Little Drummer Boy (Katherine Kennicott Davis)
Written by an American composer in the 1940s, this hugely popular modern Christmas carol has been covered/released by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder, Destiny’s Child, and New Kids on the Block (yes, fine, Bing Crosby/David Bowie too). It also provided the haunting backdrop to the finale of one of my favourite episodes of The West Wing.
Along with the percussive, slightly melancholy rhythm, there’s plenty in the lyrics to chew over and turn into something sexy (“Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum…”; “So to honour him…when we come”; “Our finest gifts we bring…to lay before the king”). Mainly though, I just really like it as a song, and as this is my Christmas meme sometimes that’s reason enough!
Sunday 13th December (day 8): Last Christmas (Wham)
With only 12 days to go now, most of us have started really looking forward to this coming Christmas…but what about the last one? Did you give someone your heart, only for them to toss it aside the very next day? If they kissed you right now, are you so sure they wouldn’t fool you again? How can love be for just one day??
Our past experiences will always be a goldmine for erotica and sex writing – as I know all too well. With Last Christmas, you’re invited to look back through your own festive history – or that of your fictional characters – and save me from tears, by sending me something special…
Saturday 12th December (day 7): In The Bleak Midwinter (Rossetti/Holst)
This solemn, mournful carol is a staple of English Christmas concerts, and also the product of an unlikely cultural power couple, in the form of Christina Rossetti and Gustav Holst. Holst put Rossetti’s words to music in 1904, and although there have been various subsequent arrangements, his setting is still the one most commonly heard in draughty village churches on Christmas Eve.
The middle three verses are overtly religious, and might prove challenging to anyone wanting to use this prompt, but in the first and last verses (and in the title) Rossetti offers up a mix of austere natural imagery and plaintive supplication, both of which offer rich source material for the erotic imagination. Chuck in the fine young choristers from Kings College, Cambridge, and this one could go to all manner of places!
Friday 11th December (day 6): Santa Baby (Javits/Springer)
Bit of a change of pace from yesterday, with a rare example of a festive song that’s already overtly sexy. Written by the daughter of a US Senator, and made famous by Eartha Kitt in 1953, this sly, camp take on the traditional letter to Santa could inspire you to work all manner of kinky desires into your own Christmas wish-list. Or maybe this is a chance to write the ‘seducing Santa’ story you’ve always been itching to unleash at this time of year…
This song has been covered by hundreds of well-known artists over the years. I’ve chosen a clip of Kylie Minogue singing it on Christmas Day Top of the Pops in 2000; the video quality isn’t great, and nor is her lip-synching, but I was 19 years old and genuinely had to leave the room afterwards…
Ah, teenage hormones. Ah, Kylie…
Thursday 10th December (day 5): Stop The Cavalry (Jona Lewie)
As well as aiming for a fairly even split between popular Christmas music and traditional carols, I’m also trying to make sure that the songs on this list all fall into (at least) one of three categories:
- Songs I flat-out love
- Songs with fairly obvious erotica potential (we haven’t yet had “O Come All Ye Faithful”…but we might…)
- Songs with interesting titles/lyrics – or titles/lyrics which might generate interesting stories…
Stop The Cavalry massively ticks boxes 1 and 3 on that list. Not originally intended as a festive song, Lewie’s eternal soldier instead laments the futility of war, while yearning for Christmas with the woman he loves. The brass band, crashing in joyfully around a fire out on some foreign field, lift up his words and make them soar to giddy, passionate, angry effect. 35 years old this December, it remains as relevant and heartbreaking as ever.
I am really curious to see what people do with this prompt. In fact, it’s probably the one I’m most excited about, and given some of the songs still to come between now and the 25th, that’s saying a lot!
Wednesday 9th December (day 4): The Holly and the Ivy (traditional)
This 19th century English carol draws upon rural traditions dating back as far as the 1400s – and, in fact, holly at least was even considered sacred by druids and Romans, who used it in their respective winter festivities. When it comes to erotica, the song offers no shortage of options – on one level, you even have the names of two female characters right there in the title.
Or you could dig a bit deeper into the lyrics for lines and couplets ripe with sexual imagery: “The playing of the merry organ”; “Of all the trees that are in the wood / The holly bears the crown”; the first two lines of verses 2 through 5…
The plants themselves – and their role in festive rituals and decoration – also feel like fertile ground for stories, photos, and memories of Christmases past. Either way, you have 72 hours to submit your links, so if this prompt stirs something creative inside you, get writing!
Tuesday 8th December (day 3): Let It Snow (Cahn/Styne)
The most famous recording of your day 3 prompt sees Dean Martin offer up the 1950s equivalent of “hey gurl…Netflix & chill??” Whether you focus on the song’s cheerfully seductive lyrics, or use the title to turn it into something completely different (plenty of horror stories are set in the falling snow…), this feels like one to capture the spirit of the season – even on a dank, dreary day in Central London.
Monday 7th December (day 2): God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (traditional)
Today’s prompt is one of the oldest Christmas carols still widely known to/sung by modern (English-speaking) audiences. Naturally, it lends itself very nicely to M/M erotica, but it could just as easily be the title of a steamy femsub romp, set under the table at the last Board meeting before the holiday season…or maybe a filthy, Dickensian tale of cross-dressing at Christmas in Victorian London…
Wherever you decide to take it, I’m sure tidings of comfort and joy will follow!
- Day 12: Back Door Santa
- Day 11: O Tannenbaum
- Day 10: Christmas Wrapping
- Day 9: Little Drummer Boy (Davis)
- Day 8: Last Christmas (Wham)
- Day 7: In the Bleak Midwinter (Rossetti/Holst)
- Day 6: Santa Baby (Javits/Springer/Minogue)
- Day 5: Stop The Cavalry (Jona Lewie)
- Day 4: The Holly and the Ivy (traditional)
- Day 3: Let It Snow (Cahn/Styne/Martin)
- Day 2: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (traditional)
- Day 1: 2000 Miles (The Pretenders)