Richard Bratby

What makes a Christmas song Christmassy?

From werewolf films to Soviet Russia, the origins of many Yuletide classics are hard to get your head around

The original poster for the 1934 Soviet film Lieutenant Kijé, Prokofiev's soundtrack of which has become an unlikely Christmas classic. Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Already a subscriber? Log in

This article is for subscribers only

Subscribe and get your first month of access for free. After that it’s just £10.99 a month.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Enjoy Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Explore our online archive, going back to 1828


A blooming good offer

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting the next 3 months for £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in