Xmas "do" songs-help/suggestions required

Hoping for some suggestions from the brains trust here.
A guy at works knows I have some small ability and wants me to help with some entertainment for a work event.
For context I work in Child Protection and each year the various offices put on a Xmas do for family contacts-presents, activities, Santa and such.
Last year he played guitar and sang by himself and we thought we could do something together.
he found another guy who can sing
Now I had thought it would be Xmas themed songs.
Here are the suggested songs as sent to me and they are not what I would necessarily pick:

Songs I (the first guy) can do on my guitar (There are more)

  1. In my Life
  2. First cut is the deepest
  3. Dock of the Bay
  4. Your man
  5. Easy
  6. Jingle bell rock

So here are a few songs that Nicholas (singer) has suggested

  1. Collin Raye - Love, Me
  2. Dan Fogelberg – Leader of the Band
  3. Neil Sedaka – Hungry Years
  4. Rod Stewart – First Cut is the Deepest
  5. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  6. Phil Colins/Genesis – That’s All
  7. Backstreet Boys – I Want it That Way
  8. Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – You Can’t Make Old Friends
  9. Warren Zevon – Keep Me in Your Heart for a While

Now there are a couple in the first list I don’t mind (Dock, Easy, Jingle Bell Rock) and sure there are some Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Genesis in there (ones you would put on to fall asleep) but listening to most of the others (a lot of which I am not familiar with) made me twitch, my son (13) heard them also and looked at me and said, no one wants to listen to that.

Just wondering if anyone has some suggestions on easy listening (but not elevator music) songs we could look at with a Christmassy nod. Eg I would suggest New Years Day (because no one listens to the words)

Am I being unreasonable?

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Hey Gloucestre, I don’t think you are being unreasonable. For Christmas parties and the like, I would prefer more up tempo music.
As much as I love “Keep me in your heart for a while” by Warren Zevon, it can be a real tear jerker.
Good luck.



Good luck indeed.
My experience is that if there are singers involved, they have 3 votes to your half a vote.
And while it sometimes doesn’t feel fair, it’s the way of least resistance, and - generally - happiest band/audience outcome.
In general - it is much easier to tailor a set around what someone is comfortable singing than asking singers to learn new material.

I have played lots and lots and lots of scenarios like you describe here where the song list raises your eyebrows.
I think coming in with a few suggestions would be great.
If you are told “no thanks, we don’t know those / don’t sing those / don’t like those” in response, just know that you are in a very normal and oft-repeated gig scenario.
We feel your pain.
And, as bassists, we support you supporting them in their strange set lists.


The guitar player (initiator) and I got together at lunch yesterday with acoustics.
He told me he had a chat with the singer about his suggestions and shared my opinion-he said if he wants to do those songs he can use a karaoke track :rofl:
We went over some Beatles songs and Easy so looks like a win.
We’ll just be playing around while they eat.
He likes a bit of Blues to so maybe we can noodle a bit,
The only problem I had was he tunes in G so I can’t tell what chord he is using by looking at his hands.


These sound more like Christmas “don’t” songs to me.

… I’ll see myself out.