York shop bans Christmas pop hits – because they ‘sound weird’

Banned – Mariah Carey. Unless she pops in

If you’re in need of a respite from Wham! and the Wombles while out Christmas shopping, there’s now a place you can go.

The York Gin Shop has banned all modern festive pop songs from its in-store playlist.

Yep, that means no Maria Carey, Wizzard, Slade, Cliff, Macca or Shaky.


The team say they’re doing it to help staff morale and customer satisfaction – and because modern songs ‘sound weird’ in their 16th Century Tudor building on Pavement.

York Gin Director Emma Godivala said: “We do love Christmas, but we want our gin shop to be a cheese-free zone.”

Stir crazy

A traditional bunch… the York Gin team
Ahead of the official Christmas festival launch next week, the business has been doing some sound checks. Emma said:

  • We’ve tested lots of songs to see which sound okay and which sound weird. And there’s a cut-off in the 1960s. Anything after that has been banned.

    Our lovely team are happy with the decision – they say lots of other shop staff are already going stir crazy with the same Christmas hits being played on a loop.

    That said, if Mariah appeared in the shop, we might just overturn the ban for a while and play All I Want For Christmas Is You.

York Gin’s Christmas Top 10

  • J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio (1734)
  • Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker (1892)
  • Vivaldi, Four Seasons – Winter (1725)
  • Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt (1953)
  • Silent Night (1818)
  • Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful), 17th Century
  • Coventry Carol, 16th Century
  • In The Bleak Mid-winter (1906)
  • White Christmas, Bing Crosby (1942)
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan (1949)

The York Gin shop has over 200 songs on its playlist including all the classic Christmas carols, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald – and music from Christmas ballets like The Nutcracker.

Shop manager Sandie Tanner-Smith said: “We’re confident we’ll have the happiest staff and customers around – our playlist is big enough to make sure no-one hears the same Christmas song more than twice in a week.

“Offering free samples of our award-winning gins always makes for happy customers too!”

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