Essential Advent Calendar: Sparks – ‘Christmas Without A Prayer’

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Sparks release their traditional (once every 41 years) Christmas song, ‘Christmas Without A Prayer’ on 4 December.

Christmas without a prayer
No one to go to church with
And run their fingers through my hair
No one to buy me
Things I don’t want
Bright-coloured ties
Monogrammed things
An album by Wings

Christmas without a prayer
No one to feed the birds with
From cold park benches, icy air
No one to tell me
(The) first date’s too soon
No one to show me
Pictures of her kids
The first I’ve heard of kids

I’m sayin’ a prayer
I feel it
I’ll never despair
I feel it
I’m layin’ it bare
I feel it
I know there’s a brighter day

Christmas without a prayer
No one to eat Thai with
It’s all that’s open, anywhere

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Every 41 years, US band Sparks releases a Christmas single. It’s become a tradition of sorts, with their previous release, in 1974, ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’, appearing on their third studio album, ‘Kimono My House’. Sparks have released 23 creatively bold albums, with their highly visual stage presentations viewed throughout the world, including Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, London’s Royal Festival Hall, and the LA Film Festival.

Speaking about the single, Sparks founders Ron and Russell Mael said:

“As the tradition has been in Sparks, every 41 years marks the time to share an ode to Christmas.  It’s 2015, and ’tis the season. So please celebrate our “Christmas Without A Prayer” release.  And stay tuned for exciting Xmas news for 2056”.

Their music has been cited as a major influence on musicians as varied as Morrissey, Mini Mansions, Bjork, The Ramones, Faith No More, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana. Varied and diverse they may seem when viewed separately; but when viewed as a group who’ve been influenced by Sparks, one has a bit of an “ah ha!” moment.

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November 27 saw Sparks release the heavyweight vinyl box set Sparks: The Island Years, a collection of the band’s four Island Records studio albums (‘Kimono My House’, ‘Propaganda’, ‘Indiscreet’, and ‘Big Beat’) from 1974-1976, along with a newly-created adaptation of the 1979 compilation, ‘The Best Of Sparks’, punningly retitled ‘The Rest Of Sparks’.

‘Christmas Without A Prayer’ is out on 4 December, but is available to preorder now from iTunes and Google Play.

Find Sparks on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sparks - Christmas Without A Prayer (Official Video)

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email

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