This song is one of the classic hits that resurfaces every year during Christmas time. But, surprisingly enough, this is not a Christmas song unlike the seasonal songs such as “Silent Night” or “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Although the song intertwines around the holiday season, the lyrics speak about heartbreak. Let us take you further into the meaning of “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Wham! music duo, consisting of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, released their third and final studio album ‘Music From the Edge of Heaven’ in July 1986. The eighth track on the album, ‘Last Christmas,” became an instant hit and a recurring success for the band. The song charted at #1 in many countries around the world including Sweden, Japan and Denmark. It reached #25 on US Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on UK Singles chart.
On the song’s 35th year anniversary, Wham! released a video narrating the story behind the making of the iconic music video of the song. The band also released a 4K Ultra HD resolution recreation of the video. Watch below.
“Last Christmas” by Wham! builds on the story of a failed romance from the year before. A set of friends go on vacation in the snowy mountains during Christmas time. There, the protagonist, George Michael, is reunited with his former lover, who is now in love with George’s friend played by Andrew Ridgeley. The director of the music video, Andy Morahan, comments that the brooch is the most important part of the video. A flashback shows us that George Michael presents this brooch to his then-girlfriend played by model Kathy Hill. In the present time, this brooch is worn by Andrew Ridgeley and she seems to have moved on from George.
These lyrics of the song builds on the premise that this couple’s attempt at ‘forever and after’ failed last year. So this year around, the singer is going to be extra careful whom he lets his heart open to. The song sings that their love was broken “the very next day.” Although this phrase might be metaphorical, it does suggest that their breakup was quite abrupt.
“Once bitten and twice shy” is an idiom used to describe a person avoiding someone or something because of an unpleasant experience with them. In the song, George Michael tries to avoid his ex. But locked in a little cabin in the woods, they do end up locking eyes.
George Michael does wonder if she still remembers him after a year since the breakup.
In the second verse of “Last Christmas,” George Michael reminisces back to the previous year. He wrapped up a present for her and added a note that read “I Love You.” Looking back at the time, he blames himself for being so naive. But his love was true and we do realize that he still has some remnant feelings for her. He says that if by chance if she kisses him, he would be a fool again.
More jogged memories from the past follow. George wonders how she could be so cold-hearted to have left him so abruptly last year and now act as if she does not recognize him. He calls her soul is made of ice, much in tune with the seasonal effect outside.
The singer imagined that she was going to be his soulmate. But now he realizes that she only used him to get through some personal hardships. He realizes how naive he was a year ago.
In the final verse of the song, George Michael sings that he has finally moved on from this past. He is with a better partner now and he knows it will be different this time. Neither his ex nor the present girlfriend shall tear him apart again.
Let us hear what you think about this heartbreak anthem closely tied with the Christmas holidays by leaving a comment below.