As the fight for this year’s Christmas number 1 spot in the charts starts to heat up, I will be looking at my 20 all-time favourite Christmas songs. Choosing this list was surprising difficult and no-doubt would change on a daily basis. Let me know what you think, do you agree? What have I missed?
20. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
This may not be your most stereotypical Christmas song but this hit from British hard-rock band, The Darkness, was released in 2003 with a fresh feeling from the usual pop entries. The Darkness were at number 1 all week and lost out on Saturday sales to Mad World in one of the closest battles for Christmas number one in recent years.
19. Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue
Released as a part of her Kylie Christmas album in 2010, the album may not have been a huge success but this song brought her some good publicity. Plus who wouldn’t want Santa to bring you Kylie for Christmas?
18. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé
I was torn between this and Dean Martin’s version, Bublé came out on top though due to its entertaining music video and the fact that it’s modern in comparison to the rest of the list.
17. Hallelujah- Alexandra Burke
This performance won Burke the 2008 XFactor final and with her powerful voice it’s clear to see why. Her music career may have stagnated in recent years but she will always be remembered for this song.
16. White Christmas – The Drifters
Bing Crosby would normally come top here with his rendition of White Christmas but I’ve opted for The Drifters: you may recognise this track from first The Santa Clause.
15. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
This was never originally released as a single due to Columbia Records opting to use his cover of “White Christmas” as the promo single from the album. Williams did make it to the UK singles charts though with the 1963 recording in December 2007, thanks to an advertisement for Marks & Spencer’s, however it only reached number 21.
14. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Mel & Kim
Originally published by Brenda Lee “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has been covered by countless artists around the world. I have opted for the version by Mel & Kim which reached number 3 in the 1987 charts and was recorded to raise funds for Comic Relief.
13. Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord – Boney M
Released in 1978 by German disco band Boney M. and another song featured winning the coveted Christmas number one. The song was a mix of Harry Belafonte’s 1956 hit mixed in with the new song “Oh My Lord” and has been sold 1.89 million times as of November 2015.
12. Lonely This Christmas – Mud
This is a popular Christmas song by British glam-rock band Mud. Released in 1974 it sold over 750,000 copies and managed to become the Christmas number 1 in the UK charts.
11. Silent Night – Sinéad O’Connor
She never fully gained acclaim for this song but personally feel that the Irish activist’s version is among the best with her voice fitting the song perfectly.
10. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
Coming in tenth on this list is British glam-rock band Wizzard’s Christmas release from 1973. In spite of this song’s long-standing popularity it only managed to reach number four in the UK Singles Chart.
9. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
The Welsh singer originally planned to release this song in 1984, but to avoid a clash with Band Aid (and a no-doubt loss in sales) it was postponed for a year; this worked in terrifically as it stormed the charts and was the Christmas number one for 1985.
8. Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney
Released in November 1979, this festive classic wasn’t an instant success with Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall taking in the Christmas number one spot. It isn’t all bad though: it is estimated that McCartney receives approx. $400,000 a year from the royalties of this song.
7. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon
It’s not only a great Christmas song, this song is also has an underlying message protesting against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Lennon and his wife rented advertisement space in twelve major cities around the world with posters that declared “WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – John & Yoko.” which is also lyrics in the songs.
6. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
English rock band, Slade, managed to beat Wizzard to the UK’s 1973 Christmas number one slot with their Christmas-themed song.
5. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Released back in 1994, the song is reported to have earned $50 million worldwide in royalties and is one of the best-selling singles of all times. This classic has been covered by a variety of different artists from Michael Bublé to Cee Lo Green to even My Chemical Romance. Despite all of the remakes the original still remains the best and it will go down as one of the greatest every Christmas songs.
4. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid 1984
The original featured Duran Duran, Boy George, George Michael, Bono, Phil Collins, Paul Weller and many more. It was released to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia and by 1989 it had sold 11.8 million copies worldwide. It could be disputed that the song has actually done more damage than good with it painting a poor picture of Africa and discouraging the tourism trade.
3. Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
The song about a soldier in war was released in 1980. Lewie claims that the song was never intended to be a Christmas hit, and that it was a protest song. Ironically, the lyric “Wish I was at home for Christmas”, it’s brass band arrangements and time of release made it the perfect festive song. It missed out on the number one spot with two re-issued songs by John Lennon who was murdered on the day of release.
2. Last Christmas – Wham!
This narrowly missed out on the top spot for me. The British pop duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley made it to number two upon release, losing out to Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Wham! also donated all of the royalties from the song to the Ethiopian famine appeal. The song is now considered by many as the greatest Christmas song of all time.
1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl
In my opinion, this has to be the best Christmas song of all time. It tells the tale about Irish people who emigrated to America in the 19th century to escape the potato famine in hope of making it in New York. However, many ended up homeless and this song focuses in on two lovers who don’t have much but still make the most of Christmas. This isn’t your stereotypical cheery Christmas song; it has a sense of realness to it which we can all relate to.