The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas...
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 10 December 2012
'Tis the season to hear the same songs repeated endlessly on the radio and none has been played more regularly in the past two years than "Fairytale of New York", according to new research.
The 1987 song by The Pogues, featuring Kirsty MacColl, topped the list of 50 top Christmas songs played since 2010, according to rights body PRS for Music.
"Fairytale of New York" has returned to the top 20 every December for the past eight years and has been re-released this year to mark its 25th anniversary.
The list by PRS for Music found the second most popular was "Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You". The 1994 tune was the most recent in the top 20.
The Band Aid hit "Do They Know It’s Christmas" was close in third place. Other tunes to make the top 10 included "Last Christmas" by Wham! and "I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Wizzard.
A spokesman for PRS hailed the number of British Songwriters to make the list, before adding: “A well-crafted Christmas tune will be enjoyed for decades.”
Bing Crosby’s "White Christmas" and Nat King Cole singing "Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) could only make 23rd and 26th place respectively.
The most recent tracks to make the list were Michael Buble’s "Cold December Night" and Bryan Adams’ "Merry Christmas", with both released last year.
50 Best Christmas songs (according to PRS for Music) in full (position, artist, year, writer)
- Fairytale of New York, The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl, 1987 Jem Finer, Shane MacGowan
- All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey 1994 Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff
- Do They Know It's Christmas? Band Aid 1984, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure
- Last Christmas, Wham! 1984 George Michael
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town Harry Reser 1934 John Fredrick Coots, Haven Gillespie
- Do You Hear What I Hear? Bing Crosby 1962 Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne
- Happy Christmas (War Is Over), John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir 1971 John Lennon, Yoko Ono
- Wonderful Christmastime, Paul McCartney 1979, Paul McCartney
- I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, Wizzard 1973 Roy Wood
- Merry Xmas Everybody, Slade 1973, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
- Merry Christmas Everyone, Shakin' Stevens 1985, Bob Heatlie
- Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson, 1950, Leroy Anderson
- Stay Another Day, East 17, 1994 Tony Mortimer
- Driving Home For Christmas, Chris Rea, 1988, Chris Rea
- Rockin Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee, 1958, Johnny Marks
- Step Into Christmas, Elton John, 1973 Elton John, Bernie Taupin
- 2000 Miles, The Pretenders, 1983 Chrissie Hynde
- I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter, Connie Francis / Gabriella Cilmi 1962 / 2008 Hank Hunter, Mark Barkan
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love 1963 Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Vaughn Monroe / Dean Martin / Smokey Robinson & The Miracles 1945 / 1959 / 1963 Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
- Stop The Calvary, Jona Lewie, 1980, Jona Lewie
- Frosty The Snowman, Gene Autry & The Cass Country Boys / Perry Como / Johnny Mathis / Kimberley Locke 1950 / 1957 / 2003 / 2007 Walter "Jack" Rollins, Steve Nelson
- White Christmas, Bing Crosby, 1942, Irving Berlin
- I Believe In Father Christmas, Greg Lake / Toyah Wilcox / Elaine Paige 1975 / 1982 / 1986 Greg Lake / Peter Sinfield
- Christmas Lights, Coldplay, 2010, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
- Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), The Nat King Cole Trio, 1946 Mel Tormé, Bob Wells
- Thank God It's Christmas, Queen, 1984 Brain May, Roger Taylor
- It's The Most Wonderful Time of Year, Andy Williams 1963 Edward Pola, George Wyle
- Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt, 1953, Joahn Javits, Phillip Springer
- Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses, 1981, Chris Butler
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra, 1957, Ralph Blanew, Hugh Martin
- Please Come Home For Christmas, Charles Brown, The Eagles, Jon Bon Jovi 1961 / 1978 / 1995 Charles Brown, Gene Redd
- Spaceman Came Travelling, Chris de Burgh, 1976, Chris de Burgh
- A Winter's Tale, David Essex, 1982, Mike Batt / Tim Rice
- Lonely This Christmas, MUD, 1974 Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
- Cold December, Night Michael Bublé 2011 Michael Bublé, Alan Chang, Bob Rock
- Mistletoe And Wine, Cliff Richard, 1988, Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart, Keith Strachan
- Merry Christmas, Bryan Adams, 2011, Bryan Adams
- Christmas Time - Don't Let The Bells End, The Darkness 2003 Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain, Ed Graham
- Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord, Boney M, 1978 Jester Hairston, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Lorin
- Power Of Love, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1984 Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O'Toole
- Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley, 1957, Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
- When A Child Is Born (Soleado) Johnny Mathis 1976 Ciro Dammiccom, Fred Jay
- Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Gene Autry 1949 Johnny Marks
- Winter Wonderland, Perry Como, 1934, Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Jimmy Boyd, 1952, Tommie Connor
- Mary's Boy Child, Harry Belafonte, 1957, Jester Hairston
- It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Perry Como & The Fontana Sisters 1951 Meredith Wilson
- The Little Drummer Boy, Harry Simeone Chorale 1958 Harry Simeone, K. K. Davis, Henry Onorati
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas
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