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...

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The Independent Culture

'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.

 50 Best Christmas songs

1) "Fairytale of New York" - The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl

2) "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Mariah Carey

3) "Do They Know It's Christmas?" - Band Aid

4) "Last Christmas" - Wham!

5)"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Harry Reser

6) "Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Bing Crosby

7) "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" - John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

8) "Wonderful Christmastime" - Paul McCartney

9) "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" - Wizzard

10) "Merry Xmas Everybody" - Slade

11) "Merry Christmas Everyone" - Shakin' Stevens

12) "Sleigh Ride" - Leroy Anderson

13) "Stay Another Day" - East 17

14)"Driving Home For Christmas" - Chris Rea

15) "Rockin Around The Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee

16) "Step Into Christmas" - Elton John

17) "2000 Miles" - The Pretenders

18) "I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter" - Connie Francis / Gabriella Cilmi

19) "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - Darlene Love

20) "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" - Vaughn Monroe/Dean Martin/Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

21) "Stop The Calvary" - Jona Lewie

22) "Frosty The Snowman" - Gene Autry & The Cass Country Boys/Perry Como /Johnny Mathis /Kimberley Locke

23) "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby

24) "I Believe In Father Christmas" - Greg Lake/Toyah Wilcox/Elaine Paige

25) "Christmas Lights" - Coldplay

26) "Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" - The Nat King Cole Trio

27) "Thank God It's Christmas" - Queen

28) "It's The Most Wonderful Time of Year" - Andy Williams

29) "Santa Baby" - Eartha Kitt

30) "Christmas Wrapping" - The Waitresses

31) "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Frank Sinatra

32) "Please Come Home For Christmas" - Charles Brown, The Eagles, Jon Bon Jovi

33) "Spaceman Came Travelling" - Chris de Burgh

34) "A Winter's Tale" - David Essex

35) "Lonely This Christmas" - MUD

36) "Cold December Night" - Michael Bublé

37) "Mistletoe And Wine" - Cliff Richard

38) "Merry Christmas" - Bryan Adams

39) "Christmas Time" - Don't Let The Bells End, The Darkness

40) "Mary's Boy Child" - Oh My Lord, Boney M

41) "Power Of Love" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

42) "Blue Christmas" - Elvis Presley

43) "When A Child Is Born (Soleado)" - Johnny Mathis

44) "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" - Gene Autry

45) "Winter Wonderland" - Perry Como

46) "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - Jimmy Boyd

47) "Mary's Boy Child" - Harry Belafonte

48) "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Perry Como & The Fontana Sisters

49) "The Little Drummer Boy" - Harry Simeone Chorale

50) "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" -16th century carol

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.

Read more: Six Christmas songs to stream on Spotify
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