Christmas is not just a time of religious celebration and gift giving, but for many, it is also a time of parties and joyful gatherings. At the heart of Christmas traditions is the music associated with the festive season, from carol singing to the Christmas jigs you listen to whilst decorating the tree and at Christmas parties. There is a long tradition of Christmas specific musical hits and here is a list of some of the most famous.
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You
Mariah Carey – Although it may arguably be a predictable choice, this is one of the most recognised Christmas songs to ever sneak into the charts and Mariah Carey has one of the biggest voices in the industry. Released in 1994, it is a timeless relatable Christmas love song with an upbeat feel.
2. Fairytale of New York
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Released in 1987 by the Celtic punk group The Pogues, this hit is a Christmas favourite with bitter-sweet lyrics and a story of a realistic relationship and associations with drugs and alcohol. Despite its tone, which reminds us of moaning, it is a comical classic which is loved by many.
3. Merry Christmas Everyone
Shakin’ Stevens – This single was released in December 1985 and has been included on Christmas themed albums and repeatedly played on the radio, during the festive season ever since. A perfect feel-good Christmas tune, often played at parties and celebrations.
4. Merry Christmas Everybody
Slade – Another upbeat jingle- loved or hated this song is definitely one of Christmas’s most prominent tunes. Whether it irritates you or excites you, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.
5. Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Band Aid – Sang in 1984 by Bob Geldof, this single was released in order to raise money to help the starving people of Ethiopia supporting the theme of giving and generosity that is associated with Christmas.
6. Last Christmas
Wham – Another Christmas love song from the 80’s, a tale of heart break with an easy going tune, what’s not to like?
7. Winter Wonderland
Doris Day & Various Artists – originally written in 1934 by Felix Benard, this is one of Christmas’s oldest songs. It is so popular that it has been re-recorded by countless music artists in various forms, however Doris Day’s version is a common favourite around this time of year.
8. Santa Baby
Eartha Kitt – definitely a different styled Christmas song which sexualises Santa Claus. However, it still remains a timeless classic and has also been re-recorded by a number of artists, including Kylie Minogue, who released a very popular version in 2000.
9. Jingle Bell Rock
Bobby Helms – This classic was released in 1957 and is a great upbeat, feel-good song, perfect for Christmas parties.
10. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Brenda Lee – The perfect track for decorating your Christmas tree to, another 50’s classic which is universally loved by all.
Image courtesy: Benjamin Esham (www.flickr.com/photos/bdesham/)