It’s that time of the year again where we play our favourite Christmas songs on full-blast in the car while frantically going Christmas shopping.
1. Last Christmas by Wham!
Despite being a song reflecting on better Christmases, ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! makes it back into the charts every year. The 34-year-old song has been a national favourite since its release and the inspiration behind Paul Feig’s 2019 Christmas movie, ‘Last Christmas’ starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. Seeped in sadness, longing and a young George Michael wearing unforgettable knitwear in the video, this timeless classic is hard to forget.
2. Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984) by Band Aid
If you can look past the analyzed lyrics which have proven to be more tone deaf rather than feel good in our current climate, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ is a song that signals the real meaning of the festive period – giving back. The song was a response to the Ethiopian famine and orchestrated by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure who recruited the voices of Boy George, David Bowie, Robert ‘Kool’ Bell and Phil Collins. The artists Rita Ora and One Direction did release newer versions of the song since 1984, but it didn’t quite hit the mark like the original.
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
Despite the cult following of this song and Mariah Carey, ‘All I Want For Christmas’ has never reached number one in the UK charts and instead was runner up to East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’. However, this festive classic from the Queen of Christmas is a must on any Christmas playlist – the song still sounds as good as it did 26 years ago when it was originally released.
4. Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
This upbeat but cynical song about Christmas is perfect for any of the Scrooge’s in your life who are reluctant to get into the festive spirit. The song’s opening lyric is “Bah Humbug” a performance by the legendary Patty Donahue. This reflects on how “this year’s been a busy blur, don’t think I have the energy” and after 2020, who could blame her?
4. White Christmas by George Ezra
During Christmas it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the various remakes of Christmas songs but George Ezra’s Spotify Singles rendition of ‘White Christmas’ is a must have on your playlist. Allow yourself to get lost in the festive bliss of Ezra’s take on the 1942 classic.
6. Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1971 Christmas track was a retaliation against America’s involvement in the Vietnam war. The song was part of a multimedia campaign, which featured twelve billboards in twelve major cities that declared “WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John and Yoko”. The song is a call for social unification and peace at Christmas – something that we needed, then and especially now.
7. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney
Another mention for a former Beatle who created this Christmas classic in ten minutes. Peaking at number six on the UK charts, this song, which first went on air in 1979 is one of Paul McCartney’s most famous songs. Artists such as Kylie Minogue with Mika, Blossoms and most recently Harry Styles have all covered the song too, reminding us how ageless and loved McCartney’s Christmas classic really is.
8. Silent Night by Michael Bublé
A Christmas playlist does not have to be constricted to the restraints of solely happy, upbeat songs. Silent Night is a stand-out cover on Michael Bublé’s ‘Christmas’ album and perfect for the later part of Christmas Eve or Day when the day draws to an end. The carol composed in 1918 by Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber is still performed today in hundreds of carol concerts up and down the country every Christmas.
9. 8 Days of Christmas by Destiny’s Child
As most already know, Beyoncé can do any genre of music and does so effortlessly. Christmas music is no exception to the rule and Destiny Child’s R&B revamp of ’The 12 Days of Christmas’ carol gives the original song a run for its money.
10. Mistletoe by Justin Bieber
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a song that you want to hate but secretly love. Justin Bieber’s 2011 song ‘Mistletoe’ is the perfect contender for being a Christmas guilty pleasure. Whilst this song may not stand the test of time, it is still worth enjoying it for what it is – the perfect mix of teenage heartthrob and Christmas cheesiness.
11. Step Into Christmas by Elton John
This 1973 seasonal song reached number one on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart. This song is coupled with a video of Elton in a memorable shiny outfit, red feathers and his beloved Watford Hornets Football Club membership card.
12. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love
Despite the fairly sad and longing for love lyrics, Darlene Love’s Christmas hit is the perfect way to get into the festive mood. Despite coming out in 1963, the song still sounds as wonderful as it did when it first came out. The song has been covered by the likes of other Christmas Kings and Queens – Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey.
13. Christmas Tree Farm by Taylor Swift
Christmas Tree Farm is Taylor Swift’s first ever Christmas song and was released last year. The song was inspired by Swift’s childhood and living on a Christmas Tree Farm that her family owned in Pennsylvania. Her first performance of the song was last year at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball.
14. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
Despite being a great song on its own, it would be hard to deny the association of this song with the 2004 American teen comedy film, ‘Mean Girls’. The hilarious and infamous scene of the ‘Mean Girls’ performing this song has forever changed how we all remember this song. A good song for the older and younger generation to both appreciate!
15. Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande
People are reluctant to bring in newer Christmas songs to their seasonal playlist however, Ariana Grande’s 2014 ‘Santa Tell Me’ is a great contender and makes the cut. It’s important to have a balance between both older and newer festive songs and this song is the perfect modern pop moment for Christmas day.
16. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé
This song is the opening track on Michael Bublé’s ‘Christmas’ album and rightly so. This chilled and soft opener is the perfect introduction into the Christmas period – the perfect soundtrack for decorating the tree!
17. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Destiny’s Child
Another spot reserved for the Queens of RnB and their rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Their version of the song is decorated in flawless melodies and accompanied with an animated video of Michelle, Beyoncé and Kelly with Rudolph.
18. Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens
This song is the perfect example of a Christmas party must. Filled with joyous lyrics, a choir and an excessive number of bells, this Shakin’ Stevens classic is truly the best way to get a Christmas party in full swing. In November, the video was remastered in 4k so you can now watch Michael Barratt in a slightly bizarre but idyllic winter wonderland in high definition.
19. Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea
Chris Rea’s dulcet tones are the easiest way to get lost in the magic of Christmas. The song is constructed flawlessly for when you return home and help create an atmosphere of nostalgia and excitement to see your family – something which feels all the more important in 2020.
20. Christmas Lights by Coldplay
Coldplay offers the feelings of what the end of Christmas Day has to offer. ‘Christmas Lights’ is draped in the tender, dreamy tones of Chris Martin, leaving you feeling like you’re the star at the end of a romantic Christmas film and really – who doesn’t want to feel like that?