Best Christmas Songs of all time ¡Merry Xmas 21-22 ☃️!
In this Special Edition you will enjoy the 50 best Christmas songs of all time. Get ready to discover and remember classics like Darlene Love, ‘Baby please come home’, must-haves like Wham!, ‘Last Christmas’, and 2020 new Xmas songs like Kodaline, ‘This must be Christmas’.
Reading Time | 14.54 min
Listening Time | 3 H 6 min
The Best New Christmas Songs
We begin our review of the 50 best Christmas songs presenting you new Xmas tunes from recent years. You would be surprised by the amount of new Christmas music that continues to be made every year. It is an extremely attractive market 💰, specially in the United States and Europe. No matter why, we do love it because it keeps on giving us new musical gems to enjoy this holiday season. Here are the first 10 Xmas songs:
1. KELLY CLARKSON | Underneath The Tree
Wrapped in Red | USA | 2013
- Kelly Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 after winning the first season of the TV show American Idol.
- With her Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red”, she became the first female artist to achieve the best-selling holiday album of the year in 2013.
- Kelly said:
The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what kind of a year you’ve had—it’s a fresh start.
- Clarkson did all backup vocals for the record, being her own choir.
2. LEA MICHELE | Christmas In New York
Christmas in the City | USA | 2019
- Lea Michele is an American actress and singer who you will surely know due to her role on the series “Glee”. She started long before on Broadway when she was a child.
- Lea has always loved Christmas and explained her intention when writing her “Christmas in the City” album:
The record paints this beautiful picture of New York, but it also is really about what it means to be with your family and friends and engaged in that holiday spirit.
- The song takes us on a trip to the Big Apple with the hustle and bustle, the taxis, the shopping, and all other X-mas stuff. You’re going to love it!
3. ROBBIE WILLIAMS | Idlework
The Christmas Present | UK | 2019
- After 11 studio albums Robbie Williams thought it was the right time for a Christmas album. And as always with him, it is a great record. It includes several collaborations such as: Rod Stewart, Jamie Cullum, Bryan Adams…
- Williams joked that he was going to call the album ‘Achtung Bublé‘, a play on words of the U2 album ‘Achtung Baby‘, and about Michael Bublé’s monopoly on the Christmas music market, which he said “must end now” 😄
- Robbie composed 50 songs for the album. He did feel Christmassy!
4. KODALINE | This Must Be Christmas
This must be Christmas | UK| 2020
- Kodaline is an Irish rock band which decided to give his 4th studio album a Christmas flavour with “One day at a time”, after reaching a staggering billion streams on Spotify.
- The band explained about “This Must be Christmas”:
We wanted to make a Christmas song that had a bit of depth to it and we wanted it to be a bit dark lyrically
- His lead singer also said that he thinks you’re only as good as your last song. In that case, they are exceptional 👍
5. GWEN STEFANI & BLAKE SHELTON | You Make It Feel Like Christmas
You Make it feel like Christmas | USA | 2017
- Gwen Stefani was going on a nature walk near the Oklahoma ranch house belonging to boyfriend Blake Shelton and felt inspired to record a Christmas album. She got down to work and the result is “You Make It Feel Like Christmas”.
- Gwen explained:
I really wanted to write Christmas music, like, my whole life. To be part of the joy of Christmas.
- Stefani aimed for the album to have a classic vibe, so she took influence from the “Wall of Sound” technique which the producer Phil Spector invented in the 60s. We will tell you more about it in our Technical Note.
6. LINDSEY STIRLING & BECKY G | Christmas C’mon
Warmer in the Winter | USA | 2018
- Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist with a very modern style who released in 2018 her 4th album “Warmer in the Winter” packed with good Xmas music.
- Lindsey spent more than a year on the record. Can you imagine 12 months thinking only about Christmas, she must have gone crazy 😱
- Careful and updated Christmas sound.
7. LIAM PAYNE | All I Want For Christmas
LP1 | Reino Unido | 2019
- Former One Direction member Liam Payne released in 2019 his first album called “LP1” which includes a fantastic Christmas tune, “All I Want For Christmas”.
- The song tells the story of a romance that is rekindled in holidays 💌
- Liam sings accompanied only on piano and strings, very intimate!
8. KACEY MUSGRAVES & TROYE SIVAN | Glittery
The Kacey Musgrave Christmas Show | USA | 2020
- Singer Kacey Musgraves for the second year in a row presents Amazon Prime Christmas show, “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show”.
- In 2020 she had a special guest, the Australian singer Troye Sivan.
- Together they sing a tune that even being new, sounds really classic, “Glittery”. It went straight to our Christmas special edition.
- Kacey declared about the show:
It’s like bringing back to life the hippest version of the Judy Garland or Cher show.
9. LEONA LEWIS | One More Sleep
Christmas, With Love | UK | 2013
- “Christmas, with Love” is the fourth album of UK ‘Factor X’ winner in 2006, Leona Lewis, an astonishing voice.
- Her song “One More Sleep” is inspired in the Motown sound and takes us on a countdown to the beginning of Christmas.
- Leona holds a record for being the British female artist with the most Top 5 singles 🥇 in the entire history of the English chart. She has a total of 8 and surpasses Olivia Newton-John’s 7.
10. DAN + SHAY | Take Me Home For Christmas
Take me home for Christmas | USA | 2020
- To finish with the first 10 best Christmas songs of all time, we bring you a country Christmas song from a duo that is hitting it in America, Dan + Shay.
- The band said:
It’s hard to find the time, you know? When you make a Christmas record, you have to kind of get started in, like, March or April to get it turned around in time, but it was cool to get in the holiday spirit a little early this year because I think we could all use some extra positivity and cheer.
- To give the video a more familiar touch, Dan + Shay appear with their wives, children and even dogs 🐕
Would you like to listen to a Christmas songs playlist?
🎅 PLAYLIST | NEW Christmas Songs
🌲 PLAYLIST | CLASSIC Christmas Songs
The Best Christmas Song in Spanish
Admittedly, Anglo-Saxon artists are much more prolific when it comes to making new Christmas songs, but there are still a good number of Latin artists who have sung wonderful Christmas music in Spanish. Hereinafter you’ll find the best Christmas songs in Spanish.
11. LUIS MIGUEL | Mi Humilde Oración (Mi humble prayer)
Navidades | Mexico | 2006
- Luis Miguel owns one of the best voices in history, so it was easy for us to decide to include him among the best Christmas songs in Spanish with his album “Navidades (Christmas)”.
- The song we like best is “Mi Humilde Oración (My Humble Prayer)” one of the singles on the album, along with the best-known version of “Santa Claus is coming to town (Santa Clause llegó a la ciudad)”.
- Our song is a Spanish adaptation by the great composer Juan Carlos Calderón of a Xmas carol called “My Grown Up Christmas List”.
12. JOSÉ FELICIANO | Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)
Feliz Navidad | Puerto Rico | 1970
- “Feliz Navidad (Happy Christmas)” is the most popular Spanish Christmas song, although it is also well known in the United States.
- The song is musically simple, but sometimes the simplest is the best, right?
- José Feliciano is a virtuoso of the Spanish guitar, and a very prolific artist. He has published more than 600 songs and sold nearly 50 million records 📀
13. INDIA MARTÍNEZ & MALDITA NEREA – Mi Mejor Regalo Eres Tú (My best gift is you)
Dual | Spain | 2014
- India Martínez is a Spanish singer with a meteoric career and voice.
- In 2014 she released a duet album with 2 special Christmas songs, among which is our “Mi mejor regalo eres tú (My best gift is you)”, together with Maldita Nerea (a popular Spanish band).
- ‘De mi barco vela … de mi norte, sur … mi mayor regalo esta noche eres tú (Sail of my ship … south of my north … my greatest gift tonight is you)’. The holiday season spirit turned into words.
14. ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ | Blanca Navidad (White Christmas)
Christmas in Vienna VI | Mexico | 1998
- “White Christmas”, written by Irving Berlin in 1942, is the world’s best-selling Christmas carol, 50 million copies in Bing Crosby version.
- We have chosen the Spanish version sung by Alejandro Fernandez in 1992, belonging to a series of Christmas concerts recorded in Vienna with Placido Domingo.
- ‘El Potrillo‘, as Alejandro is known, covered Blanca Navidad (White Christmas) again in 2020, this time together with his 3 daughters 👧 A nice family video, while we still prefer the original operatic version.
15. GLORIA ESTEFAN – Más Allá (Beyond)
Abriendo Puertas | Cuba | 1995
- Gloria Estefan is a singer who at just 1 year of age had to flee her native Cuba to the United States. Years later she would start a career that has led her to sell more than 120 million records and win 7 Grammys, having her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ⭐
- She released “Más Allá (Beyond)” in 1995. It is our favourite Spanish Christmas song ever.
- Gloria sang the song in front of Pope John Paul II, being the first pop artist to be invited to sing at a religious commemoration event.
16. RAPHAEL | El Tamborilero (The Little Drummer Boy)
Canta la Navidad | Spain | 1965
- Raphael, doesn’t need introduction in Spanish speaking countries, after 60 years on stage he is one of the most important Spanish artists ever ☝
- In Spain, saying Christmas is saying Raphael and his version of ‘The Little Drummer Boy (El Tamborilero)‘. My mother-in-law is from the fan club, so imagine what I listen to every Christmas Eve 😜
- The first time he performed the song on TV he had to do it with a wig, because he was doing military service and his hair had been shaved.
- I don’t know if many people noticed it, but the point is, 55 years later, it’s still a Christmas hit.
17. TITO ‘EL BAMBINO’ – Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)
Feliz Navidad | Puerto Rico | 2009
- Tito El Bambino decided that Christmas music should also be used to dance and composed “Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)”, you’ll see that you can’t stay sitting.
- Tito is a Latin music and reggaeton artist who has reaped multiple hits and continues to be at the top of the charts in Latin America.
- ‘El Bambino’, who is also called ‘El Patrón’, has been the spokesperson for several campaigns against the use of drugs, weapons, and violence in his native Puerto Rico.
18. MECANO | Un Año Más (One more year)
Descanso Dominical | Spain | 1988
- “Un año más (One more year)” is the title of a techno-pop song dedicated to the New Year by the greatest Spanish pop band in history, Mecano.
- The song talks about the celebration of a New Year’s Eve from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (downtown) and is full of critical messages to society such as:
Entre gritos y pitos los españolitos (Between screams and whistles the Spaniards)
Enormes, bajitos hacemos por una vez, (Big or little, we do for once)
Algo a la vez, (Something at a time)
- It is the most played Spanish Christmas song on New Year’s Eve, and we love it! 🎉
19. MELENDI – Trae Pa’k Esa Yerba Güena (Bring that good weed over here)
Sin Noticias de Holanda | Spain | 2003
- I’ve had so many parties with Melendi‘s first album “Sin Noticias de Holanda (Without news from Holland)” that I had to share his “Trae Pa ‘K Esa Yerba Güena (Bring here that good weed)” with you. It just transmits good vibes!
- Melendi is a Spanish singer who has 10 albums under his belt and who has moved between rumba and pop his entire career. He stands out for his careful and vindictive lyrics.
- Without a doubt, this is the funniest Christmas carol ever (if you want the English translation, just ask me on the Comments section) 🎊
20. PATYLU & ALEX SIRVENT | Somos Hermanos (We are brothers)
Navidad | Mexico | 2015
- Patylu is the stage name of Patricia Sirvent, who, although starting her career in a Mexican pop group called ‘Jeans‘, turned her life around by releasing her first solo children’s album in 2009.
- She’s been so successful that in 2015 she joined her brother Alex Sirvent to make this children Christmas song, which grownups love as well, “Somos Hermanos (We are brothers)”.
- There is no better way to end the section of the best Christmas songs in Spanish than all embraced as brothers 🤗
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The Best Classsic Christmas Songs
What would Christmas be without Mariah Carey or Wham 😄? Like them, there are other songs that are essential at holidays. Depending on where you are from, some will touch you more than others, but Christmas music is emotion, and the following songs are not only the most popular classic Christmas songs, but they are pure X-mas joy. By the way, they are all original tunes sung by the artists who composed them (we will talk about the best versions later).
21. MARIAH CAREY – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Merry Christmas | USA | 1994
- Let’s get off to a good start with the most played Christmas song in the world. It generates Mariah Carey nearly $500,000 per year and in total more than $60 million.
- It is not surprising when we consider that on December 24, 2018, the song hit 10 million streams in one day on Spotify. The record on the platform so far.
- Did you know that Mariah Carey composed “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in summer? She decorated the house for Christmas 🎄 and it’s said that she was so inspired that she had the song ready in 15 minutes.
- The meaning of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is simple, it explains Carey’s loving feelings towards her husband Tommy Mottola.
- Mariah Carey is the first singer to reach No. 1 on the charts in four different decades: 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020. Furthermore, she holds 3 Guinness World Records for being one of the most successful and popular Christmas songs of all time.
22. WHAM! | Last Christmas
Music from the Edge of Heaven | UK | 1984
- Interestingly, Wham! Last Christmas reached 60 number ones worldwide but never did in the UK. Why? It’s because it was released the same year as the charity song “Do they know it’s Christmas?”, which we tell you about later (No. 26).
- Many think that George Michael composed the song for an ex-girlfriend. Nothing like that, it talks about his homosexuality (which was not public at the time). The rejection that “Last Christmas” talks about is the one he suffered for being gay.
- By the way, the video for this iconic Christmas song has been remastered in 4K quality and it looks amazing 📹
- Andrew Ridgeley, the other half of Wham!, unveiled how George Michael composed the song:
We were eating something while watching TV when, almost without realizing it, George disappeared and was upstairs for an hour. When he came back, he was so excited. He looked like he had found gold. We went to his old bedroom, where we had spent so many hours as children, recording radio shows and jingles. There he had a keyboard and a tape recorder. Then he started playing the beginning and the chorus of ‘Last Christmas’. George had done musical alchemy. He had turned the essence of Christmas into music. The lyrics about a love betrayal gave it the masterful touch.
23. JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND & THE HARLEM COMMUNITY CHOIR | Happy Xmas, War Is Over
Listen, the Snow Is Falling | UK | 1971
- While “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is a protest song against the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas anthem.
- The song begins with a low whisper in which John and Yoko congratulate their children, Julian and Kyoko, on Christmas.
- Lennon commented on the success of the song:
Now I understand what you have to do: Put your political message across with a little honey.
- The song was produced by Christmas music master Phil Spector and includes the voices of the Harlem Community Choir.
- I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the folk song ‘Stewball‘, but the resemblance will surprise you 😱
24. BOBBY HELMS – Jingle Bells Rock
Jingle Bells Rock | USA | 1957
- “Jingle Bell Rock” is an immensely known American Christmas carol that Bobby Helms released in 1957. You know, there are no holidays without sleigh bells.
- The song is much older, as early as 1857. It was published under the name “One Horse Open Sleigh”.
- It is considered the first Christmas Rock and Roll, in fact, Bobby Helms was known for his rockabilly style.
25. THE POGUES & KIRSTY MACCOLL | Fairytale of New York
If I should fall from grace with God | UK | 1988
- This song is an Irish folk ballad that took almost 2 years to be developed.
- The original concept for the tune involved a sailor in New York looking out over the ocean and reminiscing about being back home in Ireland. The wife of one of The Pogues founders didn’t like it and suggested new lyrics regarding a conversation between a couple at Christmas.
- Finally, they combined both ideas to create the duet between The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
- The fact is that “Fairytale of New York” is the most-played Christmas songs of the 21st century.
26. BAND AID | Do they Know It’s Christmas
Band Aid | UK | 1984
- It is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds to alleviate the famine in Ethiopia in 1984.
- The original song featured: Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club, George Michael, Kool and the Gang, Sting, U2, Heaven 17, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Francis Rossi, Status Quo, Shalamar, Bananarama, Marilyn, The Boomtown Rats, Chris Cross and Boy George.
- It went straight to No. 1 (preventing ‘Wham! Last Christmas’ from hitting the top of the chart) and became the best-selling single in UK history.
- Since then, 3 more versions have been made with artists from each era:
27. BRYAN ADAMS | Christmas Time
Christmas Time | Canadá | 1985
- The Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams also joined the Christmas song craze with “Christmas Time” in 1985. He covered the tune again in 2019 because it is his most popular Xmas song.
- In 2001 Adams performed the song before Pope Juan Pablo II at the Vatican.
- The lyrics talk about the joy of Christmas, peace, freedom, equality…
28. STEVIE WONDER | Someday at Christmas
Someday at Christmas | USA | 1967
- Listening to Stevie Wonder is always a pleasure, but if it is singing yuletide songs, double fun.
- “Someday at Christmas” was released by Stevie Wonder in 1967, but he recently teamed up with Andra Day to sing it again in this video.
- The song has a tone of complaint against the war, saying in an extract: ‘Men won’t be boys, playing with bombs like kids play with toys‘.
29. CHRIS REA | Driving Home for Christmas
New Light Through Old Window | UK | 1988
- Did you know that Chris Rea was actually driving home when he wrote his Christmas hit “Driving home for Christmas”?
- He got stuck in a traffic jam 🚗🚙🚕 on his way to his Middlesbrough (UK) house, it began to snow, and Rea started looking at the other drivers. They were as bored as him, and eager to get home to celebrate Christmas with their families.
- Who could have thought that those lyrics would become one of the best English Xmas songs.
30. ELTON JOHN | Step into Christmas
Step into Christmas | UK | 1973
- Elton John together with his inseparable Bernie Taupin (writer of almost all his songs) composed “Step into Christmas” using Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of Sound‘ technique (we tell you about it in our Technical Note).
- “Step into Christmas” was the first song Elton wrote to be a stand-alone single.
- We love it, like everything Elton John does. It is a perfect song to enjoy the holiday season 🌲
31. DARLENE LOVE | Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
A Christmas Gift For You from PHIL SPECTOR | USA | 1963
- 🎁 A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector is the best Christmas album of all time.
- Phil invented a new sound, ‘The Wall of Sound’ that made songs sound much louder on radio at the time (yes, we tell you about it in our Technical Note).
- The album is made up of 4 major bands: The Ronettes, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans and Darlene Love.
- “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is our favourite song from the album. Nobody can match Darlene Love‘s emotion and sheer vocal power.
- Phil Spector thought the track was strong enough to warrant a non-seasonal version, and cut a version titled “Johnny (Baby Please Come Home)”.
32. U2 | White as Snow
No Line on the Horizon | UK | 2009
- “White as Snow” ❄ may not be considered a Xmas tune, but it uses as a sample the eternal melody of the Christmas carol “O come, o come, Emmanuel”, which we will talk about later (No. 44). It’s such a beautiful song that it had to be part of our list.
- U2 sings it from the perspective of a dying soldier serving in Afghanistan and lasts the length of time it takes him to die. It’s amazing!
- Bono, lead singer of U2, said they were going to start ‘White as Snow’ with an explosion, a kind of industrial noise that sounded like the aftermath of a bomb. In the end, they decided to dismiss it. Much better, because the song is evocative and suggestive as it is, without artifice. In fact, you don’t need to understand the lyrics to feel the sadness it conveys.
33. SLADE | Merry Xmas Everybody
Merry Christmas Everybody | UK | 1973
- “Merry Xmas Everybody” is a 1973 song by British rock band Slade, which is also their latest No. 1.
- After an evening of drinking, something very typical at Christmas parties 🍾, band member Noddy Holder, worked all night at his mother’s house and wrote the lyrics for this Christmas hit.
- A few weeks before the song was recorded, Slade’s drummer Don Powell was in a serious car accident in which his girlfriend died, and he was left in a coma for 1 week. Luckily, he recovered and was able to record with his companions.
- An estimated 42% of the world had heard this Xmas song, What is the 58% left waiting for!
34. MARVIN GAYE | Purple Snowflakes
A Motown Christmas (Vol. 2) | USA | 1992
- I love the chorus when he sings ❄ Snowflakes, pretty purple snowflakes ❄.
- Marvin Gaye is class and soul. Perect mix for a Christmas song.
- The tune is like psychedelic Christmas music, isn’t it?
- It belongs to a Christmas album released by the famous Motown label. A record full of good songs to get in the holiday spirit.
35. WIZZARD | I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday | UK | 1973
- Long live Glam Rock! Long live Wizzard!
- Wizzard recorded ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday‘ in August. To create a wintry feeling, they decorated the studio with Christmas stuff and turned the air conditioning down to its coldest setting. Just like Mariah Carey did, it seems like a tactic that works very well ⛄
- The children choir you hear on the track were recorded later in the fall. They were students from the Midlands (UK).
36. LYNYRD SKYNYRD | Christmas time again
Christmas Time Again | USA | 2000
- After 10 studio albums, Lynyrd Skynyrd decided it was time to release a Christmas album, “Christmas Time Again”.
- Rock carols always taste good, don’t they? In the album you will find many guitar picks everywhere and a lot of rock’n’roll 🎸 A great treat.
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The Best Christmas Songs Versions
If you’ve come this far, you are surely imbued with the spirit of Christmas to the brim 😜. We are reaching the end, but don’t worry, we still have 14 amazing covers of Christmas songs by artists like Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Frank Sinatra, or Katie Melua. Get comfortable, warm yourself a chocolate or tea 🍵 and continue enjoying the best Christmas music.
37. ANDREA BOCELLI & MARY J. BLIGE | What Child Is This?
My Christmas | Italy & USA | 2009
- “What Child Is This?” is a Christmas carol whose lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865.
- Dix had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write the lyrics.
- Andrea Bocelli chose this song for this 13th album, “My Christmas”. On the tour for the record he achieved the historic maximum audience of the O2 Arena in London, 16,500 people.
- The emotion that this music conveys is unmatched, even more with Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige voices. Without a doubt, one of the best Xmas songs.
38. DIMITRI VEGAS & LIKE MIKE & ARMIN VAN BUUREN & BRENNAN HEART & JEREMY OCEANS | Christmas Time
Christmas Time Again | Belgium & Holland | 2020
- We couldn’t wait anymore to show you some electronic Christmas music 💻
- This song is a version of Bryan Adams “Christmas Time” (No. 27).
- As it usually happens in dance music, many DJs collaborated in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) cover: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and Brennan Heart, voiced by Jeremy Oceans.
- They said: “even in bad times music has always kept us together”.
39. ANNIE LENNOX | God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
A Christmas Cornucopia | UK | 2010
- “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” is a traditional Christian worship Christmas carol.
- Although the title speaks of ‘gentlemen’, the song is aimed at small owners, who were charged money by the city guards during the Christmas season to protect their establishments.
- The song has been covered many times, but this one by Annie Lennox is special, don’t you think?
- It is part of “A Christmas Cornucopia” alubm in which Lennox sings her favourite Christmas carols.
40. MICHAEL BUBLÉ | It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
Christmas | Canada | 2012
- Saying Christmas music is saying Michael Bublé.
- This half-Italian, half-Canadian crooner (singer with a deep voice who sings popular classical songs accompanied by an orchestra) release his most successful album, “Christmas” in 2012, selling more than 12 million copies worldwide 🌎
- The song we’ve chosen, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is a Christmas song written in 1951 by Meredith Willson. A classic of Christmas music.
41. TOMMEE PROFITT & JORDAN SMITH | Mary, Did You Know?
The Birth of a King | USA | 2020
- “Mary did you know?” is a recent Christmas classic. It was written by Mark Lowry in 1984 and first recorded by Michael English in 1991.
- Despite its short life, the song has become a must in holiday music. It has specifically become a classic country Christmas song and many country artists have covered it over the years, like our No. 48, Kenny Rogers & Wynonna Judd. Another version to highlight is the one from Pentatonix.
- We’ve chosen Tommee Profitt’s cover as it is part of the best 2020 Christmas album, and because it is sung by Jordan Smith, who did a legendary performance of the song in The Voice USA, winning the contest.
- By the way, if you have wondered what the song is about, its writer, Mark Lowry explained it:
I just tried to put into words the unfathomable. I started thinking of the questions I would have for her if I were to sit down & have coffee with Mary. You know, “What was it like raising God?” “What did you know?” “What didn’t you know?
42. FOR KING & COUNTRY | Little Drumme Boy
A Drummer Boy Christmas | Australia | 2020
- Australian brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone are a Christian alternative rock duo called “For KING & COUNTRY” which has just released a x-mas album in 2020, “A Drummer Boy Christmas”.
- They described their passion for music:
The power of music can impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel… it has the ultimate power not only to change someone’s day, but to impact them for eternity.
- By the way, “Little Drummer Boy” is an epic popular Christmas song that tells the imaginary story of a poor boy who doesn’t have any gift to give to Jesus, and neither short nor lazy, he stands with his drum and sings him a serenade. The Newborn understands and smiles at him 😊
43. KATIE MELUA | The Little Swallow
In Winter | Georgia | 2016
- “The Little Swallow” is actually the famous Christmas song “Carol of the Bells”, whose story and version deserve being told separately.
- Katie Melua, Georgian by birth, sings the tune in its original language (Ukrainian) and with a choir, for which it was composed.
- I get excited every time I listen to the song. It has kind of a magical power that surrounds and thrills you, can you feel it?
44. THE PIANO GUYS | O come, O come, Emmanuel
A Family Christmas | USA | 2013
- We mentioned before that U2 had used the melody of a classic Xmas carol called “Veni, veni, Emmanuel” for their song White Snow (No. 32). Well, the English version is this “O come, O come, Emmanuel”, and it happens to be one of the best Christmas songs ever composed.
The Piano Guys is a band from Utah who became famous on YouTube for their videos playing the piano to promote their piano shop. They didn’t sell a single keyboard, but in music they are hitting it 🎹
- Of this marvelous song, which text dates back to 1710, there are multiple awesome covers like: Lindsey Stirling, For KING & COUNTRY or Irit Iffert & Jael Kalisher (in Hebrew).
45. HILLSONG WORSHIP | O Holy night
Christmas: The Peace Project | Australia | 2017
- Hillsong Worship is an Australian band funded by the Hillsong Church. They are the most famous and influential Christian band in the world.
- They have released several Christmas albums, among them “The Peace Project”, where you’ll find what for us is their best Christmas carol, “O Holy Night”.
- It’s a classic carol composed in 1847 by Adolphe Adam, based on a French poem that reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity’s redemption. 🕊
46. FRANK SINATRA | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra | USA | 1957
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane in 1944 for the film ‘Meet me in St. Louis’, where it was sung by Judy Garland.
- Later, Frank Sinatra, who doesn’t need introduction 🎩, covered it in his Christmas album “A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra”.
- Sinatra didn’t like the verse of the song when it said: “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow”; He decided to change it to what we know today: “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough”.
- We love Sinatra, his voice, and the way he sings, but we’ve selected another version for the end of the list by Natalie Taylor, which is out of this world (No. 50), you’ll see.
47. CELINE DION | Happy Xmas, War is Over
These Are Special Times | France & Canada | 1998
- This Christmas anthem against the war by John Lennon (No. 23) has been covered on multiple occasions, but for us, without a doubt, the best is Celine Dion’s.
- Celine’s eighth album “These Are Special Times” includes many classic Christmas songs sung with her unmistakable voice.
- She counted on 2 amazing producers for the album, R. Kelly and Bryan Adams.
48. KENNY ROGERS & WYNONNA JUDD | Mary, Did you know?
The Gift | USA | 1996
- I don’t know if this version of “Mary, did you know?” can be called a country Christmas carol or a country Xmas song, but the fact is that its 2 authors, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, are the most successful artists of that genre in the 90s.
- What is certain is that the song sounds gorgeous and it had to be part of our Xmas hits list ⛄️
49. ERASURE | God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
She Won’t Be Home (Lonely Christmas) | UK | 1988
- Did you like Annie Lennox’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (No. 39)? If so, you are going to love Erasure’s instrumental arrangement. It’s different from any other cover you’ve ever heard.
- The lyrics were used in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” . When the protagonist, Scrooge, hears someone singing the song, he grabs him tightly, scares him and makes him flee.
- In case you didn’t know Erasure, they’re a British synthpop duo, one of the most popular in the history of techno pop music, only surpassed by Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode.
50. NATALIE TAYLOR | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | USA | 2018
- If you’ve come this far, after listening to 49 Xmas hits, you deserve a farewell in style, with a cover that will make you tremble.
- It’s so soft, so subtle, so beautiful…
- Natalie Taylor, who merits all her success in 2020 (and more than she’ll have), gives us her voice for Christmas and wishes us: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
- Same we do from Trembol, we wish you a Merry Christmas! and a lot of music 🎙
Technical Note | The Best Christmas Songs of All Time
Christmas carols, Christmas songs, villancicos (in Spain and most Latin American countries), aguinaldos (in Venezuela), negrillos (in parts of Latin America), pastorís (in Brazil), esquinazos (in Chile), noëls (in France), etc. they are all songs that were previously used to celebrate harvest festivals and were later adopted by the Christian church. Currently we associate them with the end of the year, which in most of the Western world we call Christmas!
What makes a song sound like Christmas?
- Sleigh Bells: It comes from the fact that we associate sleighs and reindeers 🦌 to Christmas, and it turns out that sleighs do not have brakes, so they sound jingle bells to warn people that they are coming.
- Chord ii7(b5) (Second chord, diminished fifth, minor seventh) or iv (Minor fourth chord): It is like a nostalgic chord. If used in the progression: IV – ii7(b5) – I, it will remind you of: Maria Carey “All I Want for Christmas is You”, “White Christmas”…
- Children: If you realize, the vast majority of Christmas songs include choirs, children singing, whistles… Of course! You know who own the holiday season, don’t you? 👼
The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin‘” in 1965. One of the first songs to use the Wall of Sound by Phil Spector.
¿What is the “Wall of Sound” used in tons of Christmas tunes?
- It’s was a popular and innovative musical production technique, developed in the 60s by Phil Spector, in which several musicians play the same instruments or parts in unison and the resulting sound is re-recorded in an echo chamber.
- The idea was to exploit the possibilities of studio recording, generating a thickly layered sound, kind of an orchestral aesthetic, that then came across well through radios and jukeboxes of the era.
- Spector described it:
I was looking for a sound, a sound so strong that if the material was not the greatest, the sound would carry the record. It was a case of augmenting, augmenting. It all fitted together like a jigsaw.
YouTube Playlist 50 Best Christmas Songs of all time
In some mobile devices the Playlist doesn’t switch song automatically. If this is your case and you want to listen to it right away, enjoy it on our YouTube channel.
Spotify Playlist 50 Best Christmas Songs of all time
We reach the end of the Special Edition “The best Christmas songs of all time” 😭 😭 😭 It is the most extensive and detailed article I’ve written and the one that I liked the most. Hope you enjoyed it! If so, please, Become a Patron (button in the Menu), and above all, have a Merry Christmas!