The songs remain the same
Christmas time means Christmas music. That much is true. Love them or hate them, every year the same old songs will be wheeled out and played in shops, pubs and on TV adverts, reminding you that Christmas is here and simply cannot be ignored.
Typically, people go through the whole gamut of emotions around these tunes. From the fuzzy warm feeling you get when you’re five and you start getting into the festive spirit, through to the anguish felt between ages 12 and 25 at hearing the same songs every single year, through to the acceptance that this particular facet of British society will never change and moaning about hearing these songs for the 3,458th time will not change the fact that they are as much a part of Christmas as family arguments and turkey leftovers.
Yes, like a particularly gaudy musical wallpaper, flecked with Noddy Holder shaped bits of woodchip, these songs aren’t going anywhere and you better get used to it. So how about instead putting your positive face on and trying to eke out some pleasure from them. Here’s our look at the most played Christmas songs of all time.
Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody
Where else could we start, really. One of the few tunes with a bit of rock bounce to it (although we’re talking slim pickings here) this tune, which has made Mr Holder a very rich man and continues to do so every single year, is a true stalwart of the festive playlist. With its familiar chord progression and famous screeching reminder of what time of year it is, Slade’s 1973 hit is perhaps the first song people think of when the phrase ‘Christmas music’ is raised.
Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas
Middlesborough’s finest husky-voiced blues man stuck his oar into Christmas in 1986 with this jaunty little number that will be familiar to anyone on these fair isles. Well known for his love of cars, it was typical of the man to find him wedging in a reference to ‘top to toe tailbacks’ in his Christmas offering. Ever the pragmatist, our hero made sure the British road network would never get the better of him by setting off some time at the end of July.
Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry
This bombastic piece is a bit of an odd one, seeing as it isn’t actually a song about Christmas in any shape or form. It’s melodic brass band arrangement does tend to give it somewhat festive feel, yet the man behind the song says it’s actually a protest piece which sees its video set in the trenches of World War 1. So now you know.
Wings – Wonderful Christmas Time
Wings eh? Only the band the Beatles could have been. We have Paul McCartney himself to thank for this rather bizarre synth-led offering. Easily the most ‘experimental’ of the Christmas bunch, yet through its own style of aural attrition it has etched itself onto the collective conscience and doesn’t seem to show any sign of leaving. For better or worse.
Wham – Last Christmas
George Michael and the Other Chap make the list thanks to their bittersweet anthem of love lost and broken dreams. Thankfully, there exists a fantastic acoustic version of this played by none other than James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers, which enables us to post the video for that and retain some credibility at least.
So there you have it. The most played Christmas songs of all time, providing you don’t mind accepting outlandish facts without any statistical data to back them up. Happy Christmas!
Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.