Sharp Notes: Top five Christmas songs of all time

Have you ever wondered what the all-time most popular Christmas songs are? Look no further.

Get in the holiday spirit with these top five Christmas songs! Graphic by Elizabeth Dalsing.

With Christmas just around the corner, you’re probably already starting to be bombarded with the same old songs we hear every single year, but I bet you have no idea which ones are statistically the most played. Officialcharts.com compiled a list of The Official Top 40 most-streamed Christmas songs with the most streams according to 2021 UK data. Here are their top five. 

Coming in at number one, it’s no surprise that the top spot is awarded to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” The 1994 hit has amassed over one billion streams on Spotify since it has become available on the service — with 248 million of those from UK listeners from 2021 alone. Whether you think this is a classic or it’s exhaustingly overplayed, you have to admit that having that many streams is really impressive. 

The second most-streamed Christmas song of all time is “Last Christmas” by Wham! Although countless artists from Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande to Gwen Stefani and the Glee cast have released popular covers of the song, the original version has proved to be a fan favorite. The 1984 hit follows Mariah Carrey’s hit, racking up a whopping 750 million streams worldwide. 

As for 2021’s third most popular holiday song, the 1987 hit song  “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues (ft. Kirsty MacColl) has accumulated 170 million plays in UK throughout 2021. Its current overall worldwide status has not yet been announced, however, with 170 million streams in one year it will likely be near the top of the charts. 

Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin’ Stevens locked down 2021’s fourth place with a whopping 136 million streams. The total number of streams the 1985 single has stockpiled is also yet to be announced, but it’s unlikely that would fall anywhere near the bottom. 

The fifth most-streamed Christmas song in 2021 is Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” This song has been a holiday classic since 1984. It earned 130 million streams in 2021 and is, in fact, one of the UK’s all-time best-selling singles with over 3.8 million sales. 

Honorable mentions are “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas”  by Michael Bublé in 2011 and Ariana Grande’s 2010 reprise of “Santa Tell Me.” Spotify data shows that Grande’s hit is deemed the third most profitable Christmas song ever. 

Spotify isn’t the only place you can stream these popular Christmas classics. You can find these and more on Apple Music, YouTube Music, and most other major music streaming services. 

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