Every year, here at Christmas Crackered Towers, we put together a playlist of Christmas songs that count down the days to the big day. These tunes are then sent to our Amazon Echo’s playlist to be played all day long! There’s nothing like a build up to Christmas when there is wall to wall Christmas sounds!
Each Day we will count down with a new tune appearing on this page, with our favourite ending up at Number 1. In 2017, Wham!’s Last Christmas made it to the top….will it do so again this year?
You can see last year’s countdown here.
This page will be updated every day until our Number One Christmas tune is reached.
#1 - Somewhere In My Memory- John Williams (Home Alone)
The Number one track in our Top 50 Christmas songs is ‘Somewhere in My Memory’ from the Home Alone soundtrack! The whole movie soundtrack is worthy of the number one spot and has been on our playlist all throughout December!
We can never understand why this track isn’t played on radio around Christmas time? It conjures up feelings of Christmas from the very beginning and builds to a crescendo of festive delights!
Listen to this track on Christmas Eve to really get into the mood for Christmas, or as we do, from the very start of December.
John Williams, the composer of many movie themes, really has captured not only the movie, but the whole feeling of Christmas.
We did think it was a little strange to have a movie track as our Number 1 Christmas tune this year, but as it’s almost never off our playlist, we thought, why not?
It’s our favourite Christmas tune for 2018!
#2 - Wham! - Last Christmas
At Number 2 in our Festive 50 is last year’s Number 1….‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! This Christmas Classic from 1984 didn’t hit the top spot in the UK charts, thanks to Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ but did so in many other Countries.
It’s the biggest selling single NOT to get to number one in the UK…ever!
The song itself is Christmas personified. The sound, the story, the video…everything. As soon as the first couple of bars start you know who it is and what time of year it is.
A Christmas gold medalist that will never be out of the Christmas charts.
#3 - Kelly Clarkson - Underneath The Tree
This is now a Christmas classic! The video makes it even better as Kelly Clarkson belts out ‘Underneath The Tree’. The setting is as festive as it gets with that huge green Christmas tree.
It’s now in its 5th year but will undoubtedly be an ever present for many years to come. Something that is amazing about the song is that it only managed to get to Number 30 in the UK charts!
This was last year’s Number 4 in our Christmas Crackered countdown, so it’s gone up one place and might go higher next year. It’s a massive favourite on our playlist.
#4 - The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
Ah, the parody of a Christmas song that turned out to be a huge hit! The Darkness gave us ‘Christmas Time – (Don’t Let The Bells End’) in 2003 and managed to get to Number 2 in the UK charts, beaten by the totally unseasonable ‘Mad World by Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules…a travesty!
The Number 4 in our 2018 Christmas countdown has everything about Christmas in it. It’s a real Christmas tune that manages to include a couple of double entendre’s too!
For a few weeks leading up to compiling this chart, ‘Don’t Let The Bells End’ was in the lead to finish top, but the top 3 have been played more inside of Crackered Towers (but only just!)
#5 - Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
We’re still amazed that ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey didn’t reach the Christmas Number One spot in the UK charts! This festive classic was kept off the top spot by East 17’s ‘Stay Now’ in 1994.
OK, it’s not our Number One for 2018, but has been in the past. Even giving it the Number 5 spot in our charts seems mean…but there are so many Christmas classics out there that the top 5 should all be equal first!
But we can’t do that…we have to have a winner for 2018 and it will be a track which isn’t of the usual pop genre. You’ll have to wait and see!
#6 - Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Andy Williams and ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ was never relased as a single to buy, instead it appreared on the ‘Andy Williams Christmas album’ from 1963 which was a huge hit all over the world.
Now, the track is available as a standalone digital download and has proven to be just as popular today as it’s ever been.
The video is taken from his Christmas TV special and sums up a most wonderful Christmas ambiance.
A proper Christmas tune!
#7 - Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
From 1973 comes ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ from Wizzard. This got to Number 4 forty-five years ago and was kept from the top spot by Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, Gary Glitter’s ‘I Love You Love Me Love’ and The New Seekers, ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’.
Roy Wood also managed to get to Number 10 With his own track ‘Forever’.
But this Festive track has proven to be an ever present Christmas song since way back then, even getting to Number 15 in 2017. You can’t keep a good track down!
#8 - The Pogues Feat. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York
Now 31 years old, ‘Fairytale of New York‘ still sounds as fresh as the day it was released. The lyrics are not the usual Christmas mush, instead, it is a tale of drunkeness, love and a bitter relationship.
The late, great Kirsty MacColl duets beautifully with the raw vocals of Shane MacGowan to produce one of the most memorable Christmas songs to grace the festive season.
Released in 1987, it was kept off top spot by The Pet Shop Boys and ‘Always On My Mind’.
#9 - Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
Into single figures for the Top 50 Christmas Tunes and at Number 9 is Slade with ‘Merry Xmas Everyone’. What Christmas music chart could be without this Cracker!
If you were born in the 60’s, this will be forever associated with Christmas. Noddy belts out ‘IT’S CHRISSSTMASSS!!‘ like no other and is replicated every year by some wag shouting it at parties as if they’re the first one to do it!
This 1973 classic got to Number 1 in many countries and will be played every year until the sun burns out!
#10 - Pretenders - 2000 Miles
Into the Top 10 we go and here we find The Pretenders with ‘2000 Miles’. Very Christmassy but the song is said to be about a band member who dies the year before its release.
Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer, has said about the music that it’s “Anything to avoid listening to my voice and my stupid words.”…really?
Even so, it’s a great Christmas Tune!
#11 - André Prévin – Lieutenant Kijé, Symphonic Suite
We include this Sergei Prokofiev track as it reminds us so much of Christmas. I know it simply as ‘Troika’.
This shortened version is from Andre Previn with the London Symphony Orchestra which I remember being used in the 70’s on BBC TV to showcase their Christmas Schedule…those days of the Two Ronnie’s and Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials.
It has a place in our Top 50 for being such a festive tune that epitomises everything Christmas!
#12 - Declan Galbraith – Walking In The Air
If you haven’t heard this version, I implore you to do so! The original was great, sang by Peter Auty from the animated movie ‘The Snowman’.
Aled Jones also did a stirling job when he got the song to number 5 in the charts. But this little known version of ‘Walking in the Air‘ from Declan Galbraith brings a freshness to the song.
The track is available on the generically titled ‘Christmas Hits’ CD released in 2003.
#13 - The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
On first release in the UK, 1981, ‘Christmas Wrapping’ didn’t manage to bother the charts, but when released a year later got to number 45…suprising, as it’s one of the most popular Christmas songs released?
It’s featured in several movies and many Christmas compliation albums and has been covered by the likes of the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue. Strange that it wasn’t a chart hit for The Waitresses?
In at number 13 of our Festive 50 though…and that’s what really counts!
#14 - The Crystals – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ was written way back in 1934 and was out as ‘Sheet Music’ and sold over 500,000 copies! Since then it’s been covered many times with The Crystals version being our favourite.
It was taken from Phil Spector’s iconic Festive treat ‘A Christmas Gift To You’, in which any track could have made our Top 50! This was never released as a single which shows how great the song is to be such a favourite at Christmas time.
#15 - Elton John – Step Into Christmas
A cracking Christmas song from Elton John which comes from a year that boasted Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Evetyone‘, Wizzard’s ‘I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday‘ and this one, ‘Step into Christmas‘…1973…what a year for Christmas songs!
Elton’s song managed number 4 and really should have been used for the 2018 John Lewis Ad instead of the un-christmassy ‘My Song’…the ad got slated!
This tune brings back great memories for me as a kid…I was 11 and the song evokes wonderful Christmas memories from my youth.
#16 - Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas
Greg Lake didn’t mean this to be a Christmas song, as such, but quite frankly, that’s hard to believe! It’s about losing the real reason of Christmas and objects to its over commercialism. I just think it’s a great Christmas song!
‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ got to number 2 in 1975 and has been s firm favourite in the CC household since, especially as Troika is sampled throughout the track!
#17 - Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
Paul McCartney’s Christmas hit from 1979 makes number 17 in our Festive Chart. ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ still reputedly earns McCartney £400,000 a year which goes someway to understand just how popular it still is!
If only I could pen just one Christmas mega hit in my lifetime then every Christmas would be just that little bit more special! (If that’s even possible!)
#18 - Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Probably the most famous and well known Christmas tune ever released! Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ was first recorded in 1942 and featured in the movie ‘Holiday Inn’.
It’s been covered many times and is the most recorded Christmas song EVER with over 500 versions in all shapes and forms.
But no one can beat Bing’s dulcet tones in which most people on the planet know every word. A huge Christmas tune that may never be surpassed.
#19 - Dean Martin – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Dean Martin’s 2nd entry into our top 50 which lands in at number 19. The wonderful ‘Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!’ is a track made for Christmas compilation albums, but this festive favourite was first released in 1946 by Vaughn Monroe.
Deano did it justice though and this version is our favourite. The original Monroe version made it into the Die Hard movie…which in our eyes, is not really a Christmas movie. Many would disagree!
#20 - Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells
Although it’s not Solstice Day, that’s not until 21st December, this track hits our Top 50 today, in at Number 20 with 20 days left for the big day!
Jethro Tull, the prog/folk band, released this merry track way back in 1976 and managed to get it to number 30 in the UK charts.
Not everyone’s idea of a festive tune, but the feel is certainly most Christmassy!
#21 - Mel Torme – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Originally sang by Judy Garland in the movie ‘Meet Me In St Louis’ from 1944, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ has been covered many times since, including the great Frank Sinatra. This version though, is our favourite and reminds us of one of the greatest Christmas Movies of all time…Home Alone.
Mel Torme really knew how to sing a Christmas tune and this one is no exception.
‘Let Your Heart Be Light…’
#22 - Nat King Cole Trio – The Christmas Song
This has to be the very best version of ‘The Christmas Song’ with Nat King Cole’s velvety voice soothing us into Christmas.
Recorded many times by Nat since it’s first appearance in 1946, it went on to become the epitome of the festive tune. It’s only UK chart entry was in 1991 where it got to a lowly 51.
It’s number 22 in our charts though…and that’s what really counts!
#23 - Annie Lennox - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Beautiful rendition of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen‘ by Annie Lennox. This was released in 2010 and came from her album ‘A Christmas Cornucopia‘.
The album features the singers favourite Christmas songs and includes the likes of ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ among others…but this is our favourite, right here!
#24 - Doris Day – Winter Wonderland
Doris Day has one of those voices made for Christmas! If soft and cozy and when coupled with the very Christmassy ‘Winter Wonderland’ it becomes magical!
There have been many versions of this Classic Christmas tune, but this one, taken from Day’s 1964 Christmas album, rates as our favourite!
#25 - East 17 – Stay Another Day
We’re halfway there! 25 days to go and our Number 25 is from East 17 and ‘Stay Another Day’. This was E17’s only number one and is their biggest hit to date.
Even though this is seen as a Christmas tune, and the video seems to confirm this, it, has, in fact nothing to do with Christmas!
#26 - Cliff Richard – Saviour’s Day
A real indication that the Christmas season is here is when Sir Cliff Richard starts appearing on all the music channels! Here, his ‘Saviour’s Day‘ makes it to Number 26 in our Christmas Countdown for 2018.
Released in 1990, the video was shot near Durdle Door, Dorset. The single got to Number 1 in the UK charts, his second Christmas solo Number one after Mistletoes & Wine.
#27 - Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas
At number 27 we have Queen with ‘Thank God It’s Christmas‘. This track only got to number 21 in the UK charts in 1984 and didn’t have any accompanying video with it and wasn’t even released as a single in the US.
Given all that, it’s still a great Christmas tune and is a favourite come Christmas time getting plenty of radio airplay in the UK.
#28 - Ho Ho Ho - Sia
A newcomer to the Top 50! Sia with ‘Ho Ho Ho’ makes her debut at Number 28.
A happy, bouncy Christmas tune taken from her 2017 album ‘Everyday is Christmas’. This is the ‘youngest’ Christmas tune to make our Top 50.
Perhaps another Sia track from this album will make the Christmas Crackered chart in the coming weeks? Who knows?
#29 - Saint Etienne - I Was Born On Christmas Day
A more recent Christmas tune than of recent entries in the Top 50 is from Saint Etienne and ‘I was Born On Christmas Day’.
Released at the height of Britpop in 1993, Tim Burgess from The Charlatans duets with Sarah Cracknell to bring this boppy Christmas Tune into the Christmas Crackered Top Twenites.
The song only got to Number 37 in the UK charts, but we feel it’s a future Christmas classic!
#30 - Perry Como – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
From 1951 comes Perry Como’s ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’. This one always reminds me of Home Alone 2 where the Hotel manager discoveres Kevin’s credit card is registered as stolen…that smile!
It’s been covered many times from the likes of Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis, but this one is our favourite!
#31 - Burl Ives – A Holly Jolly Christmas
Have a Jolly, Holly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year. It sure is!
This is Burl Ives’s version (and most popular) from the 1964 Christmas Special ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’
Not a chart entry in the UK, but hit the Billboard charts at Number 30 in, strangely enough, 1998!
#32 - Bobby Helmes – Jingle Bell Rock
Another oldie, but goodie…this time all the way back to 1957! Never a chart hit in the UK (only minor success on digital download much, much later) but a stalwart of the US Billboard Charts throughout the years.
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helmes was featured in the 1996 movie Jingle All the Way,
#33 - Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Taken from Bing’s Merrie Olde Christmas special in 1977, the duo make an interesting combo! The single was released in 1982 and reached number 3 in the UK.
I remember seeing this the first time arpund and wondered if I’d drifted into some sort of parallel universe! But it’s a great Christmas tune and a worthy entry into our Top 50 Festive songs.
#34 - A Marshmallow World - Dean Martin And Frank Sinatra
Another version of A Marshmallow World from Dean Martin, but this time featuring the great Frank Sinatra!
Just look how much fun these guys are having! This was a favourite on the Rat Pack Christmas albums and live shows of the 50’s & 60’s.
The song was originally a hit for Bing Crosby in 1950/51. It has been covered many times since.
#35 – Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
From 1953, it’s Eartha Kitt with ‘Santa Baby’. The song has been covered many times from artists like Madonna, Michael Buble, Macy Gray and others, but we feel Eartha’s original version is the best!
It’s also one of Mrs Crackered favourite Christmas songs pointing out often that’s she’s been “an awful good girl” too…That may be so, but a yacht, sable and a ring from Tiffany’s won’t be under the tree this year! Pair of slippers, maybe…?
#36 – Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
From 1985 it’s good old Shakin’ Stevens with ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. This was Shaky’s 4th Number One single and has entered the charts (due to downloads) almost every year since 2005.
A real bouncy tune with a video that seems to be the first shown on all those Christmas TV channels each year! Altogether now…“Snow is falling…all around me…Children Playing, Havin’ fun”
#37 – John & Yoko – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Amazingly, this worldly famous Christmas tune never reached a Number 1 spot in any Country, peaking at No2 in the UK in 1980, the year Lennon was shot. Its original release in 1972, reached No 4 and was an anti-war song relating, particularly, to the Vietnam War.
Appears on almost EVERY Christmas compilation album released ever since!
#38 – Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine
Sir Cliff’s 99th single release, Mistletoe and Wine, made it to Number 1 in the UK charts in 1988. A classic Christmas tune that was originally made for the play Scraps way back in 1976. Cliff changed the lyrics slightly to include a more religious aspect to it.
The single stayed at the top for 4 weeks and is our first (hint) Cliff entry into the Top 50.
#39 – Louis Armstrong – Zat You Santa Claus
Louis Armstrong, him with the gravel voice, recorded ‘Zat You Santa Claus’ in 1953. It was never a hit in the UK but has been covered by many artists over the years including Bing Crosby, Buster Poindexter and Harry Connick, Jr.
This version has to be our favourite though and sits proudly at #39 in our Top 50 All time festive tunes.
#40 – Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas
Into the Top 40 with Chris Rea and ‘Driving Home For Christmas’. Since its release in 1988, the song has gained popularity over recent years. On its debut, it could only manage to get to #53 in the UK charts, but in 2007 got to #33 and better still, in 2017 reached the heady heights of #14!
This shows the song is a real Christmas classic!
#41 – Darlene Love – All Alone On Christmas
Never a huge hit (peaked at #39 UK charts 1992) but very Christmassy with a sound reminiscent of Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound in which Darlene Love featured prominently.
Clarence Clemons plays the sax here as well as on Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Santa Clause is coming to town’ giving the track a warm, cosy festive feeling!
Taken from the Home Alone 2 : Lost in New York movie and Soundtrack.
#42 – Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka
With a huge nod to Christmas Vacation we have Bing Crosby and Mele Kalikimaka in at number 42.
Written in 1949 and covered by many artists over the years, we at Christmas Crackered think Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters came out with the best version.
#43 – Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
This 1984 Christmas classic rasied millions for famine relief and went on to be re-recorded three more times in 1989, 2004 & 2014.
If you want to know the history of this life changing track, go here, it makes fascinating reading. It’s now an ever present in the Christmas Crackered Top 50.
#44 – The Wombles - Wombling Merry Christmas
44 years ago (!) The Wombles of Wimbledon gave us ‘Wombling Merry Christmas’! This may not mean much to those under 50, but it still is a very Christmassy tune.
The song peaked at number 2 and stayed in the charts for 8 solid weeks! All together now “We wish you a Wombling Merry Christmas!”
#45 – Leona Lewis – One More Sleep
2006 X-Factor winner Leona Lewis released this Christmas tune back in 2013 reaching the heady heights of number 3 in the official UK charts.
‘One More Sleep’ is a great sing-a-long festive favourite which, may in time, become even more popular.
#46 – Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Elvis – The King, with Blue Christmas from his 1968 comeback special is our number 46 in the top 50.
There have been many versions of this classic since it first came to light in 1948, including the Beach Boys and Shakin’ Stevens, but this surely has to be the best!
#47 – Coldplay – Christmas Lights
Bit of a slow burner for us at Christmas Crackered. Christmas Lights by Coldplay illuminates at Number 47. The track was released in 2010 and got to number 13 in the UK charts.
Some say it’s a bit drab for a Christmas tune, but it’s fine to listen to after a bout of wild and frenzied Christmas shopping!
#48 - Lily Allen - Somewhere Only We Know
Number 48 doesn’t mention anything about Christmas, but it certainly FEELS like Christmas! The 2014 John Lewis ad sung by Lily Allen is rather warm and cosy and features a bunny and a bear…and an alarm clock!
Somewhere Only We Know was a cover of the band Keane’s 2012 release, but will always be assosiated with Christmas and shopping!
#49 - Gene Autry - Here Comes Santa Claus
All the way back from the American Billboard charts of 1948! Gene Autry’s ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ is a quirky Christmas tune that is beautifully merry and bright!
I remember it most from the Christmas Vacation movie as the S.W.A.T. team invades the Griswold home after a certain kidnapping!
#50 - Mel & Kim - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
This cheeky performance reached number 3 in the UK charts of Christmas 1987. It was released with the aim of raising funds for Children in need. Also appearing are the band Curiosity Killed The Cat and members of Spitting Image!
A bright start top the Christmas Crackered Top 50 countdown!
(Warm Up) Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World
What a warm up for the Top 50! Here’s Dean loving every minute of this song, dancing, fag in hand, with two Santa-ettes. I would’nt be surprised if he was full of a Christmas spirit of another kind!