Christmas Classics - How Festive is Your Favourite Hit?

Christmas songs are currently filling the airwaves in homes, schools and offices around the country. But which of Britain’s favourite hits is the most festive of them all?

To find out, we analysed the lyrics for the 20 most popular Christmas songs over the last decade (according to the Official Charts Company) and checked them against a list of 170 festive phrases to calculate how well they match the merry mood as a percentage score.

We then combined that data with historical chart data and film and TV appearances to determine which song is the most Christmassy of them all.

If you want to listen to any of these hits at your Christmas party, you can buy CDs (including Christmas classics!) from musicMagpie. We also have vinyl records for sale!

Most Festive Lyrics

When we analysed the lyrics of 20 Christmas favourites there was a clear winner. With a whopping 21.8% of its words suited to the season, Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ is the most festive song of all. In contrast, and though there’s plenty of sleigh bells to be heard, East 17’s monster hit ‘Stay Another Day’ contains literally no Christmassy lyrics. Not one.

Shakin Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone
Brenda Lee Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
Coldplay Christmas Lights

Most Commercially Successful

Of course, there’s more to the ultimate Christmas song than wintery words. To see which tunes we’ve truly taken to heart, we analysed how many weeks each of the 20 have spent inside the top 100. It was close, but Slade's classic ‘Merry Xmas Everyone’ just edged out The Pogues incredibly popular ‘Fairytale of New York’ by a couple of weeks.

Most Common in Movies and TV

What’s on the box is a huge part of the Christmas experience, so we used IMDB data to see which of the 20 festive favourites crops up the most on screen. Coming out top was Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’, which has racked up an impressive 35 film or TV credits since its release 23 years ago. On the other hand, you’ve got to feel for Leona Lewis – her ‘One More Sleep’ is yet to appear on screen at all.

MERRY CHRSITmas everyone
the most wonder time of the year