A santa hat rests on sheet music next to some winter foliage and an apple.

Hooray Heroes’ Top 10 Ultimate List of Christmas Songs

A santa hat rests on sheet music next to some winter foliage and an apple.

It’s that time of year again – Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time to make your holiday season special. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of songs (in no particular order) sure to fill your ears with the sweet, sweet sounds of Christmas! All you have to do is sing along!

Now this is a Christmas party! Just a taste of the wonderful Xmas magic found within our personalized Christmas books!

Top 10 Christmas Songs of All Time

1. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John & Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

Released in 1971, by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir, the song reached number four in the UK. What is interesting about this one is that besides being a Christmas song, it was also intended as a protest against the Vietnam War.

Unlike most traditional Xmas lyrics that focused on Santa, gifts, or jingle bells, “Happy Xmas” invites the listener to consider those who live in fear and the consequences of war. Like “Imagine”, this is a song calling for peace and love, not just in December, but all year round.

2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey 

It may not seem possible, but “All I Want for Christmas Is You” was the lead single from Mariah Carey’s first holiday album, which came out all the way back in 1994. Don’t feel bad. It makes us feel old too!  What you may not know though is that the song was written and composed in just 15 minutes! That’s faster that most people can even decide on a gift for their significant other (unless they’re creating one of our Love You books that is)!

The 2011 re-released version featured some changes to the original, the biggest of which was that it became a duet with the Canadian singer, Justin Bieber. To date, it is one of the few modern Christmas tunes to reach such popularity and stay there. To be fair, who wouldn’t want to hear a song about how much you’re loved?  

What could be more romantic than saying “I Love You” with a personalized Christmas book for couples?

3. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid

This charity song by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure came out in 1984 with the intention of raising funds for victims of famine in Ethiopia. It was recorded in a single day and sold a million copies in its very first week!

The hope was that “Do They Know It’s Christmas” would raise around £70,000 ($79,300) for the people of Ethiopia. The final result? A whopping £8 million ($9,063,500)!

4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland

Originally appearing in the 1944 musical Christmas film, Meet Me in St. Louis, the song was written the year before by the American composers and songwriters, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.

Judy Garland, perhaps better known as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, criticized the song’s original lyrics for being too depressing and because of this, Martin would eventually, but reluctantly change the lyrics to make them cheerier.

An illustration taken from a personalized book for mom and adult child.
A magical illustration from our amazing custom book for Moms!

Garland’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” became intensely popular with American troops during the First World War and was guilty of bringing soldiers to tears during its live performance. To date, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has been re-recorded on a number of occasions by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Coldplay, Michael Bublé and John Legend to name a few. 

4. “What’s This?” The Nightmare Before Christmas

Written by Danny Elfman for the stop-motion Disney film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, was released alongside the movie in 1993. Though it is debatable as to whether this early Tim Burton classic is the perfect Halloween movie, the perfect Christmas movie or both, what is not debatable, is how memorable the entire soundtrack is – and how it continues to hold up to this day.

While Chris Sarandon (better known as Prince Humperdinck in the 1987 film, The Princess Bride) did the original spoken voicework for the frighteningly curious Jack Skellington, it was Elfman himself who provided the singing voice in the original. This was later remedied in later versions where Sarandon did all of the voicework. Whether it’s for Halloween or Christmas, this song has you covered (just like our Halloween and Christmas coloring books)!

6. “Last Christmas” by Wham!

Jumping back to the 80s, “Last Christmas” by the ever-fabulous pop duo Wham! was originally released in December of 1984 to a great deal of popularity. As proof that wonderful things tend to come from the most unlikely of places, this song actually came into being when George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were visiting George’s parents.

To top things off, it was written in Michael’s childhood bedroom! Not bad considering that it ended up spending five consecutive weeks at #2 in the UK Singles Chart. It just shows that no matter how old you are, there is something really special about the time we spend with family though it can be hard to put into words, but then that’s what personalized books and Christmas cards are for!  

7. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love

Strangely enough, this holiday classic was initially considered to be a bit of a flop. It’s 1963 debut, quite horrendously, coincided with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and so, unsurprisingly failed to gain any ground.

Over time and with a number of rereleases under its belt, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, has become undeniably intertwined with the holiday season. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked it number one on a list of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs. Equally impressive it that Love performed the song live annually on Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman for a stunning 29 years!

8. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby

Believe it or not, this classic Christmas song that many of us know from the movie of the same name wasn’t originally written by Bing Crosby. In fact, it was written by Irving Berlin for a completely different musical film Holiday Inn, which was released in 1942.

The first performance of White Christmas, however, was by Bing Crosby for a 1941 radio show just a few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the remainder of World War II, it became very popular among troops and the general population alike.

Love and snow is in the air in our Christmas-themed custom book for couples!

In 1954, the film White Christmas featured Crosby’s version of the song yet again, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. To date, White Christmas continues to be a constant favorite and is currently ranked number 2 on the Recording Industry Association of America’s Songs of the Century list.  

9. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney’s 1979 “Wonderful Christmastime” is one of the more divisive choices on this list. From what we can gather, you either love it or hate it. Interestingly, McCartney recorded the song entirely on his own (instruments and all) during the sessions for his solo project McCartney II.

Opinions tend to be a bit split on the song any time it is compared “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. While Lennon’s lyrics are powerful and deep, McCartney’s speak simply of enjoying the holiday season. Regardless, it continues holds a special place on the playlists of many as THE feel good tune of the season.

Paul in the process of writing another Christmas hit – from our personalized Xmas book Merry Christmas Sophia.

10. “(There’s No Place Like) Home For the Holidays” by Perry Como

Though the music for this classic tune was composed by the pianist Robert Allen and the lyrics written by lyricist Al Stillman, it is the silvery voice of Perry Como that makes it so memorable. For those not in the know, Como was an American singer, actor and television personality whose career spanned over 50 years.

Como recorded the song twice, once in 1954 and again in 1959, accompanied by the Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra and the Ray Charles Singers on both occasions. Since then, the song has been covered by everyone from Cyndi Lauper to The Muppets in their film A Muppet Family Christmas. Living proof that this song still appeals to people of all ages!

There’s no place like home – with a warm drink and good Xmas book in hand! What could be better?

Not enough?

Well, since we can’t seem to get enough of Christmas either – we made our own playlist on Spotify! What could be more magical?

Can you sit still listening to this? We certainly can’t!

So, from all of us here at Hooray Heroes, crank up the music, pour yourself a warm drink, and get Christmassy!