Christmas Music - Popular, Famous, Best, Top 100 Songs - Santa Pop!
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Get to know the most famous Christmas music, the most popular Christmas songs, the best Christmas music of all time! Santa, Frosty, Rudolph, The Chipmunks, even The Grinch - all your Christmas friends are here.

From traditional and religious hits to contemporary and secular favorites, it's the Top 100 Christmas songs you know and love - by the artists who made you love them. Santa Pop! is the definitive short list of the best Christmas music - based on airplay, sales, and independent research.

This site is first and foremost a collection of Christmas music memories. If you'd like to buy some of the music you remember, we've included iTunesiTunes and Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 links to the original hit versions.

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See "O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis)" (below)
Written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" was first performed by Mariah Carey on her 1994 album "Merry Christmas." A best-selling holiday ringtone. Not to be confused with the unrelated 1989 tune of the same name by novelty act Vince Vance & The Valiants.
Mariah Carey
Hit Version:  Mariah Carey (1994) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "I don't want a lot for Christmas, there's just one thing I need. I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree. I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas is you."
The words to "Angels We Have Heard On High" come from a traditional French carol "The Angels In Our Countryside," translated to English by James Chadwick in 1862. The music is the traditional French hymn tune "Gloria," arranged by Edwin S. Barnes. Amy Grant

This is the same melody used for the carols "Shepherds In The Field Abiding," and "Hearken All, What Holy Singing." The word "Gloria" is drawn out over several notes, like it is in "O Come All Ye Faithful" (below), and "Ding Dong Merrily On High" (in the line "Gloria, hosanna in excelsis.")

Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1983) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing over the plains. And the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains. Glo-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-ri-a in excelsis Deo." (Latin for: "Glory to God in the highest.")
Ave is pronounced "AH-vay." Translated from Latin, "Ave Maria" means "Hail Mary," and is the name of a prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Josh Groban
It might interest you to know that this "Ave Maria," sung at Christmas, is not the traditional Roman Catholic prayer. In fact, the song isn't technically even called "Ave Maria" - it's called "Ellen's Third Song," and it's from Franz Schubert's 1825 musical adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's 1810 poem "The Lady Of The Lake." In the song, a maiden in distress prays to Mother Mary for help. So of course the lyrics begin with the words, "Ave Maria."

Because of this, most people now refer to "Ellen's Third Song," as "Schubert's Ave Maria," even though the words are completely unrelated to the traditional Roman Catholic prayer. Although now, the prayer is often sung to Schubert's melody, leading to the misconception he originally wrote the music specifically for the prayer.

Hit Version:  Josh Groban (2007) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Ave Maria, maiden mild, listen to a maiden's prayer. For thou canst hear amid the wild. 'Tis thou, 'tis thou canst save amid despair. We slumber safely 'til the morrow, though we've by man outcast, reviled. Oh maiden, see a maiden's sorrow. Oh Mother, hear a suppliant child. Ave Maria."
The music to the hymn "Away In A Manger" was first published by James R. Murray in 1887. The author of the first two verses is unknown, and the third verse was added by John McFarland in 1904.

Hit Version:  Celtic Woman (2006) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little lord Jesus laid down His sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little lord Jesus, asleep on the hay... Be near me, lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay, close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and take us to Heaven to live with Thee there."
Elf The role of the woman in the duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is called "The Mouse" and the man is called "The Wolf." Certainly not the only song about using the weather as an excuse for romance (see "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" below). Written by Frank Loesser (of Broadway musical "Guys And Dolls" fame) in 1944.

This version is from the soundtrack of the 2003 film "Elf."

Hit Version:  Leon Redbone And Zooey Deschanel (2003) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "I really can't stay... Baby it's cold outside... I've got to go away... Baby it's cold outside... This evening has been... Been hoping that you'd drop in... so very nice... I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice..."
Written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson in 1948, "Blue Christmas" was a Country music staple for years before being recorded by Elvis Presley.
Elvis Presley
Hit Version:  Elvis Presley (1957) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "I'll have a blue Christmas without you. I'll be so blue just thinking about you. Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree won't mean a thing if you're not here with me. And when the blue snowflakes start falling, that's when those blue memories start calling. You'll be doing alright with your Christmas of white, but I'll have a blue, blue Christmas."
This was originally a song called "Shchedryk," written by Ukranian composer Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych in 1916. Peter J. Wilhousky wrote new English lyrics for the song and renamed it "Carol Of The Bells" in 1936. There are notable instrumental versions from David Foster, John Tesh and the Carpenters. You may also recognize it as the tune to the internet video sensation, "Ding, Fries Are Done."

Hit Version:  Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops Orchestra (1970) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Mannheim Steamroller (1988) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 
Hit Version:  See also "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1996)

Sample Lyric:  "Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, 'Throw cares away.' Christmas is here, bringing good cheer, to young and old, meek and the bold. Ding dong ding dong, that is their song, with joyful ring, all caroling. One seems to hear words of good cheer from everywhere filling the air."
"Caroling, Caroling" is one of fifteen Christmas carols known as the "Alfred Burt carols." Music by Alfred Burt, lyrics by Wilha Hutson. First performed by Nat King Cole on the 1960 album "The Magic of Christmas," which was reissued under the title "The Christmas Song" in 1963. A version by Johnny Mathis also features the song "Happy Holiday" (below).
Nat King Cole
Hit Version:  Nat King Cole (1960) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Caroling, caroling, now we go, Christmas bells are ringing. Caroling, caroling, through the snow, Christmas bells are ringing. Joyous voices sweet and clear, sing the sad of heart to cheer. Ding, dong, ding, dong, Christmas bells are ringing."
Alvin And The Chipmunks Written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (a.k.a. David Seville) in 1958, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" was a #1 hit for the five-time Grammy Award-winning music group Alvin And The Chipmunks. The Chipmunks have endured popularity through generations, with a 1983 TV series and a 2007 film. By the way, it's called "The Chipmunk Song," not "The Christmas Song."

Hit Version:  Alvin And The Chipmunks (1958) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Christmas, Christmas time is near, time for toys and time for cheer. We've been good, but we can't last. Hurry Christmas, hurry fast. Want a plane that loops the loop. Me, I want a hula hoop. We can hardly stand the wait. Please Christmas, don't be late."
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was originally performed by Darlene Love on the 1963 album "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector." Love has performed the song on the Christmas episode of the "Late Show With David Letterman" every year since 1986. Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. A Very Special Christmas Vol. 1

Hit Version:  Mariah Carey (1994) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  U2 (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Christmas, the snow's coming down. Christmas, I'm watching it fall. Christmas, lots of people around. Christmas, baby please come home. They're singing 'Deck The Halls,' but it's not like Christmas at all. 'Cause I remember when you were here, and all the fun we had last year."
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Christmas Attic The song "Christmas Canon" takes its tune from one of the most familiar melodies of all time - Johann Pachelbel's "Canon In D" - and adds Christmas lyrics sung by a children's choir. From the 1998 album "The Christmas Attic." Not to be confused with "Christmas Canon Rock" from their 2004 album "The Lost Christmas Eve."

Hit Version:  Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1998) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas. The joy that He brings. This night we pray, our lives will show. This dream He had, each child still knows. We are waiting, we have not forgotten. On this night, on this night, on this very Christmas night."
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve And Other Stories The hard rock medley "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" combines "Carol Of The Bells" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." First released by the band Savatage on their 1995 concept album "Dead Winter Dead." Savatage members formed Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who re-released the song the following year on their 1996 debut album "Christmas Eve And Other Stories."

Hit Version:  Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1996) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  None (instrumental)
The Christmas Shoes Christian vocal group NewSong released "The Christmas Shoes" on their 2000 album "Sheltering Tree" as a bonus track. In 2002 the story inspired a bestselling book by Donna VanLiere and a made-for-TV movie starring Rob Lowe.

Hit Version:  Newsong (2000) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, sir? Daddy says there's not much time. You see she's been sick for quite a while, and I know these shoes would make her smile. And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight."
Nat King Cole Only one Christmas song is called "The Christmas Song," and this is it. The classic of all Christmas classics, it was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944, and made famous by the Nat King Cole Trio in 1946.

Hit Version:  Nat King Cole (1946) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Frank Sinatra (1957) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, and folks dressed up like eskimos... And so I'm offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two. Although its been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you."
The traditional Christmas carol "Deck The Halls" existed long before it was first published in 1881. The author of the words is unknown, and the tune dates as far back as the 1500s.

The most frequently played version of this song is an instrumental.

Hit Version (Instrumental):  Mannheim Steamroller (1984) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la. 'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la. Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la, la la la, la la la. Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, fa la la la la, la la la la."
The song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money and awareness for Ethiopian famine relief. The cause and the superstar ensemble they called Band Aid (featuring artists like Phil Collins, U2, Sting and Paul McCartney) helped the song become an instant hit.

Hit Version:  Band Aid (1984) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you. Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time. Feed the world, do they know it's Christmas time at all? And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they'll get this year is life. Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow. Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"
Bing Crosby "Do You Hear What I Hear?" was written by the husband and wife team of Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne in 1962.

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Whitney Houston (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Said the night wind to the little lamb, 'Do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see? A star, a star, dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite...' Said the king to the people everywhere, 'Listen to what I say. Pray for peace, people everywhere. Listen to what I say. The child, the child, sleeping in the night, He will bring us goodness and light."
Whether you want to or not, you just can't get this song out of your head once you hear it. Written by blind Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano, "Feliz Navidad" means "Merry Christmas" in Spanish.

Hit Version:  José Feliciano (1970) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad (Spanish to English translation: Merry Christmas, prosperous year and happiness). I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart."
"Noël" is French for "Christmas." "The First Noël" is the first Christmas - when Jesus was born. "Nowell" (as it is sometimes spelled in English) may also be from the old French word "noio" meaning "new," and "helle" meaning "light" referring to the winter solstice around December 21 - when sunlight begins overtaking darkness.

Hit Version:  Andy Williams (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "The first 'Noel' the angels did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay. In fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's night that was so deep. Noel, noel, noel, noel. Born is the King of Israel."
Frosty The Snowman The story of "Frosty The Snowman" was written in 1950, one year after "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." Gene Autry (The Singing Cowboy) made both songs famous. Music by Walter "Jack" Rollins, lyrics by Steve Nelson. This songwriting duo had been responsible for creating the Easter character Peter Cottontail the year before. Frosty was the subject of a 1969 animated television special by Rankin-Bass, narrated by Jimmy Durante.

Hit Version:  Ronettes (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Jimmy Durante (1969) Unfortunately, the hit version is not available in the iTunes or Amazon mp3 stores. You can find it on the 1969 album "Rudolph, Frosty & Friends Favorite Christmas Songs," available at AmazonAmazon or on the internet if you know where to look.

Sample Lyric:  "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head he began to dance around. Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump, look at Frosty go. Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump, over the hills of snow."
Barenaked For The Holidays First published in 1833, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" had been sung for at least 100 years before. Author unknown. This is the carol in the 1843 Charles Dickens story "A Christmas Carol." "...at the first sound of 'God bless you merry, gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!' Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action, that the singer fled in terror..."

The Barenaked Ladies version also features the song "We Three Kings" (below).

Hit Version (Instrumental):  Mannheim Steamroller (1984) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 
Hit Version:  Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan (1998) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  See also "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1996)

Sample Lyric:  "God rest ye merry, gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas day to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray. O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. O tidings of comfort and joy."
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer The Christmas novelty hit "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" became a nationwide smash in 1984, five years after its original release. Written by Randy Brooks in 1977, performed by the husband and wife duo of Elmo and Patsy Shropshire.

Hit Version:  Elmo & Patsy (1979) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "It's not Christmas without Grandma. All the family's dressed in black, and we just can't help but wonder, should we open up her gifts or send them back? Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas eve. You can say there's no such thing as Santa, but as for me and Grandpa, we believe."
See "What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)" (below)
Amy Grant The touching song "Grown-Up Christmas List" was first recorded by David Foster and Natalie Cole in 1990. Made a hit in 1992 by Amy Grant. Sometimes called "My Grown-Up Christmas List." Words by Linda Thompson-Jenner, music by David Foster.

Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1992) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 
Hit Version:  Michael Buble (2003) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts. Everyone would have a friend, that right would always win, and love would never end. This is my grown-up Christmas list. What is this illusion called the innocence of youth? Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth."
"Hallelujah" is the name of a chorus in George Frideric Handel's 1741 composition "Messiah." Originally performed at Easter, it is now most often performed at Christmas.

Hit Version:  Robert Shaw Chorale (1976) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He shall reign forever and ever. King of kings, and Lord of lords. Hallelujah!"
The song "Happy Holiday" was written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 film "Holiday Inn," the same movie that introduced the classic "White Christmas." The other song in this medley, "The Holiday Season," was written by Kay Thompson.
Andy Williams
Hit Version:  Andy Williams (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  See also "Caroling, Caroling/Happy Holiday" by Johnny Mathis (1986)

Sample Lyric (Happy Holiday):  "Happy holiday, happy holiday. While the merry bells keep ringing, may your every wish come true. Happy holiday, happy holiday. May the calendar keep bringing happy holidays to you."

Sample Lyric (The Holiday Season):  "He'll have a big fat pack upon his back, and lots of goodies for you and me. So leave a peppermint stick for old St. Nick hanging on the Christmas tree. It's the holiday season, so hoop-de-do and dickory dock, and don't forget to hang up your sock, 'cause just exactly at twelve o'clock, he'll be coming down the chimney down."
John Lennon Pronounced "Happy Christmas," "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" was written in protest of the Vietnam War, and has since become a Christmas standard. The children singing were from the Harlem Community Choir.

Hit Version:  John Lennon (1971) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun. And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun. The near and the dear ones, the old and the young. A very merry Christmas, and a happy new year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear. (War is over, if you want it. War is over now.)"
Amy Grant The words to the hymn, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" were written by Charles Wesley (brother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church) in 1739. In those days, it was left to the person leading the singing to choose the music. The tune we use today is based on a chorus composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840, part of his "Festival Song," to commemorate the invention of the printing press.

Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1983) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Hark the herald angels sing, 'Glory to the newborn King!' Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies. With the angelic host proclaim, 'Christ is born in Bethlehem.' Hark! The herald angels sing, 'Glory to the newborn King!'"
Frank Sinatra The song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" first appeared in the 1944 film musical "Meet Me In St. Louis." YouTubeYouTube  Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, performed in the movie by Judy Garland. The lyrics in the original film version are a little dark and depressing, so Frank Sinatra requested that Hugh Martin "jolly up the lyrics" for his version - a happier version which has now become the standard.

Hit Version:  Frank Sinatra (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Pretenders (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light. From now on, our troubles will be out of sight... Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore. Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more. Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow. Hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now."
Also called "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)," with words by Gene Autry, music by Oakley Haldeman. Autry was inspired to write this song after riding his horse in the 1946 Christmas Parade, as the crowds chanted "Here comes Santa Claus."

Hit Version:  Elvis Presley (1957) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Have a holly, jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year. I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer... Oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me."
Burl Ives The song "A Holly Jolly Christmas" first appeared in the 1964 stop motion animation television special by Rankin/Bass, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." It was performed by Sam The Snowman, voiced by folk singer Burl Ives. Written by Johnny Marks, who was also responsible for the songs "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Hit Version:  Burl Ives (1964) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Have a holly, jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year. I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer... Oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me."
Perry Como Published in 1954, the pop song "(There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays," was popularized by Perry Como, who recorded it in 1954 and again in 1959. Music by Robert Allen, lyrics by Al Stillman.

Hit Version:  Perry Como (1959) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Carpenters (1970) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific. Oh there's no place like home for the holidays, 'cause no matter how far away you roam, if you want to be happy in a million ways, for the holidays, you can't beat home, sweet home."
The silly Christmas song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was written by Tommie Connor and first performed by thirteen-year-old Jimmy Boyd in 1952. The song was banned by some radio stations over the implication of a married woman having an affair, especially at Christmas. The ban was lifted when it was explained that the person in question was really daddy - dressed up like Santa.

Hit Version:  John Mellencamp (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe last night. She didn't see me creep down the stairs to have a peep, she thought that I was tucked up in my bedroom fast asleep. Then I saw mommy tickle Santa Claus underneath his beard so snowy white. What a laugh it would have been if daddy had only seen mommy kissing Santa Claus last night."
I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas The Christmas novelty song "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" was written by John Rox and performed by ten-year-old Gayla Peevey, a regional child star in Oklahoma City. Due to publicity created by the Oklahoma City Zoo, Gayla did indeed get her Christmas wish, a baby hippo named Matilda, which she promptly donated to the zoo.

Hit Version:  Gayla Peevey (1953) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs. Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes to see a hippo hero standing there. I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, only a hippopotamus will do. No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses. I only like hippopotamuseses. And hippopotamuses like me too."
Bing Crosby The song "I'll Be Home For Christmas" was especially meaningful for the time when it was written, during World War II. Music by Walter Kent, lyrics by James "Kim" Gannon.

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1943) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Carpenters (1978) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Josh Groban (2007) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents under the tree. Christmas Eve will find me where the love light beams. I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams."
The standard "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" was written and composed by "The Music Man" author Meredith Willson in 1951. First a hit for Perry Como, the two versions below receive the most airplay today.

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1951) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Johnny Mathis (1986) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go. Take a look in the five and ten, glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes aglow... It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, soon the bells will start. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart."
Johnny Mathis Long before Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" combined elements of Halloween and Christmas, the 1963 song "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" did it with the lyrics, "There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago." Words by Eddie Pola and music by George Wyle.

Hit Version:  Andy Williams (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Johnny Mathis (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1992) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "It's the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you, 'Be of good cheer.' It's the most wonderful time of the year."
"Jingle Bell Rock" was written by Joe Beal and Jim Boothe and originally performed by Bobby Helms in 1957. Brenda Lee (see "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" below) also recorded a version in 1964.

Hit Version:  Bobby Helms (1957) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "What a bright time, it's the right time to rock the night away. Jingle bell time is a swell time to go gliding in a one-horse sleigh. Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet, jingle around the clock. Mix and a-mingle in the jingling beat. That's the jingle bell, that's the jingle bell, that's the jingle bell rock."
Originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh," the song "Jingle Bells" is one of the best known and commonly sung secular Christmas songs. Words and music by James Lord Pierpont.
Jingle Bells
The hit version by Barenaked Ladies includes the popular children's verse about Batman, Robin and the Joker.

Hit Version:  Frank Sinatra (1957) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Barenaked Ladies (2004) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh, over the fields we go, laughing all the way. Bells on bob tail ring, making spirits bright. What fun it is to laugh and sing a sleighing song tonight. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh."

Sample Lyric (Batman Verse):  "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. The Batmobile lost its wheel, and the Joker got away."
Jolly Old St. Nicholas The exact origin of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" is a mystery, although it has been suggested that it was written by Benjamin Hanby, author of "Up On The Housetop" (below), since the songs are from the same period and have a similar style of music and lyrics.

Hit Version:  Ray Conniff (1962) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Jolly old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way. Don't you tell a single soul what I'm going to say. Christmas Eve is coming soon, now you dear old man, whisper what you'll bring to me, tell me if you can... Johnny wants a pair of skates, Susie wants a dolly. Nellie wants a story book, she thinks dolls are folly. As for me, my little brain isn't very bright. Choose for me, old Santa Claus, what you think is right."
The words to the traditional Christmas carol "Joy To The World" were written in 1719 by Isaac Watts. In 1836, Lowell Mason wrote the music based in part on melodies from George Frideric Handel's 1741 oratorio "Messiah" (see "Hallelujah Chorus" above).
Joy To The World
Mariah Carey's 1994 hit version also includes the chorus (with slightly altered lyrics) from another, different song called "Joy To The World," a number one hit by the band Three Dog Night in 1971.

Hit Version:  Mariah Carey (1994) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing."

Sample Lyric (Three Dog Night chorus):  "Joy to the world, all the boys and girls. Joy to the people everywhere you see, joy to you and me."
Wham! "Last Christmas" was written and performed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of the British pop duo Wham! in 1984. Released the same year as "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid (above).

Hit Version:  Wham! (1984) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special."
Andy Williams "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" is a popular Christmas song, despite the lyrics never mentioning Christmas. Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn.

Hit Version:  Andy Williams (1965) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Michael Buble (2003) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. It doesn't show signs of stopping, and I've bought some corn for popping. The lights are turned way down low. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
The Little Drummer Boy Words and music for "The Little Drummer Boy" were written by Katherine K. Davis in 1941. Also known as "Carol Of The Drum," it tells the story of a little boy who wishes to honor the newborn King, but realizes he has nothing to give. So the little boy gives the baby Jesus the only thing he has - the gift of himself, and his ability to play his drum. Rankin-Bass produced a stop motion animated Christmas television special based on the story in 1968.

Hit Version:  The Harry Simeone Chorale (1958) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 
Hit Version:  See also "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" by David Bowie and Bing Crosby (1977)

Sample Lyric:  "Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum. A newborn King to see, pa rum pum pum pum. Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum. To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum."
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick" first appeared on the 1964 album "The Beach Boys' Christmas Album."

Hit Version:  The Beach Boys (1964) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Well, way up North where the air gets cold, there's a tale about Christmas that you've all been told, and a real famous cat all dressed up in red, and he spends the whole year workin' out on his sled. It's the little Saint Nick... Run, run reindeer. You don't miss no one. Merry Christmas Saint Nick. Christmas comes this time each year."
Mele Kalikimaka Written by Hawaiian composer R.Alex Anderson, the Christmas novelty song "Mele Kalikimaka" was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1950. "Mele Kalikimaka" is Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas." Pronounced "MELL-ee kuh-LEE-kee-MAW-kuh."

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1950) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "'Mele Kalikimaka' is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. That's the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway. Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright, the sun to shine by day and all the stars at night. Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say 'Merry Christmas' to you."
Carpenters A #1 single in 1970, 1971, and 1973, "Merry Christmas Darling" finally appeared on an album in 1978, the Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait." Written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler, performed by Karen Carpenter.

Hit Version:  Carpenters (1970) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Greeting cards have all been sent. The Christmas rush is through. But I still have one wish to make, a special one for you. Merry Christmas darling. We're apart that's true. But I can dream and in my dreams I'm Christmasing with you... Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, darling."
My Favorite Things From the 1965 film "The Sound Of Music," based on the 1959 Broadway musical of the same name. References to "warm woolen mittens," "silver white winters," and "packages tied up with strings" have made "My Favorite Things" a holiday standard, even though in the story it is performed during a summer rainstorm. Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein.

Hit Version:  Julie Andrews (1965) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things... When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad."
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1892 ballet "The Nutcracker" was based on Alexandre Dumas' 1844 adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's original 1816 story, "Nutcracker And Mouse King." The story takes place on Christmas Eve, and so the ballet is performed around Christmas time. The most famous piece from this ballet is the "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy".

Hit Version:  Boston Pops (1956) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  None (instrumental)
Tchaikovsky, who was Russian himself, based the "Russian Dance" (also called "Trepak") on a Ukrainian folk dance.

Hit Version:  Boston Pops (1956) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  None (instrumental)
A Charlie Brown Christmas "Tannenbaum" is German for "fir tree," and "O Christmas Tree" was written in 1824 by German Ernst Anschütz. The melody comes from a traditional German tune.

The jazz trio instrumental version of "O Tannenbaum" by pianist Vince Guaraldi appeared on the 1965 Peanuts special "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Hit Version:  Boston Pops (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 
Hit Version (Instrumental):  Vince Guaraldi Trio (1965) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  (Because these lyrics are translated from the original German, they differ greatly from version to version.) "O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches. Not only green when summer's here, but in the coldest time of year. O Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches."
"Adeste Fideles" is Latin for "O Come, All Ye Faithful", the first line of the Christmas hymn written by John Francis Wade in 1743. Translated from Latin to English by Frederick Oakeley in 1841.

Hit Version:  Josh Groban (2007) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of angels. O come, let us adore Him. O come, let us adore Him. O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."
Celine Dion Called "Cantique de Noël" in French, "O Holy Night" was composed by Adolphe Adam, words by Placide Cappeau.

Hit Version:  Celine Dion (1998) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior's birth... A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angels' voices. Oh night divine. Oh night when Christ was born."
The Christmas carol "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" was written by Phillips Brooks, music by Lewis Redner.

Hit Version:  Nat King Cole (1963) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting Light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."
See "O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)" (above)
The medley "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" by the unlikely duo of David Bowie And Bing Crosby was first performed for Bing Crosby's 1977 Christmas television special. Bing Crosby sings the more traditional "Little Drummer Boy," while David Bowie sings "Peace On Earth," a new song written for the special by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan.

Hit Version:  David Bowie And Bing Crosby (1977) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric (Peace On Earth):  "Peace on earth, can it be? Years from now, perhaps we'll see. See the day of glory, see the day, when men of good will live in peace, live in peace again... Every child must be made aware. Every child must be made to care. Care enough for his fellow man, to give all the love that he can... Peace on earth, can it be?"

Sample Lyric (Little Drummer Boy):  See "Little Drummer Boy" (above)
Charles Brown and Glenn Redd wrote "Please Come Home For Christmas" in 1960, and the Eagles made it a hit in 1978. Not to be confused with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" (above).

Hit Version:  Eagles (1978) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Bells will be ringing the glad, glad news. Oh what a Christmas to have the blues. My baby's gone, I have no friends, to wish me greetings once again. Choirs will be singing 'Silent Night,' Christmas carols by candlelight. Please come home for Christmas. Please come home for Christmas. If not for Christmas, by New Year's night."
Amy Grant The song "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks, who also wrote "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Holly Jolly Christmas." Interestingly enough, these three songs also share the same musical structure and chord progressions, along with another two songs not by Marks, "Frosty The Snowman" and "Jingle Bell Rock."

Hit Version:  Brenda Lee (1953) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1987) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Rockin' around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop. Mistletoe hung where you can see, every couple tries to stop... You will get a sentimental feeling, when you hear voices singing, 'let's be jolly, deck the halls with boughs of holly.'"
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The "ugly duckling" type story of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as a Christmas promotional handout for department store Montgomery Ward. It was adapted for a song by his brother-in-law Johnny Marks in 1949. The Rankin-Bass stop motion animated Christmas special of the same name first aired December 6, 1964 and has aired every year since.

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1950) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Burl Ives (1964) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games."
Santa Baby A humorous take on a Christmas wish list, "Santa Baby" was written by Joan Javits, Philip Springer, and Tony Springer in 1953. Usually sung in the style of a breathy Marilyn Monroe or Betty Boop, the song has been recorded by Kylie Minogue and others. (By the way, Marilyn Monroe never recorded it.)

Hit Version:  Eartha Kitt (1953) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Madonna (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Santa Baby, just slip a sable under the tree for me. Been an awful good girl Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight... Come and trim my Christmas tree with some decorations bought at Tiffany's. I really do believe in you, let's see if you believe in me, Santa Baby."
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town The Christmas song "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" (sometimes with Coming changed to Comin') made its radio debut in November 1934. The song was instantly popular, selling 400,000 copies of sheet music by Christmas. Music by John Frederick Coots, lyrics by Haven Gillespie. The song inspired a 1970 stop motion television special by Rankin-Bass, with Fred Astaire as S.D. (Special Delivery) Kluger, the narrator.

Hit Version:  Bruce Springsteen (1985) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list, and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."
Silent Night Originally written in German, "Silent Night" was called "Stille Nacht." Words by Josef Mohr, music by Franz Xaver Gruber.

Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1999) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. 'Round yon' virgin, mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace."
Kenny G A Christmas classic, "Silver Bells" first appeared in the 1951 film "The Lemon Drop Kid." Music by Jay Livingston, lyrics by Ray Evans. Inspired in part by the Salvation Army bell ringers outside department stores during the Christmas shopping season.

Hit Version (Instrumental):  Kenny G (1994) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Martina McBride (1998) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "City sidewalk, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there's a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile. And on every street corner you'll hear silver bells, silver bells. It's Christmas time in the city. Ring-a-ling, hear them ring, soon it will be Christmas day."
"Sleigh Ride" was first written as an instrumental by Leroy Anderson in 1946. Lyrics were added by Mitchell Parish in 1948.

Hit Version:  Johnny Mathis (1958) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version (Instrumental):  Leroy Anderson (1959) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  Amy Grant (1983) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too. Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling, 'yoo hoo.' Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you."
Elton John The song "Step Into Christmas" was a holiday hit for Elton John in 1973.

Hit Version:  Elton John (1973) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Welcome to my Christmas song, I'd like to thank you for the year... Step into Christmas, let's join together. We can watch the snow fall forever and ever. Eat, drink and be merry, come along with me. Step into Christmas, the admission's free."
See "(There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays" (above)
John Denver The classic Christmas carol "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" was first published in 1864, although both the tune and the words existed earlier. What are the twelve days of Christmas? They are evening of Christmas Day (December 25) through the morning of Epiphany (January 6).

Hit Version:  John Denver & The Muppets (1979) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree."
Gene Autry Written by Benjamin Hanby in 1864, "Up On The Housetop" was published the following year and became a pop standard at Christmas. This song is one of the first entirely secular Christmas songs composed in the United States, and the first popular American song about Santa Claus. Recently recorded by Kimberley Locke on her 2005 album "Christmas."

Hit Version:  Gene Autry (1953) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Up on the housetop reindeer pause, out jumps good old Santa Claus. Down through the chimney with lots of toys, all for the little ones, Christmas joys. Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go? Up on the housetop, click, click, click. Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick."
Angela Lansbury sang "We Need A Little Christmas" in the 1966 Broadway musical "Mame," to cheer up her family, a role reprised by Lucille Ball in the 1974 film. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Also performed by Percy Faith And His Orchestra.

Hit Version:  Percy Faith (1966) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  The New Christy Minstrels (1966) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Haul out the holly, put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stockings, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now. For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, we need a little Christmas now."
We Three Kings Pittsburgh-born John Henry Hopkins, Jr. wrote the words and the music to "We Three Kings (Of Orient Are)" in 1857. The kings represent the three gifts the magi (wise men) offered to the baby Jesus - gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Barenaked Ladies version also features the song "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (above).

Hit Version:  Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan (1998) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts. We traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light."
Martina McBride William Chatterton Dix wrote the words to "What Child Is This?" in 1865, and set the words to the traditional English tune "Greensleeves," which has been around since at least 1580.

Hit Version:  Martina McBride (1998) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "What child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing. Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, the babe, the son of Mary."
A Very Special Christmas Vol. 2 Written by Anna Gordy Gaye, George Gordy and Allen Story, "What Christmas Means To Me" was originally performed by Stevie Wonder on his 1967 Christmas album, "Someday at Christmas." It has since been done by Hanson, the Olsen Twins, and Jessica Simpson.

Hit Version:  Paul Young (1992) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 

Sample Lyric:  "Candles burning, lots of mistletoe. Lots of snow and ice, everywhere we go. Choir singing carols, right outside my door. All these things and more, that's what Christmas means to me my love."
Where Are You, Christmas? The song "Where Are You, Christmas?" is from the 2000 film, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," based on 1957 book and 1966 animated feature of the same name. Written by James Horner, Mariah Carey, and Will Jennings.

Hit Version:  Faith Hill (2000) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon  YouTubeYouTube 

Sample Lyric:  "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? Why have you gone away? Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play? My world is changing, I'm rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes too?"
When Irving Berlin wrote this song, he exclaimed to his secretary, "I just wrote the best song I've ever written... the best song that anybody's ever written!" The funny thing is, he was right. Since appearing in the 1942 movie musical "Holiday Inn," "White Christmas" has become the best-selling single and best-selling song of all time, in any category, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.
  Home Alone
The version of "White Christmas" by Clyde McPhatter And The Drifters has been popular with mainstream audiences ever since it appeared in the 1990 Christmas movie "Home Alone" and the 1994 film "The Santa Clause." Elvis Presley heavily copied the Drifters arrangement for his own version of the song.

Hit Version:  Bing Crosby (1942) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 
Hit Version:  The Drifters (1954) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow."
A 1934 song with music by Felix Bernard and lyrics by Richard Smith, "Winter Wonderland" is a pop standard that has been performed by many diverse artists over the years. Even though the song doesn't mention Christmas, it is one of the most played Christmas songs every year.

Hit Version:  Eurythmics (1987) iTunesiTunes  AmazonAmazon 
Hit Version:  Johnny Mathis (1958) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland."
Paul McCartney The song "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney is one of two songs on Santa Pop by a former Beatle, the other being John Lennon's 1971 Christmas hit "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." A little trivia for you - the cheesy 80s synthesizer you hear in the song is a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5.

Hit Version:  Paul McCartney (1979) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "The moon is right, the spirits up. We're here tonight, and that's enough. Simply having a wonderful Christmas time. The party's on, the feeling's here, that only comes this time of year."
You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch The Christmas novelty song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" originally appeared in the 1966 animated feature "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," with lyrics by Dr. Seuss and music by Albert Hague. It was performed by an uncredited Thurl Ravenscroft (not by Boris Karloff, who was narrator and speaking voice of the Grinch). Jim Carrey sings the version from the 2000 film, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Hit Version:  Thurl Ravenscroft (1966) iTunesiTunes  Amazon mp3Amazon mp3 

Sample Lyric:  "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel. You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch. You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel."
       
Santa Pop features the most popular Christmas music songs of all time based on airplay, sales and independent research. Because everyone deserves to have a Christmas - just like the ones they used to know.

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