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32 iconic Christmas songs, ranked from worst to best

Is your favourite here?

32. Ronan Keating – Fairytale of New York 

Source: steveh31/YouTube

In which Ronan Keating assumes his best “Oirish” accent and ill-advisedly covers one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time.

A travesty and an abomination.

Moving on.

31. Bo Selecta – Proper Crimbo Can Christmas songs be described as “scaldy”? Because that’s the only word we can think to describe this fairly sorry attempt at a “gas” Christmas tune. 

30. Mr. Hankey – Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo The worst thing about Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo is that it’s actually extremely catchy. Unfortunately, it’s literally a Christmas song about the texture of shite, so you can’t listen to it if you’re above the age of 10.

29. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine You know when your religion teacher tries to jazz up a hymn to make it sound fun/catchy, but it still just sounds like a hymn? That’s what Mistletoe and Wine is like. 

28. Mud – Lonely This Christmas A song that has the potential to make you weep into a glass of Baileys if you’re any way tired and emotional. Not exactly cheery stuff. 

27. Dustin The Turkey – Christmas Tree “I wonder how, I wonder why, Santa and the reindeer are able to fly”. We’re not gonna lie — there’s something very cheery/endearing about Dustin’s off-key singing, but it’s just not *quite* up there with the rest. 

26. Various – Baby, It’s Cold Outside Once upon a time, this was a classic, but its legacy has since been tarnished by the realisation that it’s actually very creepy. (“Say, what’s in this drink?” Yikes.)

25. The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) Heard your Da really likes this one.

24. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 

bruce Source: BruceSpringsteenVEVO/YouTube

It’s frankly astonishing that Bruce Springsteen ever got away with this song because he sounds (a) constipated and (b) like your drunk uncle at a wedding.

23. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime Basically the musical equivalent of those people who are like, “I have all my shopping done!” on December 5th. Completely and utterly maddening.

22. Run DMC – Christmas In Hollis Highly underrated Christmas jam with a pretty special video to boot.

21. Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas A good slow Christmas song for when you’re feeling too full from eating too much turkey and Viennetta. “Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh…”

20. Aled Jones – Walking In The Air Banger. (Even if it always makes us freak out about not posting our Christmas cards in time.)

19. Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling *drunkenly waves arms in the air* LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.

18. Elton John – Step Into Christmas Makes us want to put on a pair of novelty sunglasses and dance around the Christmas tree.

17. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas Controversial opinion, but Driving Home For Christmas sounds like music you listen to while waiting to talk to a customer representative on the phone. #zing

16. Nat King Cole - Christmas Song Does any other song better encapsulate the magic of Christmas and make you pine for a bit of snow? We think not.

15. Brenda Lee – Jingle Bell Rock *immediately breaks into Mean Girls routine*

14. Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody


A song that either inspires feelings of rage and pleas to turn it off or feelings of pure, unadulterated Christmas joy.

Never anything in between.

13. The Jackson 5 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Puts Bruce’s version to shame.

12. The Pretenders – 2000 Miles Lovely and faintly melancholy antidote to every other Christmas song out there.

11. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree An absolute cracker, to be fair.

10. Eartha Kitt/Madonna/Kylie Minogue – Santa Baby Sure, there’s something a bit disconcerting about a woman flirting with Santa Claus, but can you imagine going through the festive season without hearing Santa Baby? 

9. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone *trumpet solo*

8. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry Sure, it might technically be a protest song, but few songs inspire as much fuzzy festive feelings as Stop The Cavalry. *parum-pum-pum-pum-pum-pum*

7. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping So sassy, so festive. Should be played at every Christmas disco. 

6. Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday One of those songs that makes you forget about all the stress and hassle of Christmas shopping/cooking the turkey/spending prolonged periods of time with your extended family, and reminds you of just how wonderful Christmas really is.

5. East 17 – Stay Another Day 

coats Source: YouTube

If only for the lads’ iconic white jackets.


4. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? But only the 1984 version, obvs. (Although we have to give a shout to Dizzee Rascal’s verse on the 2004 cover.)

3. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You The one Christmas song we all insist on belting out even if we don’t have a note in our head. “I-i-i-i-i don’t want a lot for Christmas…” Bow down, Mariah.

2. Wham! – Last Christmas A perfect pop song in every way and one that makes us want to go on a ski holiday with friends to gossip about our ex. Love, love, love. (Shout out to George Michael’s incredible hair as well.) 

1. The Pogues feat. Kirsty McColl – Fairytale of New York

bells Source: YouTube

If Ireland had an official Christmas anthem, this would be it. It’s bawdy, it plucks at your heartstrings and it’s basically made for singing in pubs — the kind of song you miss hearing when you’re away from home at Christmas.

“And the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day…”

The best.


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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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