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A Definitive Ranking Of Christmas Carols, From Worst To Best

Getting down to the tunes in Mass.

CHRISTMAS MASS IS special in many ways – not least because it’s your chance to belt out classic Christmas carols.

We at take carols very seriously, which is why we’ve ranked the most well-known Christmas carols from worst to best. Just for you, this Christmas.

16. Good King Wenceslas

Megan Smith / YouTube

It’s all great fun until you get to “Deep and crisp and eeeee-ven”. After that it just gets boring.

15.We Three Kings Of Orient Are

One of those songs that tricks you – every time you think it’s over, there’s another verse lying in wait. No.

14. The First Noel

spiritdei / YouTube

Noel, Noel, Noeeee-eel, Noel… *checks watch*

13. Little Donkey

This ’60s-tastic carol is probably best left to the kids.

12. O Little Town of Bethlehem

camusik96 / YouTube

This carol is pretty dull up until the very end, when the organ kicks in and startles every Mass-goer thinking they could get away with dozing off.

11. Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark the Herald Angels Sing WISHES it was as catchy as Angels We Have Heard on High. Just saying.

10. Once in Royal David’s City

spiritdei / YouTube

It all goes downhill a bit after the opening solo, but what a solo it is.

9. Carol of the Bells

This infamously difficult carol is the bane of choirs across the world at Christmas, but even they can’t deny it sounds awesome.

Unfortunately ruined for some by an extremely annoying ad for a sat nav.

8. Deck The Halls

Mormon Tabernacle Choir / YouTube

One of the oldest carols (the melody dates back to the sixteenth century) and one of the best. ‘Tis the season to be jolly!

7. Ding Dong Merrily On High

The first of the carols on this list to have a crazy long ‘Gloria’ in place of a chorus – Ding Dong Merrily On High also features the some spectacularly nonsensical lyrics.

E’en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And “Io, io, io!”
By priest and people sungen.

Um, pretty sure ‘swungen’ and ‘sungen’ aren’t words, carol-writer bro.

6. Joy to the World

Mormon Tabernacle Choir / YouTube

What a romper.

Everyone under the age of 35 will probably only be able to think of The Simpsons’ re-wording of it. Every time.

And the top five…

5. Away In A Manger

spiritdei / YouTube

There are lots of good memories wrapped up in this one, of school nativities and Christmas plays. One for the kiddies.

4. Angels We Have Heard On High

The fun of this carol is in trying to gather enough breath to sing that exceptionally long ‘gloria’. All together now: GLOOOoooOOOoooOOOoooOOOria!

3. Silent Night

Comforting, traditional, one everybody can sing along to. And that history!

2. O Holy Night

“Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall on your kneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees…”

Guaranteed to bring a tear to a mammy’s eye, every time.

1. Adeste Fideles

primaveraqueen / YouTube

This classic carol is usually reserved for the end of Mass, and what a belter it is. Bonus points if you have the Latin down pat.

More: A Definitive Ranking Of Christmas Songs, From Worst To Best>

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