'All I Want For Christmas' named best carol of all time

It was a tough competition for the top Christmas spot. Source: Pixabay.

With top hits from some of the biggest names in music released over the years, everyone has their own favourite Christmas song or carol to sing along to.

But now an academic study has named the UK’s most popular Christmas song of all time – and it may come as a surprise to many.

Despite strong competition from Wham!, The Pogues, Wizzard and more, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ took the top spot.

But would it still be number one worldwide?

A study, spanning an incredible nine years of statistics, looked at how often songs were bought and streamed during the Christmas period in the UK, the Conversation reports.

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Read more: What’s your favourite Christmas carol?

Carey’s hit got an extra boost when it was performed in popular movie Love Actually, and it narrowly beat Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

The University of Glasgow’s Dr Craig Anderson compiled a top 20 and found all but three of the favourites were written more than two decades ago.

Writing for the Conversation, Dr Anderson, said: “The highest placed new song on the list was Michael Buble’s It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, which placed in ninth – and even that is a cover of an older song.

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“The first brand new song is Coldplay’s Christmas Lights, which placed 13th on our list. When Slade sang: ‘Does your granny always tell you, that the old songs are the best?’, it seems as though she was right.”

Anderson found that Carey’s hit appeared in the UK Top 100 in every single week, while The Pogues’ did so for all but two weeks. 

Read more: Christmas carols might actually be good for your health

His team used a points system to determine the results, and allocated a song 10 points for every week in the Top 10, five points for every additional week in the Top 20, two points for each additional week in the Top 40 and one point for each additional week in the Top 100.

The figures were adjusted to account for post-2007 release dates, ensuring newer songs were not discriminated against.

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Anderson explained: “Where there was a tie in the number of points, the song which reached the highest chart position was placed highest.”

Wizzard’s I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday, Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody and Last Christmas by Wham! made up the rest of the top five.

Meanwhile, also making the top ten were Shakin’ Stevens, Band Aid, Chris Rea, Michael Buble and Brenda Lee.

More songs gaining top marks included Elton John’s Step Into Christmas and Santa Baby by Kylie Minogue, as well as Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime.

What is your favourite Christmas song? Has it changed over the years?