Christmas Number 1's

Christmas Number 1’s Through the Years

This year for our Christmas article, we thought we would take a trip through history and have a look at the history of the Christmas Number 1. We are going all the way back to the very first Christmas Number 1 right up to the last official Christmas Number 1 and look forward to what could be this year’s success. Maybe you could comment and tell us what the first Christmas Number 1 in your life was, or which Christmas Number 1 means something to you for whatever reason.

At this time of year, we all love spending time with family and loved ones, providing them with presents as well as in some cases our presence. It’s a time filled with love and joy, and a part of this love and joy comes through the music that we hear at this time.

To start our look back through the years we go all the way back to the first official recorded Christmas Number 1 which was 1952 this track was called Here in my Heart and performed by Al Martino. This little fact may actually win you a quiz one day! This festive Number 1 isn’t exactly what you would call festive, but it is certainly a tune of its time and has a feel of the great crooners of the era. It stayed at Number 1 for 9 weeks, and is the 7th longest track at Number 1, at the time of writing. You can listen to this Number 1:

Christmas Number 1 – 1952

We move on into 1953 and explore the second official Christmas Number 1, which was performed by Frankie Laine and is entitled Answer Me. This track was originally written in 1952 with German lyrics, before being made into the hit that it became in the UK. It was a controversial song in 1953 as there was a ‘religious’ version which was banned by the BBC, but it managed to hit the top and celebrate Christmas at the top. It is fair to say that the tune is different to that of Al Martino, and it does have a hint of Christmas in the backing track. Want to hear this track?

Christmas Number 1 – 1953

So, we have seen 2 Christmas Number 1s; it is with excitement that we move on to discover what the British people were loving and listening to in 1954. The Christmas Number 1 of 1954 was by Winifred Atwell, who performed the arrangement Let’s Have Another Party. This is a follow-up to Winifred’s Let’s Have A Party of the previous year. It is described as a ragtime composition. It is played by Winifred on the piano, and is made up of a medley of tunes as follows:

Another Little Drink Wouldn’t Do Us Any Harm,
Broken Doll,
Honeysuckle and the Bee,
I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight,
Lily of Laguna,
Nellie Dean,
The Sheik of Araby,
Somebody Stole My Gal,
When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along).

This is the first Christmas Number 1 with no words, and Winifred was the first black person to have a number 1 in the UK.

Christmas Number 1 – 1954

1955 saw Dickie Valentine have the Number 1 spot with the first song about Christmas to get the top spot at this magical time of year. The title of the song is, Christmas Alphabet. This is a very quaint tune, with the spelling of the word CHRISTMAS describing the season, some would describe this as when Christmas was Christmas. Have a listen and see what you think of this Christmas Chart topper:

Christmas Number 1 – 1955

Johnnie Ray took the top spot in the 1956 chart with his tune Just Walkin’ In The Rain. This song was originally disliked by Johnnie Ray, when he finally recorded it, he was accompanied by a whistler and the Ray Conniff Singers. It spent 7 weeks at Number 1 in the UK.

Christmas Number 1 – 1956

Mary’s Boy Child by Harry Belafonte took the coveted spot in 1957. Harry had heard this song sung by a choir and he sought permission to record and release it, whilst he produced 2 versions of the song, the shorter version took the top spot and in doing so became the first Number 1 song to be over 4 minutes long.

The song was then covered in 1978 by Boney M and again got the top spot at Christmas. The Boney M version was a medley with Oh My Lord. You can hear both versions below.

Christmas Number 1 – 1957
Christmas Number 1 – 1978

Onto 1958 we go with the Yuletide top spot sitter that was It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty. This track was Twitty’s only number 1, it’s not a bad Number 1 to achieve as your only ever one is it? Interestingly it is believed that this song was partly written by Twitty on a fire escape outside his hotel room in Ontario trying to escape summer heat!

Christmas Number 1 – 1958

Emile Ford and The Checkmates took the final festive top spot of the ‘50s in 1959 with their track What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For? This doo-wop version was the last Number 1 of the decade and managed to maintain the top spot for the first 3 weeks of the Swinging Sixties.

Christmas Number 1 – 1959

Now ladies and gentlemen, we head into the 1960s and discover the first Christmas Number 1 of the decade. Not only does the person holding this Number 1 get the first festive chart topper of the decade he gets his first of several festive chart-toppers. The man in question off stage is Harry Webb. Have you guessed who this chart topper is yet? Yes, that’s right it’s no other than Cliff Richard with his band, The Shadows, holding the top spot with I Love You. The song stayed at Number 1 for 2 weeks.

Christmas Number 1 – 1960

So, how do you replace Cliff Richard at the top of a Festive chart, well the following year Danny Williams did just that with Moon River. Originally this song was written for Audrey Hepburn to sing in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. The lyrics are reflective of the author, Johnny Mercer’s life in Savannah Georgia, USA, with the waterways and his collecting of huckleberries when he was a child.

Christmas Number 1 – 1961

The King of Rock and Roll took the top spot for Christmas 1962 with his track Return To Sender. This is a song that Elvis sang in the film Girls! Girls! Girls! This song became the first recorded Christmas Number 1 in Ireland as their charts had only begun in the October of 1962.

Christmas Number 1 -1962

The following year saw the first of a consecutive hat-trick for the Fab Four from Liverpool. The lads of course are The Beatles, they secured the top spot at Christmas in 1963, 1964 and 1965 before getting their 4th festive chart topper of the decade, and with it most Number 1s at Christmas of the decade in 1967. I Want To Hold Your Hand was the 1963 chart topper. This track held the top spot for 5 weeks but had 21 weeks inside the UK Top 50 in total. This track however took 2 weeks of entering the charts to hit the summit having to beat the band’s previous single release She Loves You!

Christmas Number 1 – 1963

Of course, you know that the Liverpool Fab 4 had the festive top spot in 1964 and this song was I Feel Fine. The 8th single from the band and their second consecutive festive Number 1, written by John Lennon and credited as a Lennon-McCartney track, another 5-week chart topper for the band.

Christmas Number 1 – 1964

1965 completes the consecutive hat-trick for the Scouse boys, the 3rd festive topper was Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out. As with I Feel Fine it was accredited to Lennon and McCartney, but this time written by McCartney. In a 1980 interview John Lennon recalled, ‘Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But [the song] was kind of … you’re just a weekend hippie. Get it?’ The other fact of note for this track is that it was the first double A-side of note in the UK.

Christmas Number 1 – 1965

As we have already mentioned that The Beatles have the Christmas top spot again in 1967, so what is sandwiched in between? It’s that Welsh crooner, Tom Jones, with his track the Green, Green Grass of Home. Tom Jones was on a trip to New York when he visited Colony Records, and asked if they had anything new from Jerry Lee Lewis, and was given a new album with this song on. He was so impressed that he recorded it and secured his Christmas Number 1 with it, maintaining the top spot for a total of 7 weeks.

Christmas Number 1 – 1966

The Beatles return to the festive top spot in 1967 with their rather confusingly named tune Hello, Goodbye. This track fittingly went to the top of the charts, having been the first release since the death of their manager Brian Epstein. It is written by McCartney and released as the A-side of Lennon’s I Am The Walrus, and Lennon remained dismissive of the track.

Christmas Number 1 – 1967

Racing through the 60s we have gone and found ourselves now at the 1968 tune that took the UK by storm to clinch the 1968 Christmas Number 1. This little ditty was performed by The Scaffold, entitled Lily The Pink, we have to say one of the catchiest Christmas Number 1s since the start of the charts. It is not played as much today as it might be. The song is a modernisation of an older folk song titled The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham. Interesting that the song has some now famous performers on the track including:

Elton John (then Reg Dwight),
Graham Nash (of The Hollies),
Tim Rice, and
Jack Bruce (of Cream) played the Bass.

Christmas Number 1 – 1968

So, we now look at the last festive Number 1 of the 1960s, and in today’s world the song will appear controversial, the festive chart topper belongs to Rolf Harris. The song is Two Little Boys. The original track was written in 1902 and was recorded by Harris in 1969 and became a surprise Number 1, securing 6 weeks at the top, making it the first Number 1 of the next decade. The track is now sung by fans of Hartlepool United and Shamrock Rovers.

Christmas Number 1 – 1969 

Into the decade that has possibly given us the most recognised and played Christmas songs of all time. We will start however with 1970 where we find I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds at the top of the first 1970s festive chart, it held top spot for 6 weeks in the UK. Edmunds plays all but the bass on his version of the song.

Christmas Number 1 – 1970

1971 saw a comedy record achieve a Christmas Number 1. Benny Hill took his song about the Fastest Milkman in the West, Ernie to the festive top spot. The storyline of the song is based on Benny’s experience as a milkman in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Christmas Number 1 – 1971

Little Jimmy Osmond secured the coveted Number 1 spot at Christmas 1972 aged 9 years 8 months, becoming the youngest ever person to make it to Number 1. Long Haired Lover From Liverpool spent 5 weeks at Number 1.

Christmas Number 1 – 1972

1973 brings us to a very famous Christmas song, and obviously we have to say the most famous line:

It’s Christmasssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes ladies and gentleman, the song is by Slade and is Merry Xmas Everybody. The song made Christmas last a long time into February the following year having spent 9 weeks in the chart. There isn’t much that can be added to this song other than to say that it beat Wizzard’s I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday to the top spot.

Christmas Number 1 – 1973

Mud gave us another memorable festive ditty and Number 1 in 1974 their festive offering was Lonely This Christmas. It spent 4 weeks at the top and is sung in the style of Elvis Presley’s slower songs at the end of his career.

Christmas Number 1 – 1974

Halfway through the decade and we find the only Christmas Number 1 to have the accolade twice performed by the original artist. The track is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and took the 1975 and 1991 festive spot, the latter following the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury and as a double A-side with These are the Days of our lives. The track is a full 7 minutes long and the meaning behind the song went to the grave with its author, Freddie Mercury.

Christmas Number 1 – 1975 & 1991
Christmas Number 1 – 1991

Leaping into 1976 we find Johnny Mathis at the top of the festive chart with his tune When A Child Is Born. The song makes no actual mention of Christmas, but with the lines in the middle of the song, where Johnny Mathis is waiting for that ‘one special child, black white, yellow, no one knows, but a child that will grow up….’ suggests the baby Jesus’ birth is awaited. The lyrics then discuss a ‘tiny star’ ‘lights up the way up high’ which would suggest watching the star that led the 3 wise men (Magi) to the birthplace of Jesus in the Nativity.

Christmas Number 1 – 1976

Paul McCartney returns to the top of the Christmas charts in 1977 with his band Wings and the tune Mull of Kintyre, it was written by McCartney in tribute to Kintyre and its headland, The Mull of Kintyre. The song was Wings’ biggest release and has become one of the biggest selling records, including becoming the first record to sell over 2 million in the UK.

Christmas Number 1 – 1977

Pink Floyd’s Brick in the Wall was a 3-part composition on their 1979 rock opera The Wall. Part 2 of the composition became 1979’s Christmas Number 1 and is a song entitled Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2). The song is a protest song against rigid schooling and features a school choir, whose most memorable line is; ‘Hey Teacher, leave those kids alone!’ The song became the band’s only UK number 1 and sold over 4 million copies.

Christmas Number 1 – 1979

We head along now into yet another decade of musical treasure that achieved the one top of the chart spot that every music artist wants to achieve. So what did get the first Christmas Number 1 of 1980, the lucky artist was St. Winifred’s School Choir, with There’s No One Quite Like Grandma. The choir is from a school based in Stockport. In the UK the track demoted John Lennon’s last single, (Just Like) Starting Over, to Number 2. An interesting fact about this tune is that actress Sally Lindsay sang on the original song in 1980.

Christmas Number 1 – 1980

How do you follow a track like There’s No One Quite Like Grandma, well we had to wait 52 weeks to find out the identity of the 1981 Christmas Number 1, with the accolade going to Don’t You Want Me by The Human League. It was number 83 in the overall chart of 1981.

Christmas Number 1 – 1981

Renée and Renato spent 4 weeks at the top of the charts including for 1982’s Christmas Number 1. The song entitled Save Your Love was the first ever totally indie Number 1 and sold in the region of 980,000 copies. The lead female artist didn’t actually feature on the music video of the song, and was instead replaced by a model. The Daily Telegraph has ranked this particular Christmas chart topper as the 5th worst of all time.

Christmas Number 1 -1982

In 1983 The Flying Pickets covered Only You, originally performed and recorded by Yazoo, and The Flying Pickets’ version become more successful than the original. The Flying Pickets performed the song as an a cappella version, and it became the first a cappella song to top the UK charts. It is believed that the song was a favourite of former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Christmas Number 1 – 1983

When we were looking at the 1975 Christmas Number 1, we told you that Bohemian Rhapsody was the only song to be Christmas Number 1 by the original artist twice. There is a song that has however been Christmas Number 1 on 3 separate occasions, but unlike ‘Bo Rap’ it has been reworked with different artists on each occasion.

The song in question is Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid (II and 20), the songs topped the chart at Christmas in 1984[CS5] , 1989 and 2004. The song was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in response to the news reports of famine and drought in Ethiopia between 1983 and 1984, and the original version was recorded in just one day. All 3 versions, plus the 2014 version which did not make it to the top at Christmas, are performed by multiple artists coming together for 1 goal. The 2014 version of the song had the Ebola crisis as its main goal of fundraising, the other 3 versions were all intended to help relieve famine.

Christmas Number 1 – 1984
Christmas Number 1 -1989
Christmas Number 1 -2004

The 1985 festive chart topper was meant to have been released the year before, but it was decided to postpone, so as not to clash with the Band Aid track that Shakin’ Stevens was unable to perform on due to touring commitments. He did however manage to secure the top festive spot in 1985 with Merry Christmas Everyone, a very festive tune. The track secured Shakin’ Stevens his fourth Number 1 single on the charts.

Christmas Number 1 – 1985

Jackie Wilson’s first solo hit after he left the Dominoes saw him clinch the big top spot with the ever popular Reet Petite 3 years after his death. The song was original released in 1957 with varied success across the various charts. Although it did earn the writer of the song, Berry Gordy Jr, to launch Motown Records. The song was reissued in 1986 due to a clay animation video that had been shown on BBC Two’s Arena programme.

Christmas Number 1 -1986

The Pet Shop Boys appeared on an ITV programme called Love Me Tender to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley’s, death. They performed a Synthpop version of Always On My Mind, the track was warmly received, and they decided to release it as a single, a decision which secured them their only Christmas Number 1.

Christmas Number 1 – 1987

1988 Saw the return to the top of the charts at Christmas for a certain Harry Webb, better known as Cliff Richard. This Christmas tune of his was Mistletoe and Wine, a suitably Christmas sounding title. Originally the song was written for a play called Scraps set in Victorian London. The version that Cliff Richard sang, changed lyrics to make it reflect a more religious theme with the writer’s agreement, and became Cliff’s ninety-ninth single release. The song achieved 4 weeks at the top of the chart and features a then 10-year-old Myleene Klass in the choir heard performing at the end of the song.

Christmas Number 1 – 1988

Cliff had a festive year off the top of the charts due to Band Aid II, but sure enough in 1990 he secured the top spot again with another Christmassy sounding song Saviour’s Day, and with it achieving the first Christmas Number 1 of the 90s! The song was almost never recorded by Cliff, as the lyricist was told that all of Cliff’s 1990 record releases had been booked in, however on hearing it Cliff loved the track, it beat Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby to Christmas Number 1.

Christmas Number 1 – 1990

The 1992 Christmas Number 1 spent 14 weeks at Number 1 in the UK charts. It is a cover of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. The song was recorded for the film The Bodyguard, which Whitney also stars in. It holds the record for the best-selling single by a woman in history! The track was rearranged using Linda Ronstadt’s version as a base. On hearing this, Dolly Parton sent over the last verse, which was not included in Linda’s version of the song, as she believed it was important to the song.

Christmas Number 1 – 1992

The 1993 Christmas top spot went to a novelty tune by Mr Blobby, entitled imaginatively enough, Mr Blobby! It topped the charts for a total of 3 weeks. Despite being Christmas Number 1, it is highly regarded by critics as one of the worst songs ever recorded. Surely Christmas is about having fun, and that is what you get with this track.

Christmas Number 1 – 1993

Sanity returned to the Christmas chart in 1994 as East 17, later E17 took top spot with Stay Another Day, it was to be East 17’s only Number 1.It was written by the band’s lead songwriter, Tony Mortimer about his brother who had taken his own life.

Christmas Number 1 – 1994

Halfway through the 90s already, and in 1995 we find Michael Jackson hitting the festive top spot with Earth Song. The song is a ballad that incorporates blues, gospel, and opera styles of music. Earth song deals overtly with the environment and animal welfare, something which the accompanying music video highlights in its imagery.

Christmas Number 1 – 1995

In 1996 The Spice Girls started their assault on the Christmas top spot securing the first of their consecutive hat-trick. 2 Become 1 became their first Christmas top spot filler. You wouldn’t say that the message behind the song is very Christmassy, especially as it is referring to safe sex, however it gave the girls their first ever Christmas Number 1. It was 1996’s 5th best seller, even though it was only released in the final 2 weeks of the year.

Christmas Number 1 -1996

1997 gave The Spice Girls their second of 3 Christmas Number 1s and with it their 6th successive Number 1, becoming the first act to have their debut 6 songs go to Number 1 in the UK. Christmas Number 1 in 1997 belonged to Too Much. The track was written at the same time as the girls were filming their Spice World movie, between takes and at the end of the long day, with exhaustion setting in, it’s easy to see where the title comes from.

Christmas Number 1 – 1997

The third Christmas Number 1 in the hat-trick belongs to Goodbye, which took the chart top in 1998 This was the first release to not include the vocals of ‘Ginger Spice’ Geri Halliwell (Horner) as she had left the band by this time. The pop ballad lyrically says goodbye to a friend, no different to what the band had done in real life. In achieving this accolade of a hat-trick of festive toppers, The Spice Girls became the first to do so since The Beatles way back in 1965.

Christmas Number 1 – 1998

Originally sung by ABBA, Westlife took I have A Dream to the top of the festive charts to achieve the last Christmas Number 1 of the millennium in 1999 The record was a double A side with Seasons in the Sun. The release beat Cliff Richard’s Millennium Prayer to Number 1, for Christmas.

Christmas Number 1 – 1999
Christmas Number 1 – 1999

The first Christmas Number 1 of the new decade is the penultimate novelty tune in the chronology. The 2000 song at the summit of the charts belongs to Bob The Builder, with a song called Can We Fix It? It was the biggest selling single of the year!

Christmas Number 1 – 2000

Amazingly 2001 saw Robbie Williams take his only ever Christmas Number 1 despite being in one of the biggest boybands. Somethin’ Stupid with Nicole Kidman reigned supreme for the Christmas Number 1 of 2001. The track is a cover and was best known prior to this release due to the Frank and Nancy Sinatra version.

Christmas Number 1 – 2001

Reality TV starts to take over the Christmas charts now that we have made it all the way through to 2002. The female winners of Popstars: The Rivals, Girls Aloud went head to head with the male winners One True Voice to become the 2002 Christmas Number 1, the Girls beat their male counterparts to the accolade, with Sound of The Underground.

Christmas Number 1 – 2002

A cover of Tears For Fears’ Mad World made it to the 2003 Christmas top spot being performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, which they recorded for the soundtrack to Donnie Darko. The difference between the 2 tracks was that Michael Andrews and Gary Jules performed a stripped back version. The track upset the odds to take the top spot, and although successful in the UK, it couldn’t be matched in the United States.

Christmas Number 1 -2003

The winners of reality television show The X Factor take the next 4 Christmas Number 1 spots, starting in 2005 with Shayne Ward who took to the top of the charts with That’s My Goal. The song stayed at Number 1 for 4 weeks and in the charts for 5 months. The song remains the fastest ever selling X Factor winning song and the third fastest selling song of all time in the UK.

Christmas Number 1 – 2005

Onwards to 2006 where we find Leona Lewis sitting at the top of the tree with A Moment Like This, unusually it was released in physical format on a Wednesday but was available for download almost immediately after her victory on the preceding Saturday night. The song broke a world record, being downloaded 50,000 times in the 30 minutes following release. It remained at the top spot for 4 weeks.

Christmas Number 1 – 2006

Another X Factor winner, Leon Jackson took the 2007 crown with When You Believe. Unlike Cliff Richard some years earlier who amended Mistletoe and Wine to add in the religious references, When You Believe was slightly rewritten in the second verse to remove religious overtones. The song was number 1 for 3 weeks and dropped out the chart after just 7!

Christmas Number 1 – 2007

2008 sees the fourth and last X Factor winner in a row to achieve the top spot, Alexandra Burke won the reality TV series and released a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. This version resurrected interest in earlier versions of the song, including by a fan of Jeff Buckley who had previously covered the song. The fan started a campaign to get Jeff Buckley’s version to get to the top of the tree and deny Alexandra, this however didn’t happen. Alexandra Burke’s version became the fastest selling single released by a woman.

Christmas Number 1 – 2008

In 2009 it was highly tipped that the X Factor winner, Joe McElderry would pick up the Christmas Number 1 with his cover of The Climb, however a campaign was started to get Rage Against the Machine to Number 1 for Christmas with Killing in the Name; this campaign worked. As the X Factor single was donating money to charity, the campaign for Rage encouraged the public to give money to charity whilst buying this single, which was originally released in 1992, where in 1993 it peaked at a lowly 23. The track is a protest song against institutional racism and police brutality.

Christmas Number 1 – 2009

The X Factor winner returned to the top of the Christmas Chart in 2010 when Matt Cardle saw off all others to win the X Factor and the coveted Christmas top spot with When We Collide, a cover of Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror. Many people felt that they preferred the original version and again a Facebook campaign began to get the original to that top ahead of Matt Cardle, it failed only managing number 8.

Christmas Number 1 -2010

Following a BBC Two television series, The Choir: Military Wives, Wherever You Are was released with a campaign to make it Christmas Number 1. The song is performed by the Military Wives from Chivenor and Plymouth, under the direction of Gareth Malone. The song claimed the status of the biggest week sales since Leona Lewis’ A Moment Like This. It beat another X Factor winner, Little Mix to the festive Number 1 spot!

Christmas Number 1 -2011

Following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, Everton Football club paid tribute to the families, victims and survivors of the disaster at their ground prior to kick-off in the game between themselves and Newcastle United, remembering the 96 Liverpool FC fans who had died at Hillsborough. The tribute consisted of a young girl wearing the Everton Blue with the number 9 on her back and a young boy in Liverpool red with a 6 on his back, walking out onto the pitch to The Hollies, He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother. It was then decided to rerecord the song as a charity single for Hillsborough charities; it was a multiple artist release under the name The Justice Collective. The track achieved the 2012 Christmas Number 1 spot beating X Factor’s winner James Arthur.

Christmas Number 1 – 2012

In 2013 an X Factor Winner returned to the top of the Christmas Tree in the form of Sam Bailey who covered Skyscraper. The song was inspired by an apocalyptic scene where the world was in ruins but what remained was a skyscraper standing. It was originally sung by Demi Lovato in 2011, prior to Sam Bailey releasing it in 2012.

Christmas Number 1 -2013

2014 saw another winner of the X Factor crowned Christmas Number 1, this time Ben Haenow, his song Something I Need secured the top spot. Originally released in 2013 by OneRepublic, Ben Haenow took it to the top of the charts. Certain words of the original had been replaced with less severe words e.g. killing with loving, probably to make the version more palatable to the young viewers of the X Factor. It became 2014’s second biggest selling single behind the Band Aid 20 track.

Christmas Number 1 -2014

Something different achieved the festive top spot of 2015. It was a track performed by The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir with a song called A Bridge Over You. The song was released independently by the choir, and the track is a mash-up of Simon and Garfunkel’s A Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Coldplay’s Fix You. The single is a charity release. It was recorded in 2013 when the choir finished second on BBC Two’s The Choir: Sing While You Work. A Facebook campaign commenced in 2015 to make this the Christmas Number 1, a period where typically there are more sales of singles than any other of the year, therefore maximising the charitable benefit of the single.

Christmas Number 1 – 2015

Clean Bandit hit the charts’ festive top spot in 2016 with the rather catchy Rockabye. The song is about the hardship felt by mothers and alludes to the popular nursery rhyme, Rock-a-Bye Baby. The song achieved 9 weeks at the summit of the chart. Rockabye had the acclaim of being the first song since 2003 that isn’t a novelty, charity, stunt or X Factor Winner song to take the top spot at Christmas!

Christmas Number 1 – 2016

Ed Sheeran took the Christmas Number 1 in 2017 with a song that he had written about his wife-to-be Cherry Seaborn. He had entitled the song Perfect. The lyrics of the song really do speak for themselves and it is obvious what he thinks and feels about his bride-to-be. The ballad is still being played on radio stations and music video channels a lot to this day.

Christmas Number 1 -2017

And finally, we come to the most recent Christmas Number 1, that is until Friday when this year’s top festive tune will be announced! Last year, 2018, the top of the tree belonged to LadBaby and a take on the hit by Starship, We Built This City, but this version that made it to the top at Christmas pays homage to the humble sausage roll. It is the first real novelty song to have hit the festive top spot since Bob The Builder, however the proceeds of the song were all going to The Trussell Trust. LadBaby is an English blogger.

Christmas Number 1 – 2018

Now that we have come right up to date, we need to consider what may be hitting the top spot this Friday to secure the 2019 Christmas Number 1. There are 15 potential tunes, 3 from days gone by and 12 fresh new releases. They are as follows:

Mariah Carey: All I want for Christmas
The Pogues: Fairytale of New York
Wham!: Last Christmas

Bastille: Can’t Fight This Feeling
D Double E: Fresh N Cream (Silence the Critics)
Ellie Goulding: River
Frankie Morland: World in Danger
James Blunt: Monsters 
LadBaby: I Love Sausage Rolls
Lewis Capaldi: Before You Go
Little Mix: One I’ve Been Missing
Robbie Williams and Tyson Fury: Bad Sharon
Stormzy: Own it
Tones and I: Dance Monkey
Waltham Forest Youth Choir: Stay Another Day

According to The Official Charts’ website the Official Christmas Number 1 race for 2019 kicked off last Friday with sales and streams counting up until midnight this Thursday. Scott Mills will announce the Official Christmas chart including the Christmas Number 1 from 4pm this Friday on BBC Radio 1.

We have linked to the music discussed in this article to YouTube, we can take no responsibility should the link change or move.


  • My all-time favourite, the 1984 Band Aid single, still gives me a glow seeing so many of my favourite singers on one track including Bono without his tinted glasses of later years.

  • In an update to this article, we can confirm that the Christmas number 1 for 2019 is…
    LadBaby with their song I Love Sausage Rolls

  • **UPDATE**
    The Christmas Number 1 for 2020 went to:
    LadBaby the 2020 sausage roll hit for Christmas was entitled Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, again the proceeds from this song went to The Trussell Trust.

  • **UPDATE**
    The Christmas Number 1 for 2021 and the 70th since records began went to:
    Ladbaby featuring Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John with their song Sausage Rolls for Everyone.
    A 4th straight Christmas Number 1 for Ladbaby, the first to do so in the history.

  • **UPDATE**
    The Christmas Number 1 for 2022 went for a record-breaking 5th time to LadBaby and their track Food Aid which featured Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis. The track was the fastest-selling of the year. This year the proceeds of the song were going to The Trussell Trust and the Band Aid Trust.

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