The Standout Christmas Number Ones

Christ but it feels like only yesterday boy band Westlife scooped the prized Christmas number one chart slots in Ireland, and also in Britain, with the sweet “I Have A Dream”.

Even the most cynical of us were swaying along to that one.

But if you are a younger listener you won’t remember what was on the TV and radio in Christmas 1999. 

You’ll have missed out on some stellar Christmas Number Ones from the Irish Singles Charts throughout the ages – so we rounded up some belters so you can hop on Spotify and give them a whirl.

Since the Official Irish Singles Chart began in 1962, 60 songs have clinched the Xmas top spot.  

Last year Ed Sheeran and Elton John waltzed to win with their catchy “Merry Christmas”, the year before  it was the brilliant “Giants” by Dermot Kennedy, Lewis Capaldi was top in 2019 with “Before you Go” and Ava Max clinched the prized Christmas number one with “Sweet but Phycho”.

Over the years some suspects pop up more than once. Ed Sheeran was up twice, The Beatles, Queen, Spice Girls and Eminem have all led the Official Christmas Chart on two occasions. 

Queen were Christmas Number One in 1975 and 1991, interestingly both times with Bohemian Rhapsody. Proof you cannot keep a good song down.

Some tunes everyone knows, even if they were not born at the time, like Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas” in 1984. 

Many have stayed in the public consciousness but others have faded away.

Dave Edmunds in 1970 with his empathic “I hear you Knocking” is worth a mention. 

Tommy Drennan “O Holy Night’ will stir up your emotions. 

Chicago “If you Leave me Now” in 1976 – what a song and strangely often to be heard playing in taxis. 

In 1986 the Housemartins “Caravan of Love” was number one, a total classic. 

The Italian duet who moved to the Midlands in the UK, Renee Renato, soared to the top with their one hit wonder “Save Your Love” in 1982 – sparking off all sorts of mad singing in showers around Ireland.

One thing that was different years ago was you used to get number ones cropping up that were only popular in Ireland. Something that united us all together.

A pity there are not more like that – hopefully in future these types of Christmas Number Ones will emerge again.

Examples are Mario Rosenstock with ‘Gift Grub’ in 2005 and Zig and Zag with the presumptuous sounding “The Christmas Number One” in 1990.

The most famous Christmas Number One was in 1987 with the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl with “Fairytale of New York”. 

Applegreen carried out a survey last year which found this remains the most loved Christmas tune ever ; they sure don’t make the Christmas Number Ones like they used to.

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