If you’re a loyal Christmas FM you’ll have noticed just how many of the cracking Christmas tunes we play were released decades ago.
And maybe you’re like us and often wonder which ones will we be playing non-stop in twenty years?
Who will be the future Mariah equivalent? The tinkling bells that introduce “All I want” have been on the go since 1994, surely they won’t still be doing the rounds in a couple of decades?
Will we have a new sweep of songs in 2043 or will we still be playing the usual suspects?
Some years were pure gold ones for the yuletide releases – the question now is can we ever replicate this success?
Maybe AI will be able to compete because right now it feels like a negative thing to say but honestly it often seems the best years for Christmas songs were in the past.
In 1973 we had Elton John Stepping into Christmas, Slade wishing everyone “Merry X-mas Everyone” and Wizard wishing it could be Christmas every day.
And 1984 saw Wham’s Last Christmas rolled out to compete with Band Aid.
Most of the hot tunes our listeners request most are not from the last twenty, even thirty, years – The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York’ was gifted to the world in 1988, Chris Rea has been driving home for Christmas since then too.
Even cracking versions of Christmas songs are not plentiful in recent decades. Sleigh bells have been ringing for Springsteen since 1985 with his version of Santa Claus coming to town. It has yet to be beaten, in our humble opinion.
“Grandma got run over by a Reindeer” shot out in 1984, quite a dark tale from Elmo and Patsy, that one.
Like many of the festive tunes – such as John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is over)” and the inimitable “Stop the Calvalry” from Jona Lewie (his only hit) in 1980 – the outside veneer hides a darkness, the anti-war pleas and grannies being fatally knocked down by hit and run reindeers is no laughing matter either.
But only some of these tunes shot to the top of the charts when they were released. It may seem like Mariah has been floating around the number one spot forever but “All I want…” holds the record for the longest time between release and reaching number one. In the US and Uk at 25 and 26 years and Wizard did not even hit the top 20 in 1973 with “I Wish it could be Christmas Every Day’. And as for ‘Fairytale’ it seems like this year will finally be the year it gets it’s day in the number one sun.
So with the slow burn element in mind, let’s meander back to our initial musing ; what songs that have been released in recent years will we likely be playing in 2043?
Judging by texts requesting these songs we reckon Taylor Swift Christmas Tree Farm is in with a decent chance of a long life span. It is seriously catchy after you listen about thirty times. When it first came out in 2019 it got not many plays but the streams are climbing up.
And random fact Taylor grew up on a Christmas Tree farm in early childhood in Pennsylvania.
The newest festive hit by Irish songstress, Aimée, which was last week named the winner of the Kildare Village Christmas FM Song Contest 2023, we reckon has huge potential to be cultivated as an Irish classic.
Another popular one is Christmas Morning by Jack Savoretti . Released in 2019 it is only in the past two years that it has gotten popular. And when 17-year-old Justin Bieber released “Under the Mistletoe” in 2011 nobody paid much notice but now, and it is a mystery to us too, the requests are flowing in.
“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande (2014) gets more in demand as each year passes and was number six in Spotify’s top streamed Christmas songs in the UK. Will this be the new Mariah?
“Santa, tell me if you’re really there
Don’t make me fall in love again
If he won’t be here next year
Santa, tell me if he really cares
‘Cause I can’t give it all away
If he won’t be here next year”
The themes of heartache and uncertainty we all want in a Christmas tune are there.
It’s a bit like “All I want for Christmas”. We like our Christmas songs happy, but not too happy, or at least not to make us feel bad for not being as happy. Some yearning goes a long way so we are voting that in twenty years Ariana will be the new “All I want…”.