#PPLCharts the top 20 Christmas songs of the past 10 years

PPL shares the results of data research conducted for the BBC into the top 20 most played Christmas songs of the past 10 years.

Over the past 10 years we’ve heard 220 million seconds of Christmas music on UK radio and TV, on average that’s 22 million seconds of airplay a year which equates to 256 days - almost nine months worth of Christmas music.

On average Christmas songs make up 6 per cent of the all music on commercial radio each year.

Of the Top 20 Slade’s ‘‘Merry Christmas Everybody’’ is played on widest variety of radio stations and TV networks.

On the results of the research, PPL Chief Executive, Peter Leathem, says:

“Newer songs do sometimes appear in the Top 10. For example, in 2013 Lily Allen, Leona Lewis and Gabrielle Aplin took Number 1, Number 3 and Number 10 respectively. Lily Allen and Leona Lewis both appeared in the Top 10 again in 2014. Many would argue that Christmas is a time for tradition and nostalgia, which does appear to carry across to the choice of music. Radio seeks to play what its listeners want played, with the most popular being the old classics. Maybe in ten years’ time we’ll see Leona Lewis take the top spot.

Older Christmas songs have longer to rack up airplay familiarity whereas newer Christmas songs really have to fight for their place on the airwaves. It is unlikely that a cover of a good Christmas song will surpass the original. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas Is You’ is a good example of this, further down the Christmas chart we see newer versions by Lady Antelbellum, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber and Ceelo Green to name but a few, yet it is Mariah’s 1994 release that we hear every year.”

View the full chart below, and head over to the BBC Online to explore the full story. 

Rank Title Artist
1 Fairytale Of New York

The Pogues featuring Kirsty Maccoll

2 All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey


Last Christmas


4 I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday



Driving Home For Christmas

Chris Rea

6 Merry Xmas Everybody


7 Merry Christmas Everyone

Shakin' Stevens

8 Wonderful Christmas Time

Paul McCartney

9 Do They Know It's Christmas?

Band Aid

10 I Believe In Father Christmas

Greg Lake

11 Stay Another Day

East 17

12 Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

John and Yoko

13 Warm This Winter

Gabriella Cilmi

14 Christmas Wrapping

The Waitresses

15 Thank God It's Christmas


16 2000 Miles

The Pretenders

17 Stop The Cavalry

Jona Lewie

18 It's The Most Wonderful Time Of Year

Andy Williams

19 Sleigh Ride

The Ronettes

20 The Power Of Love

Frankie Goes To Hollywood