Mariah Is Our Christmas Number 1

Most performed Christmas songs of noughties revealed

With Christmas only days away, PRS for Music and PPL, the organisations that collect royalties on behalf of music creators and performers reveal the top ten most played Christmas songs over the past ten years.

Topping the chart is Mariah Carey’s classic All I Want For Christmas released in 1994 and written by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.  Followed closely by the Pogues 1987 hit Fairytale of New York featuring the late Kirsty MacColl and written by Shane MacGowan and Jem Finer.

Source: PPL & PRS for Music
Chart Position Title Artist Release Date Writer
1 All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey 1994 Mariah Carey & Walter Afanasieff
2 Fairytale Of New York The Pogues 1987 Jem Finer & Shane MacGowan
3 Merry Xmas Everybody Slade 1973 James Lee & Noddy Holder
4 Stop The Cavalry Jona Lewie 1980 Jona Lewie

Do They Know It's Christmas?

Band Aid 1984 Midge Ure & Bob Geldof
6 Driving Home For Christmas Chris Rea 1988 Chris Rea
7 Last Christmas Wham 1984 George Michael
8 I Believe In Father Christmas Greg Lake 1975 Greg Lake
9 Step Into Christmas Elton John 1973 Elton John and Bernie Taupin
10 Wonderful Christmas Time Paul McCartney 1979 Paul McCartney

Data was analysed from shops, radio airplay, television, international performance and live music over the decade to establish which songs had been performed most.

Over the last 10 years both organisations have seen an increase in Christmas themed music played in retail stores in the UK as businesses look to music to boost sales. Research carried out for MusicWorks* identified:

  • 1 in 4 people claim to be more generous when buying gifts if Christmas music is played
  • 95% of people say they prefer shopping in stores that play music
  • 50% of people say Christmas music should only begin in stores in December!

* Music Works is a joint research project by PPL, PRS for Music and Entertainment Media Research


Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the music we all know and love.  Not only does it make us feel good when we hear it, it also has a direct benefit for those businesses that use it to set an atmosphere and mood and so encourage us to purchase. There is no doubt from the extensive research we have done at MusicWorks that the power of music is such that its use by businesses in public can considerably affect consumer behaviour.

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