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The World Cup of Christmas songs is here to settle the debate once and for all

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Dave Fawbert
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The World Cup of Christmas songs is going to settle the debate once and for all

Every year, as the clock ticks over to midnight on 1 December, radio stations across the land dust off their ‘Best Christmas Songs in the World Ever’ compilations, and prepare to unleash those festive classics on the public once more.

We all know them, all love (most of) them, but which is the best one of them all?

Everyone has their favourite - and there was recently a scientific attempt to use the learnings from the most popular to create the ‘Happiest Christmas Song ever’ - but, really, the debate needs to be settled once and for all.

And what better man to do it than Pointless legend Richard Osman?

He’s become almost as famous for running his World Cup series on Twitter as for his quiz-based excellence and, this time last year, ran the World Cup of Christmas Films which saw Home Alone edge out Elf in the final to take the crown (Die Hard beat The Muppet Christmas Carol in the 3rd/4th place play-off, since you ask).

But this time around, in the year of our Lord 2017, it’s time to move on to the songs.

The original selection has now been whittled down to the main contenders, with voting in the second round taking place today (Friday 15 December). 

Those already eliminated are: ‘Walking in the Air’, ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘Christmas Wrapping’, ‘Let It Snow’, ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’, ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ (OUTRAGEOUS), ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘2000 Miles’ (OUTRAGEOUS), ‘Silent Night’, ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ (OUTRAGEOUS), ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Santa Baby’. You lot have got some explaining to do.

And here’s the second round:

So who will win? Betfair are, once again, running odds on the competition, with all losing bets going to the Child’s i Foundation.

And, for once in these things, there’s a clear early favourite, with The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s classic ‘Fairytale of New York’ moving in from 1/2 to a current price of 1/5 to triumph.

Next up, at 4/1 is Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ (in from 5/1) - which should get a boost given the upcoming anniversary of George Michael’s death - and Mariah Carey’s utter banger ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ moving out from 5/1 to 8/1.

Only one complaint though: where is ‘Saviour’s Day’? Not only is it one of the greatest-ever Christmas songs, but it also features one of the most amazing key changes of all time.

Should have been in there Richard, should have been in there.

However, this isn’t the only important World Cup currently going on. As well as casting your votes in the above, be sure to get involved on this one.

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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