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The best Christmas songs of all time: great festive bangers

What's your favourite?

The best Christmas songs of all time: great festive bangers
05 December 2019

You may not believe it, but it's crept around again – December is just around the corner and so, too, is Christmas.

And amongst presents, advent calendars, Christmas jumpers and, of course, all the food and drink, that means one thing – endlessly repeated Christmas songs.

Some of them, we'll admit, are more annoying than others. But that's part of the charm, right? (Unless you work in retail and have to listen to them ten thousand times a day, in which case: we're very sorry).

We've whittled them down to the top ten – and don't forget you can vote on our lists if you're outraged about where something's been placed.

The best Christmas songs of all time

The best Christmas songs of all time

1. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl

£0.99
Download from Amazon here

It's pretty much the definitive Christmas song, isn't it? It's poignant, it's sad, it's moving – and it's a total banger to boot. There's a reason it's a classic, folks.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

2. Last Christmas by Wham!

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It's always been part of the Christmas rotation, but Last Christmas has really come into its own over the last few years, and it's now considered to be the best of the bunch across the board. And why? Because it's really bloody good, that's why.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

3. Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade

£0.99
Buy from Amazon now

Alright, you're probably sick of it by now – you've heard it 9,000 times a year every year since before time began. But it wouldn't be Christmas without it, no matter how annoying.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

4. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard

£0.99
Download from Amazon here

Another old favourite, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without this retro classic. Get your mulled wine, wrap yourself up on the sofa and whack on the Top of the Pops Christmas special.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

5. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

£0.99
Download from Amazon here

When you think of Christmas, you probably think of Mariah Carey. Every year this starts flying up the charts – and every year Mariah becomes more and more the complete embodiment of Christmas. Frankly, the song's so good she deserves it.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

6. Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon

£0.99
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Given its status as a rock-solid Christmas ear worm, you might be surprised to hear Happy Xmas (War is Over) wasn't a huge hit at its original US release in 1971. There's real charm to the Harlem Community Choir backing vocals. It's pure Xmas spirit syrup, if your ears are game for it.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

7. Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) by The Darkness

£0.99
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The obvious choice for rockers out for something released later than the 70s, Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) was released in 2003. It narrowly missed out on a Christmas number one, beaten by a cover of Mad World by Gary Jules & Michael Andrew. But for operatic rock Christmas songs, this has to be no. 1.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

8. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

£0.79
Download from Amazon here

Bit of a weird combo, we'll allow, but somehow it just... works. You might not have initially seen them as a particularly likely pair, but Bowie and Bing croon and soar with the best of them.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

9. Sleigh Ride by the Ronettes

£0.99
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Heavy on the sleigh bells, as the name suggests, there's nothing better to get you in the mood for Christmas than this cool 1963 Ronettes tune written by composer Leroy Anderson.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town by the Jackson 5

£0.99
Download from Amazon here

Christmassy without being too... Christmassy, this is the ultimate bop for the festive season. Much cooler than many other songs of the genre, it's since been covered by a multitude of artists – but the original simply can't be beaten.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

11. Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid

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There have been multiple updates in the years since, but there's not much that can beat the 1984 original by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure of Ultravox. Its star-studded lineup is also great for playing 'guess that singer'.

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The best Christmas songs of all time

12. It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas by Pet Shop Boys

£0.99
Download from Amazon here

It may be a less obvious choice, but the Pet Shop Boys are one of the most consistent acts out there – and their Christmas offering is no different. Plus, it references Bing Crosby – how much more traditional do you want?

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