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10 Best British Christmas Songs for This Season

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According to Legend, there are two types of people in this world. And the first type gets to the Christmas music even before Thanksgiving …… kidding, of course! But the truth is that there’s some magic to the Christmas songs.

You can’t beat that nostalgia, the feelings, and the traditions engulfed in them.

Now getting back to the second type of people, those who wait until after Turkey Day. Or those who are too busy with some DIY Christmas decoration ideas. All jokes apart, no one can deny the power of the right kind of Christmas songs in setting the mood up for the best time of the year.

Top 10 Best Christmas Songs to Make the Most of Your Holidays

That’s why we’ve come up with the collection of 10 Christmas Songs that have helped millions of Brits get the Christmas vibes going for many decades.

10. “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” – The Darkness (2003)

Released by “The Darkness” in 2003, “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” was showcased as a festive EP aimed at grabbing the number 1 spot in the UK’s Christmas songs list. However, Gary Jules’ and Michael Andrew’s “Joyless Mad World” grabbed the top slot on the podium, pushing it to the runner up’s slot.

The Darkness then featured the single as a bonus track while re-releasing their 3rd debut album “Permission To Land”.

According to Frontman Justin Hawkins, the lyrics of the song reflect upon the pain of someone who works far from family for 51 weeks of the year. And how they try to fill in a few days of endless joy, festivity, and quality family time at Christmas.

9. “Driving Home for Christmas” – Chris Rea (1986)

Chris Rea recorded this unimaginably popular Christmas tune in 1986. He came up with the lyrics some 8 years ago, though, in 1978, on his way back home for Christmas to Middlesbrough from London. It was such an eventful day of his life.

Two years after its release, the song peaked at #53 on the UK singles chart. However, it has been successful in re-entering the UK Top 75 each year after 2007, not to mention charting several other European country’s listings.

In 1997, 1998, and 2011, the song was used by a food retail chain in Iceland for some of their Christmas shoots. The latter one featured a cover by the singer and TV host Stacey Solomon. Her version of the song charted at #27 in the UK.

8. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon & Yoko Ono/The Plastic Ono Band (1972)

This one was written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their New York City hotel room in 1971. The recording took place on the evening of October 28th and 29th at the Record Plant in the same city. The song failed in charting across the US after its initial release on the Christmas of 1971.

It performed quite well in the UK, however, when it was released there the next year, charting at #4. Making it to the top of the US charts as a Christmas classic took it some time.

7. “Stay Another Day” – East 17 (1994)”

East 17’s Tony Mortimer wrote this song about his brother, Ollie, who committed suicide. It went on to be the #1 on the UK charts in 1994. And, Tony Mortimer says he knew from the very start that this song was destined to top the charts.

The lyrics of its first verse go like this, “Don’t you know we’ve come too far now just to throw it all away”, referring to his brother’s suicide.

The other part, “I touch your face while you are sleeping, and hold your hand, don’t understand what’s going on,” is about the sense of loss he encountered after his death.

Despite being to chart-topper in the UK during Christmas 1994, Mortimer says he didn’t write it with festive intentions. The A&R department wanted to lift it a bit with some bells on the end, but no more than that. However, it overcame all odds to turn into one of the best Christmas songs of all time in the UK.

6. “Stop the Cavalry” – Jona Lewie (1980)

The Britons see this amalgam of anti-war protest with some brass band arrangements as a Christmas radio standard throughout the country. One of the reasons is its deeply emotional side: set up during the Great War in the Front, where a trench-ridden desolate and desperate soldier wishes to be home for Christmas.

Again, the basic idea of the song wasn’t about the festivities of Christmas, as told by Jona Lewie on various occasions. The one line that relates it to Christmas, i.e., “I wish I was at home for Christmas”, is about a soldier who has been on the front for some time and wants to go back home to his loved ones.

The record company chose the line from a marketing perspective, adding a tubular bell at the end. But it seems to do enough, making the song #3 in the UK, doing great in various other European countries.

5. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” – “Wizzard (1973)

This Roy Wood composition seems to touch quite a lot of Brit hearts with its feel-good Christmas vibe, using a school choir from Birmingham, Wood’s native city. The original recording of the song took place in the August of 1973 at Phonogram Studios based in London.

Though the song failed to reach the #1 spot on the charts, it succeeded in charting three more times after its initial UK release, i.e., #23 in 1984, #16 in 2007, and #31 in 2008. Engineer Steve Brown switched the air conditioning to its coldest level while Wizzard’s were busy with its recording to help create that chilly feel.

4. “Last Christmas” – Wham (1984)

This is another of the Christmas songs that weren’t meant to be one initially. George Michael wrote and produced the song about a failed relationship. “Last Christmas” refers to the phase when the relationship seems to be ending, its only reference to the festive season.

But this doesn’t stop the song from turning into an annual Christmas standard all across the UK.

Last Christmas was released as a charity song. Its earnings were directed to famine relief efforts in Ethiopia. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” is the only song that barred it from reaching the #1 spot in the UK charts, enjoying the status of the biggest selling Christmas song of the UK And both songs feature George Michael?

3. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” – Band Aid (1984)

It’s another chart-topper inspired by Ethiopia’s famine. Bob Geldof organised this song after seeing a BBC documentary about the famine. He was the lead singer of “The Boomtown Rats” band at the time.

While Geldof came up with the lyrics, Midge Ure from the “Ultravox did the music of the track. It was pretty challenging, as there were so many voices involved, including the George Michael’s.

They recorded and mixed most of the song over a 24-hour window on Sunday, November 25th, 1984. Sarm West Studios of London hosted the event. In short, they pulled a miracle in a short time and it became one of the best of all times.

2. “Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues ft Kristy MacColl (1987)

Here’s one nominated as the UK’s most favourite Christmas Song of all time in the 2004 VH1 poll. In 2005, it came up to #3 in the UK. In 2006, it was on top of the charts again, at #6 this time.

It stayed on top of the charts in 2007 yet again, becoming the first Christmas song ever to reach the UK’s top 10 for three consecutive years. Ever since then, it has shown up in the top 20s in the UK charts every single year.

This song is primarily about Irish people who encountered many sufferings in their migration to America during the 19th century to stay away from the potato famine.

1. Miles Apart, Seconds Away – Talk Home (2021)

We conclude our list on a Christmas song with immense potential to touch millions of hearts like the classical Christmas songs listed above. Titled “Miles Apart, Seconds Away”, it is conceived and produced by Talk Home, a household name among expats in the UK.

From lyrics to music and tempo, everything makes it a true Christmas melody. Not to mention the original and very real concept of this human desire to be close to your near and dear ones at a time like Christmas.

Since we don’t want to spoil the fun for you, you can listen to the song by yourself and tell us how good it is.

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