Best Christmas song to re-enter the Billboard US Hot 100 in 2019

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Because I'm weirdly tickled by seeing Gene Autry or Burl Ives chart alongside DaBaby and Billie Eilish.

Poll Results

Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano 10
All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey 9
Last Christmas - Wham! 9
Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes 8
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole 6
A Holly Jolly Christas - Burl Ives 3
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms 2
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Dean Martin 2
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams 2
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee 1
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) - Gene Autry 0
Happy Holidays / The Holiday Season - Andy Williams 0
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry 0

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:06 (two years ago) link

Sleigh Ride for me. Love the ringaling harmonies

Dingle Kringle (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:09 (two years ago) link

"Happy Holidays / The Holiday Season" aside--because I can't recall it offhand, even though I'm sure I've heard it at least ten times already in the last few weeks--I can honestly say that I won't/don't turn any of these off, but this totally comes down to a choice between Mariah, Wham or The Ronettes, for me. I expect the former to win, but I'll vote for it anyway.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:10 (two years ago) link

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:13 (two years ago) link

poll surprisingly difficult

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:13 (two years ago) link

Fuck, overlooked Nat.

Still ok with my choice tho

Dingle Kringle (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:16 (two years ago) link

I don't actually dislike any of these!

Dingle Kringle (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:17 (two years ago) link

yeah, tough poll

budo jeru, Friday, 13 December 2019 18:18 (two years ago) link

This particular Andy Williams cut surprised me too. Thought "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was the go to Williams wobs song

Jeff W, Friday, 13 December 2019 18:25 (two years ago) link

They're both on there!

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:25 (two years ago) link

xp ha, only just noticed that's re-charted too and is in the poll, nm

Jeff W, Friday, 13 December 2019 18:27 (two years ago) link


budo jeru, Friday, 13 December 2019 18:29 (two years ago) link

Different 90s comedy series, but every time I see Andy Williams mentioned, I just hear “packed...every night.”

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:36 (two years ago) link

i didn't think he was gonna do moon river, but then bam! second encore!

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:42 (two years ago) link

Every time my brother and I are in the car with my folks, one of us points at a random sign and yells "ANDY WILLIAMS??!!".

And my mother gets annoyed, thinking we are making fun of Andy, forgetting we have had this back and forth 35 times before.

100 Percent That Grinch (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:45 (two years ago) link

In Miami we are inundated by José Feliciano like acid rain.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:46 (two years ago) link

Lol...his song would probably be my least favorite on the list. Not cos of the song as much as...his voice is nauseating to me.

I know he's a technically gifted singer but that voice don't mix with me

100 Percent That Grinch (Neanderthal), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:49 (two years ago) link

helluva guitarist tho

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 13 December 2019 18:50 (two years ago) link


mookieproof, Friday, 13 December 2019 19:06 (two years ago) link

"Happy Holidays / The Holiday Season" aside--because I can't recall it offhand

It's the holiday season
So whoop-de-do and hickory dock
And don't forget to hang up your sock
'Cause just exactly at twelve o'clock
He'll be coming down the chimney, down

I hate this song and I've been hearing it more and more in the last few years.

☮ (peace, man), Friday, 13 December 2019 19:10 (two years ago) link

Relevant ILP-M content:

Kids say the darndest things

☮ (peace, man), Friday, 13 December 2019 19:12 (two years ago) link


yeah, that one sucks.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 December 2019 19:35 (two years ago) link

Has "Happy Holidays" always been part one of a medley like that? 'Cause I'm feeling like I haven't ever heard that second part.

I like all the songs in this poll, but "Feliz Navidad" has worn out its welcome. I think I like Brenda Lee the best.

A breezy pop-rock feel fairly typical of the mid-'80s (Dan Peterson), Friday, 13 December 2019 20:09 (two years ago) link

Andy Williams is just owning the holiday on those two tracks. Gonna go with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

Josefa, Friday, 13 December 2019 20:24 (two years ago) link

Jingle Bell Rock, then Sleigh Ride.

o. nate, Friday, 13 December 2019 23:04 (two years ago) link

Tired: Feliz Navidad
Wired: Feliciano's National Anthem

campreverb, Friday, 13 December 2019 23:13 (two years ago) link


brain dead operatus (FlopsyDuck), Friday, 13 December 2019 23:15 (two years ago) link

Nat King Cole over almost anything not by Slade or Vince Guaraldi.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 December 2019 00:58 (two years ago) link

every time I see Andy Williams mentioned, I just hear “packed...every night.”

Larry Sanders!

clemenza, Saturday, 14 December 2019 01:04 (two years ago) link

omar little, Saturday, 14 December 2019 01:11 (two years ago) link

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” is better than any of these.

Mr. Snrub, Saturday, 14 December 2019 01:15 (two years ago) link

If you want to se what Last Christmas looks like in 4K now's your chance; if you flip the wee cog bottom right it actually does play in computer-frazzling 2160k. I wish Madonna would do the same for hers.

piscesx, Saturday, 14 December 2019 01:29 (two years ago) link

Whamageddon is the worst social media phenomenon.

Besides the song is great

100 Percent That Grinch (Neanderthal), Saturday, 14 December 2019 01:38 (two years ago) link

there'll be more, you know, before the chart year (or actual year) run out

dyl, Saturday, 14 December 2019 19:25 (two years ago) link

it's between "last christmas" and "the christmas song" for me

dyl, Saturday, 14 December 2019 19:26 (two years ago) link

in 2018's christmas season, 24 christmas songs re-entered the hot 100. of those, 22 had to reach the top 50 to even be eligible to appear, so for one week literally over 40% of the upper half of the singles chart consisted of old christmas tunes. this included all of the ones in this poll (except "happy holidays") plus

bing crosby "white christmas"
chuck berry "run rudolph run"
darlene love "christmas (baby please come home)"
elvis presley "blue christmas"
frank sinatra "jingle bells"
john & yoko/the plastic ono band with the harlem community choir "happy xmas (war is over)"
kelly clarkson "underneat the tree"
paul mccartney "wonderful christmastime"
perry como "(there's no place like) home for the holidays"
perry como & the fontane sisters "it's beginning to look a lot like christmas"

all of these, or others, could also re-enter this year.

it should be noted that an outsize determinant of which old chestnuts make their chart (re)appearance is amazon, specifically those in the company who formulate its christmas playlists. a massive number of people, including those who otherwise seldom feel compelled to stream music, apparently ask their alexa surveillance bots to "play christmas music!"

dyl, Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:10 (two years ago) link

i'm actually a little salty that no version of "this christmas" has re-entered yet. fingers crossed i guess

dyl, Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:12 (two years ago) link

Feliz Navidad. it's not played all that much in the UK and I always enjoy it when it comes on

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:39 (two years ago) link

I hate Andy Williams/Most Wonderful Time of the Year so much

I think Nat's my favorite of the list

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 14 December 2019 21:03 (two years ago) link

kinda bummed that Frank's Christmas Waltz didn't get a bump, I'd vote for that

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 14 December 2019 21:10 (two years ago) link

I would have an easier time if we were supposed to vote for the one we hate the most, because that's obviously Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 14 December 2019 21:41 (two years ago) link

Mariah’s Christmas tune finally hits #1:

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 01:50 (two years ago) link

125 years

100 Percent That Grinch (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 01:52 (two years ago) link

and Brenda Lee "coming on strong" at #3

Josefa, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 02:47 (two years ago) link

Correct me if I'm wrong but if Brenda Lee goes to #1 she would be simultaneously one of the youngest solo artists to do that (she was 13 when she recorded that song) and the oldest solo artist ever to score a #1 hit in terms of current age (75).

(*Stevie Wonder recorded "Fingertips" at age 12).

Josefa, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 03:13 (two years ago) link

nat king cole in the streets jose feliciano in the sheets

Bo Johnson Overdrive (crüt), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 03:41 (two years ago) link

i wonder if they're going to stop allowing old songs to re-enter at all (the way they used to before whitney houston died and they decided to let her songs re-enter) given the enormous growth of christmas-related streaming in recent years. like, "all i want for christmas is you" will probably be at or near #1 every year for the foreseeable future now, with "rockin' around the christmas tree" reliably close behind

like, it is unquestionably accurate that these songs are big at this time of year, but historically the hot 100 has been meant to rank the most popular current hits, not songs that emerge from hibernation for a few weeks every single year. seasonal/holiday titles were almost entirely forbidden from charting on the hot 100 for many years of its history

dyl, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 04:44 (two years ago) link

Yesterday my kids sang Feliz Navidad to me so I'm picking that one

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 14:30 (two years ago) link

This is a relatively new phenomenon, isn't it, the inundation of old xmas tunes in the hot 100? I mean, I know it's happened a number of times before but usually just one or two at a time.

Welcome to the Sandwich Trough (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 14:45 (two years ago) link

yeah. the phenom of adult contemporary stations flipping to all-christmas is a big part of it, naturally, but that's been well established for many years now (that tradition started taking off post-9/11)

the bigger part of the picture is the meteoric growth in streaming stats for christmas titles: last year, the year that christmas hits really exploded onto the hot 100, 31 of the 50 positions on the streaming songs chart were occupied by christmas tunes.

where's all the streaming coming from? right now, if you look at the spotify, apple music, or youtube charts, you'll see a few christmas tunes, but not quite near the #1 slots yet, as they are on billboard's overall streaming chart. the answer is smart speakers, particularly amazon's. two of the songs that reached the hot 100 last holiday season -- katy perry's "cozy little christmas" and lauren daigle's "the christmas song" -- were amazon exclusives and still managed to reach nos. 53 and 55 respectively on the hot 100. (both placed on the streaming songs chart but were missing from radio songs and digital song sales, the other two main components to the hot 100.) billboard wrote a little about the massive growth in use of amazon devices to stream over the holidays last year.

(apparently a lot of billboard's articles are paywalled now? yikes. guess i'll just read through the html source lol)

dyl, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 04:56 (two years ago) link

Okay, the time frame of this phenomenon makes sense because I'm pretty familiar with the general trend of charting singles through the end of the 20th Century and then not so much from that point on. There were a few like 'The Chipmunk Song' that popped up a number of times over the years but by and large the xmas singles that charted back in the day were recent releases.

Children Devouring Their Cronuts (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 12:58 (two years ago) link

it is the best

L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 13:01 (two years ago) link

2017 and earlier i used to like "Wonderful Christmastime" "Last Christmas" and "All I Want For Christmas is You" and now 2019 i hate them thanks to countless cover versions heard in malls and department stores etc

billstevejim, Friday, 20 December 2019 22:47 (two years ago) link

Chris Molanphy's latest piece is urgent and key here

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 December 2019 23:01 (two years ago) link

the smart speakers thing makes a lot of sense -- as a kid growing up, throughout the month of December we'd always have Christmas music playing throughout the house (Mantovani, the Nutcracker soundtrack, Mannheim Steamroller, Barbra Streisand, a few others I don't remember), and that was just what December was; then my sister and I got old enough that my parents stopped, I asked why, and was shown how much of a royal pain in the ass it was to get all of the speakers set up to play all of the CDs and fix the inevitable issues

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Saturday, 21 December 2019 01:10 (two years ago) link

So it turns out “The Holiday Season” is pretty cute. I have put it on my Christmas mix for 2019, which I will link to tomorrow probably.

Jeff W, Monday, 23 December 2019 12:00 (two years ago) link

surprised myself by voting for burl (tho there are many contenders). bing would take it if he'd made the cut yet, and the drifters' cover would tower over all options imo. but agreed that actually overall this is a pretty good lineup of songs - the public, given the chance, would clearly curate a better and less maddening lineup than most mall and radio playlists or cassette/CD christmas comps. all killer, no filler.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 23 December 2019 15:18 (two years ago) link

the molanphy article is great, certainly one of the best i've read from him for a while. i was surprised he didn't mention smart speakers kicking christmas streaming into the stratosphere in the past couple of years specifically, but otherwise it's a very thorough and insightful rundown

dyl, Monday, 23 December 2019 18:32 (two years ago) link

This blows my mind:

in the entire history of the Hot 100, there’s been only one prior Christmas song at No. 1—and it’s by three imaginary singing rodents. That prior No. 1 Christmas single was “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 23 December 2019 18:44 (two years ago) link

This various artists compilation was a showcase for the stable of acts on Spector’s Philles Records label, from the Ronettes to the Crystals, and for Spector’s legendary Wall of Sound production style. The album was basically a flop,

The fact that it was released the day Kennedy was assassinated likely contributed to its floppiness.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 23 December 2019 18:48 (two years ago) link

here's a very informative billboard feature on the growth of the holiday music biz from the bing crosby days up thru today's nu streaming-era resurgence:

Although it’s hard to get exact figures for the holiday music business, the most popular recordings in the genre generate far more revenue than they did a decade ago. “Last Christmas” by Wham! sold 81,000 tracks in the United States in 2008 -- and sold and streamed the equivalent of 706,000 last year, according to Nielsen Music. Older recordings are getting more popular, too: Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” the third-most-popular holiday recording of 2018, sold 52,000 tracks in 2008 and streamed and sold the equivalent of 839,000 last year. Overall, holiday music accounted for 0.89% of on-demand streams in 2015 and 1.11% last year -- and during that time, the overall revenue from on-demand streaming rose from $1.57 billion in 2015 to $5.5 billion in 2018, according to the RIAA.

another article within the same series reports an amazon music rep's claim that requests for holiday music to alexa smart speakers have numbered 10,000 per minute since december 1st. (as yet another article on amazon's increasing involvement in the christmas tunes biz points out, while some requests are for specific recordings or artists, many are simply generic calls for 'holiday music' or similar.) moreover, many old chestnuts are being repackaged into what are essentially playlists, but presented to digital service providers as digital-only albums so as to appear on new release lists, complete with generic titles like best christmas songs 2019 evidently selected with similarly generic search queries and voice requests in mind.

on this week's hot 100, four of the chart's top ten are christmas tunes, with "all i want for christmas is you" repeating its turn at the top and "rockin' around the christmas tree" at a new personal best just under it. given that peak seasonal streaming will occur on christmas eve and day, next week's chart is sure to have even more holiday hits toward the top, with carey's almost certainly assured a third week at the crest. given that 24 christmas songs were on the hot 100 at the season's height last year, i'm gonna go ahead and predict at least 30 this year, with a new record amount within the top 10 (it was four at last year's holiday peak). since most of these will have to be in the top 50 to even be eligible to enter, about 60% of prime real estate on the chart will be occupied by these old evergreens instead of the newly-breaking hits that the chart was originally formulated to track.

in an interview last year, billboard's senior director of charts gary trust seemed to indicate a fairly unwavering commitment to current policy with respect to christmas music's eligibility for the hot 100. ("For most of the year, the chart is still going to be driven by absolutely current music. This is the time of the year when consumption habits fluctuate very wildly, and the charts should reflect that.") but part of me wonders whether voices in the industry will privately pressure billboard to change the rules to ensure that holiday music does not monopolize the charts every december -- it's not exactly a good look for current hits-in-waiting to be plummeting down the charts, or even prematurely banished to recurrency, when their actual week-on-week activity is the sort that would on a non-holiday week be reflected by a small upward movement.

guess we'll see! in the meantime, perhaps we'll be seeing this year's amazon exclusives (john legend's "happy xmas" and ellie goulding's "river") managing to effortlessly find themselves on the chart like last year's did.

dyl, Monday, 23 December 2019 21:17 (two years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 24 December 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

"all i want for christmas is you" and "last christmas" are both poorly written songs imo

oncle rasélonguebite (crüt), Wednesday, 25 December 2019 00:23 (two years ago) link

didn't expect this winner

dyl, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 02:38 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Mariah (25), Brenda (41) and Bobby (50) all re-entered the countdown this week, so tis the season. With "Jingle Bell Rock," I do wonder: does Mean Girls fandom have anything to do with its contemporary popularity (relative, that is--I realize that film is nearly 20 years old now), or has this song always been bigger than, say, any given version of "Silent Night" or "Frosty the Snowman" or anything like that?

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Thursday, 24 November 2022 19:42 (one week ago) link

I just learned via Andrew Hickey that “Feliz Navidad” was produced by the same guy who produced Surrealistic Pillow for the Jefferson Airplane.

Josefa, Thursday, 24 November 2022 19:47 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.