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The top five most influential Christmas songs

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The most influential songs for the holiday season.

Christmas is by far the most celebrated holiday worldwide, and because of this many songs have been created to celebrate it. Holiday music floods retail stores, cafes and other public areas throughout November and December, so much so that it is hard to avoid hearing certain songs. However, some have made more impact than others, so without further ado, here are the five tracks that have made their permanent mark on society. 


  1. “Last Christmas” – Wham!


Wham!’s 1984 hit “Last Christmas” is considered to be one of the best Christmas songs ever made, and it is not without reason. Not only is it a beloved classic but it also has many current artist covers such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Megan Trainor. However, in my opinion, Wham!’s original version still remains the best. While this song is very influential, it is in the fifth spot because compared to the rest, it is not as catchy and easy to sing so it is not what comes to mind when someone mentions Christmas. 


  1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey 


Carey’s impact on the holiday music market is strong, and she even has the nickname of the “Queen of Christmas.” Popular memes and trends surface each year during the Christmas season because of this song, including the popular meme of Carey “defrosting.” She even fed into this internet phenomenon by posting a video of her singing “It’s time” while inside a thawing ice cube right after Halloween ended, welcoming the Christmas season. This song is in the fourth spot because it has only become a huge sensation in the past 10 years, and still has time to show its full potential as it is not even 30 years old but still replayed constantly.


  1. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee 


Originally released in 1958, this song has remained popular for over 60 years and is experiencing an even bigger comeback this year after the release of the new music video. This year, it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, a spot that had been occupied by Carey’s 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” for the last four years. Lee originally recorded this when she was only 13-years-old and has now released the music video at the age of 78. While it has been popular for many years, it has only become bigger recently, so it has the potential to be the most influential. But for now, the third spot is perfect.


  1. “Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano


This half-Spanish half-English track has managed to stay at the top of holiday tunes for a long time. The Spanish chorus wishes a merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and happiness, followed by the English lyrics “I want to wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart,” which alternately repeats throughout the song. The simplicity and catchiness of this song are definitely one of the main reasons it has remained popular for decades and does not seem to be going away any time soon. 


  1. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Bobby Helms


With over 400 different recordings, this 1957 track has shown its permanent mark on modern society. Although the song is heavily associated with Christmas specifically, the lyrics of “Jingle Bell Rock” never do mention Christmas. Still, this song has managed to become one of the unofficial Christmas anthems that will continue to be played throughout the season for years to come. This timeless hit is the most influential Christmas song in my opinion because it is widely played during the season and has been featured in many pieces of media, showing its influence on the Christmas music market.

While thousands of songs have been released to celebrate the holiday season, only a few have managed to show their impact in the holiday market. These songs will likely remain relevant for years, or even decades, to come and continue to show their timelessness. 


Contact Noelia Ocampo at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Noelia Ocampo
Noelia Ocampo, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Noelia Ocampo. I’m a sophomore at Memorial and this is my first year writing on staff. I joined intro during my freshman year and ended up staying because of how much I liked it. I enjoy anything related to science and history and I also like to garden and make bracelets during my free time.