Christmas music: Top 25 tunes people listen to while driving home for the festive season

A new list reveals which of our favourite festive hits will be on the stereo as we are driving home for Christmas.
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As many of us plan to hit the road this Christmas a new list reveals which of our favourite festive hits will be on the stereo. Researchers from car sales site webuyanycar have revealed a list of the nation’s top festive tunes for car journeys as we head home or away for the holiday season.

Topping the list, unsurprisingly, is Chris Rea classic and appropriately titled, Driving Home for Christmas, with almost half (47 percent) of the vote. Fairytale of New York by the Pogues was second with an equally impressive 46 percent. In third place was Wizzard’s, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, with 39 percent.

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Earnest ballad Driving Home For Christmas didn’t travel straight to the top of most people’s Christmas lists, however. Released in 1986 as a B-side to Rea’s ‘Hello Friend’ single, it was only released as an attempt at the festive market in 1988 - and only reached number 53. However, it has slowly grown in popularity and since 2007 it’s made a reappearance in the Top 40 at Christmas, with the song reaching its peak chart position in 2021, at number 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

Also on the list of festive tunes we like to listen to while on the move were Wham’s heartbreaking ditty Last Christmas (38 percent), the upbeat All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey (37 percent) and the more traditional It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (32 percent), by Bing Crosbie.

The survey also discovered that the average British motorist will drive 185 miles over the Christmas period, to see friends and family. However, 92 percent of respondents agreed that despite traffic jams and potential bad weather there is no better feeling than heading home for the festive break.

Music is clearly a vital part of our festivities, with 85 percent of people agreeing it doesn’t feel like Christmas until they’ve heard a classic anthem. Psychologically, the tracks help us reminisce our early years, with 90 percent saying that they’re transported back to childhood by hearing some of the songs.

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Richard Evans, Head of Technical Services at webuyanycar, said: “This poll shows how much we think about music at Christmas, particularly on that much anticipated drive home for the festive season listening to our favourite Christmas songs.”

The thorny issue of when it is okay to start playing Christmas songs highlights more of a divide, however, with 48 percent of the nation saying it is okay to play them in November, while 52 percent believe you must hold on until December. Many more people are in favour of Christmas songs in shops - with 87 percent saying they enjoy hearing them when out and about.

A growing proportion make their own Christmas playlists, with 33 percent saying they plan ahead when it comes to their festive listening. But seven in 10 people do agree that at the end of Christmas they’re pleased they won’t have to hear a festive song for another year.

Britain’s favourite Chrstmas car tunes

Below are the top 25 Christmas cra tunes favoured by the British public, according to the webuyanycar survey:

  1. Driving Home For Christmas - Chris Rea    47%
  2. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues     46%
  3. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard   39%
  4. Last Christmas - Wham!       38%
  5. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey   37%
  6. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Bing Crosby  32%
  7. Do They Know It’s Christmas? - Band Aid 20    31%
  8. White Christmas - Bing Crosby      26%
  9. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee   22%
  10. Step Into Christmas - Elton John     21%
  11. Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin’ Stevens    21%
  12. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Andy Williams 20%
  13. Silent Night - Bing Crosby      20%
  14. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - The Jackson 5  19%
  15. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon and Yoko Ono 17%
  16. Stay Another Day - East 17     16%
  17. Mary’s Boy Child/ Oh My Lord - Boney M   14%
  18. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt      14%
  19. Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano     13%
  20. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney   13%
  21. Walking In The Air - Aled Jones     13%
  22. 2000 Miles - The Pretenders     12%
  23. Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard    12%
  24. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - The Jackson 5  12%
  25. One More Sleep - Leona Lewis     12%
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