Over the last decade or so The X factor has taken over (or some would say ruined) the once coveted Christmas No number 1 slot. Waiting to hear who was top of the pile for Christmas was once as much a part as Christmas as highlighting the bejayus out of the Christmas edition of the RTE guide!
It wasn’t just pride or bragging rights at stake for those acts who wanted the No 1 spot for the festive season, there was some serious dollars to be made too! but just how much do our favourite Crimbo chart toppers make for those who wrote them??
Below is the top 5 highest earning Christmas tunes of all time and for the acts who gave us some of our festive favorites, and the amounts that they get each year are truly eye watering!
No 5: Wham Last Christmas (1984)
Following his passing last Christmas George Michael will now sadly always have two reasons to be associated with Christmas. 1984 was the year he topped the charts with his ditty all about heartbreak and it remains a firm favourite with fans, the hair do’s alone are reason enough to watch the oh so very 80’s video!
No 4: Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1941)
Its seems that we’re not going to have an actual White Christmas this year (although there are some reasonable odds with the bookies at 3 to 1 if you fancy a flutter )so hearing Bing singing about one is probably as close as we’re going to get. Irving Berlin’s song about snow certainly delivered the dough for Crosby and holds the world record as the most bought single in chart history with over 100 million copies sold.
This 8-line song that paints a picture of holiday nostalgia was written by Berlin for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, where Crosby sings from the perspective of a New Yorker stranded in sunny California during Christmas, ah bless!
No 3: Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is you (1994)
The most recent entrant on the list comes from world renowned Diva and we suspect, complete pain in the hole to work for Mariah Carey. The catchy tune was co-written by Carey in the summer of 94 for her Christmas album.
Interestingly an English farmer named Angus Wielkopolski discovered that goats produce more milk listening to this tune than any other song. The discovery was made at St. Helen’s farm near York where staff listen to music while they milk the herd. They found that the goats produced up to half a pint more when Carey’s famous Christmas track was played, and Ms Carey has been milking it ever since!
No2: The Pogues: Fairytale of New York (1987)
Certainly in Ireland it’s not Christmas until we hear the Shane McGowan and Kirsty McCaul classic. 30 years old this year its popularity shows no signs of waning. The song is about Irish people who emigrated to America in the 19th century to escape the potato famine in the hope of making it as entertainers in New York and to say it pulls at the heartstrings is an understatement.
Drink is a core theme of the track and is made all the more poignant by McGowan’s decade’s long battle with the booze and when McGowan sings about the ‘drunk tank’ you just know he knows exactly how it feels to spend some time there.
McGowan himself was born in Christmas Day so the humongous check he gets in January is one hell of a Birthday/Christmas present rolled into one and given the joy the song has brought to so many Irish home and abroad over the years who could begrudge him.
No 1: Merry Christmas Everyone (1973)
Ah it’s a belter! Yes Noddy Holder and Slades Merry Christmas Everyone is the top earner when it comes to Christmas No 1’s. The catchy track is based on a psychedelic song, “My Rocking Chair,” which Noddy Holder wrote in 1967. In 1973 the Slade vocalist decided to convert it into a Christmas song after a night out drinking at a local pub. He and the band’s bass player and co-writer Jimmy Lea camped out at Noddy’s mother’s house and got down to changing the lyrics to make them more Christmassy.
A true global masterpiece UK copyright collection society and performance rights organisation (PRS) estimated in 2009 that 42 per cent of the earth’s population has heard this tune!
So if you truly hate your job get out the pen and paper and start scribbling and write yourself a Christmas No 1, and you’ll never have to work again!