ASCAP Reveals the Top 30 Holidays Songs of the Century

Top 30 Holiday Songs of the Century

If you guessed “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is the top performed holiday song of all time, you’d be off by a few spots on the top 10 list. “Rudolph” came in at number eight and it turns out “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” is actually the most performed holiday song of the century, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Normally, ASCAP releases an annual list of the most performed holiday songs of the year, however this year they’re changing things up by announcing a top 30 holidays songs of all time list in honor of the organization’s 100th birthday.

“Music reminds us that the holidays are supposed to be about togetherness and good cheer. These 30 ASCAP classics perfectly capture those themes and for many are a bridge to wonderful memories of days gone by,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. “The list is a testament to the enduring importance of great songs and songwriters. It’s also a reminder of the essential role that ASCAP and our members play in our lives, year after year. It simply wouldn’t be the holidays without ASCAP music.”

Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” cracks the list as the youngest tune to make the cut at just 20 years old. It’s also the #1 holiday ringtone of all time as well as Carey’s biggest international hit.

Top 30 Most Performed Holiday Songs

1. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1934)
Written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie

2. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (1944)
Written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells

3. “White Christmas” (1941)
Written by Irving Berlin

4. “Winter Wonderland” (1934)
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith

5. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (1944)
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin

6. “Sleigh Ride” (1948)
Written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish

7. “Jingle Bell Rock” (1958)
Written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe

8. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1949)
Written by Johnny Marks

9. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (1945)
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

10. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (1943)
Written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent

11. “Little Drummer Boy” (1941)
Written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone

12. “Silver Bells” (1950)
Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

13. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (1958)
Written by Johnny Marks

14. “Frosty the Snowman” (1950)
Written by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins

15. “Blue Christmas” (1964)
Written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson

16. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (1963)
Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle

17. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (1951)
Written by Meredith Willson

18. “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)” (1947)
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman

19. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (1962)
Written by Gloria Shayne Baker (SACEM) and Noël Regney (SACEM)

20. “Carol of the Bells” (1904)
Written by Mykola Leontovych and Peter Wilhousky

21. “Feliz Navidad” (1970)
Written by Jose Feliciano

22. “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” (1965)
Written by Johnny Marks

23. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (1952)
Written by Tommy Connor (PRS)

24. “Last Christmas” (1984)
Written by George Michael

25. “Home for the Holidays” (1954)
Written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman

26. “Wonderful Christmastime” (1979)
Written by Paul McCartney (PRS)

27. “Happy Holidays” (from Holiday Inn) (1942)
Written by Irving Berlin

28. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (1994)
Written by Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey (BMI)

29. “Santa Baby” (1953)
Joan Javits, Philip Springer and Tony Springer (SOCAN)

30. “This Christmas” (1970)
Written by Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor

-By Rebecca Murray

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