11 Dec 18
The Irish Sun
FROM Slade to Shakin’ Stevens to Santa Claus is Coming to Town, we all have our favourite Christmas songs.
Every year, a new batch of tracks or covers of a classic hit the charts, but most would argue they’re nothing compared to old festive standards.
Christmas tunes are back with a bang
And the race is on once more to see who will grab the number one this year.
Ariana Grande currently tops the Irish charts and could hold on.
But some bookies are betting Fairytale of New York could mount a challenge, as the argument over censoring the Pogues lyrics rages on.
Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is currently the top trending Christmas song at number six.
Mariah Carey is currently the top trending Christmas song
Betway have analysed the songs who topped the charts, from what features most to the top themes.
Here, NICOLA BARDON takes a look at some Irish number ones gone by — with some festive facts you may not have heard before.
THE PUSH FOR NUMBER ONE
One of the most contested No1 battles came in 1973, when Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody faced Wizzard’s I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday.
In the end, Slade came out on top but both are still constantly played, 45 years later.
Wizzard had a hotly contested battle for the top spot in 1973
Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas first hit the top spot in 1984, but since then it has sold over 3.8million copies.
It managed to go top again in 1989, while Band Aid 20 repeated the feat in 2004.
Last Christmas by Wham remains one of the favourites for Christmas lovers, but it never actually hit the top of the charts.
It was beaten by Band Aid and is now the most successful single in the UK never to reach number one.
Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas also never came in first.
Mariah Carey has been denied a Christmas top spot
Shane MacGowan and Jem Finer both earn over €427,000 every year for Fairytale of New York by the Pogues.
Pop is the most common genre in the number one spot, followed by rock.
The last Christmas-themed song topping the Irish charts was Band Aid 20, in 2004.
Love is the most popular theme in those who won the Christmas push, followed by heartbreak.
There are three novelty number ones — Dermot Morgan’s Thank You Very Much, Mr Eastwood, in 1985, Zig and Zag’s 1990 Christmas No1 and Mario Rosenstock’s Gift Grub Leave Right Now.
PAST NUMBER ONES
Last year saw Ed Sheeran come first with Perfect. In 2016, it was Clean Bandit with Rockabye, in 2015 it was Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself and the year before that it was Uptown Funk.
The Beatles have had two Christmas number ones
In the ten years between 2008 and 2017, six were X Factor winners, the last being Sam Bailey in 2013 with Skyscraper.
Four acts have had two Christmas number ones since the Irish Singles Charts were started in 1962 — The Beatles, The Spice Girls, Queen and Eminem.
Eminem came out on top in 2000 and 2002, with Stan and Lose Yourself.
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Both of Queen’s number ones were with Bohemian Rhapsody.
Excluding group singles such as Band Aid and Perfect Day, there have been only nine number ones by Irish singers since 1962.
Paul McCartney features on five Christmas No1s in total — counting his role in the original Band Aid and the 20th-anniversary reworking from 2004, and as a member of The Beatles and Wings.