Most popular Christmas songs on the radio — Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is #1

most popular christmas songs research by ascap

The most popular Christmas songs on the radio? This cool infographic — citing data from ASCAP — says Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock and Blue Christmas were tops from 2000-2009. But hey, where is Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt…. and how about Bruce Springsteen doing Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, which I’m thinking is ’90s? Also, I don’t think it’s a “Massive Project to Carefully Recreate the Christmases of Baby Boomers’ Childhoods” — I think we just like playing music… we like Christmas… and the best Christmas songs came from this era! Thanks to for this rockin’ graphic.


What is your favorite retro Christmas song?


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  1. vintage_vantage says

    Anything on vinyl. I have made an attempt this year to get all the record players in our house up and running. There is nothing like hearing Bing pumping out of an old tube console.

  2. says

    I just about love them all – most bring back specific memories, like singing along with my grandmother to “The Chipmunk Song.” But if I had to choose one, it’d have to be “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” particularly the Bing Crosby version. No matter when, no matter where, this song always brings a tear to my eye (even when I was a kid) because there’s always someone who is either hundreds of miles away or no longer with us at Christmas, and this song always, always reminds me of them.

  3. Brian says

    “How about Bruce Springsteen doing Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, which I’m thinking is ’90s?”

    But “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” IS included. In fact, it’s the first song shown. The chart shows songs ordered by the decade when they were written; it isn’t showing specific renditions.

  4. Brian says

    Also, the chart isn’treally saying that “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is number one. It’s the highest because it happens to be at the top of the column for the decade with the highest number of songs. Note that all the red and green boxes are exactly the same size, which indicates that they’re not quantifying anything. Also there’s no vertical axis on the chart.

  5. Heidi says

    I love Santa Baby by the amazing Eartha Kitt. I also love my James Brown Funky Christmas CD!!!!!

    I actually love them all. They take this baby boomer back to those magical holiday seasons as a child. I wouldn’t traded them for anything.

  6. Jason says

    I wish they would play Jingle Bells by the Singing Dogs and Christmas Don’t Be Late by Alvin and the Chipmunks!!!!!!!! “……….I want a plane that loops the loop, Me, I want a Hula Hoop….We can hardly stand the wait, please Christmas Don;t be Late….”

  7. Kristy says

    ok, I’m late to the party (blame a faulty modem that had me offline) but I was amused and amazed to see that xkcd and RetroRenovation had collided =) Two of my favorite web presences!! As for me, I adore “winter wonderland”

  8. Annie B. says

    Better late than never, but one of my all-time favorites is Tex Logan’s “Christmas Time’s a-Comin'”, especially Sammy Kershaw’s rendition from the late ’90’s.

  9. Craig Smith says

    There’s a problem with the above article, in that it leaves out a HUGE number of very popular Christmas songs which get a lot of radio play, the most noteable being Carol of the Bells, Silent Night, and, O Holy Night, among others which find their origin long before the chart.

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