The Christmas season is officially upon us, and with it comes all the usual festive fanfare. If you celebrate the holiday, this likely includes buying
last-minute gifts for your nearest and dearest, putting up your favourite seasonal decorations, attending the Christmas work-do (while trying not to embarrass yourself), powering through a lot of festive food and drink, and, of course, listening to the annual influx of Christmas music.
Throughout the month of December, it can be hard to escape some of the most popular Yuletide hits while flicking through radio stations and scrolling through your Spotify playlists. Although, it would appear that many listeners simply cannot get enough.
In 2020, the
self-appointed “Queen of Christmas” Mariah Carey stormed to the top of the UK’s Official Singles Chart with her 1994 hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and repeated her chart success the following year in 2021, landing in the top three.
Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s “Merry Christmas” spent multiple weeks as the UK’s Number 1 single in December 2021, proving that the appetite for all things festive music is very much alive today.
Although we often hear the same tracks played on repeat year-on-year, some of us
still haven’t got to grips with the actual words of our favourite Christmassy bops. Yes, the lyrics to some of the most popular seasonal tracks, including Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas,” Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York,” and more, are often misheard and debated among music listeners — and you can find some of the most surprising misheard Christmas song lyrics, below.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Although considered one of the most, if not
the most popular Christmas song of all time — topping the U.S. charts as recently as 2021 — some listeners still manage to mix up the lyrics of Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit.
Misheard lyrics: “I just wanna see my baby staring right outside my door.”
Correct lyrics: “I just wanna see my baby standing right outside my door.”
Misheard lyrics: “For the North Pole’s closing in.”
Correct lyrics: “To the North Pole for Saint Nick.”
Paul McCartney’s 1979 festive favourite
reached the Top 10 in the UK upon its initial release and has been an integral track on every Christmas playlist for the past four decades. Although, some listeners still aren’t quite sure about the song’s lyrics.
Misheard lyrics: “The moon is white, the spear is up.”
Correct lyrics: “The moon is right, the spirits up.”
“Fairytale Of New York”
The lyrics to this ‘80s Christmas favourite have long been shrouded in controversy, causing
the BBC to drop the original version of the track from its official playlists due to the song’s use of “derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.” But when considering the enduring success of The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York,” one might assume that listeners know the lyrics like the back of their hands. However, that isn’t always the case.
Misheard lyrics: “I’ve got a feeling, it’s years from meeting you.”
Correct lyrics: “I’ve got a feeling, this year’s for me and you.”
Misheard lyrics: “It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank. An old man certainly won’t see another one.”
Correct lyrics: “It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank. An old man said to me, ‘won’t see another one.’”
“Merry Xmas Everybody”
Another Christmas hit released in 1973 is Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” which remains inescapable throughout the month of December. However, the song’s exact lyrics can be hard to decipher through lead singer Noddy Holder’s signature shouty vocals.
Misheard lyrics: “Does he ride a red-nosed reindeer? Does he turn up on his sleigh?”
Original lyrics: “Does he ride a red-nosed reindeer? Does a ton-up his a sleigh.”
As one of the most played yuletide tracks year-on-year, Wham’s catchy “Last Christmas” chorus signifies that the festive season is well and truly upon us. Although, some listeners perhaps don’t know the song’s lyrics as well as they’d like to think.
Misheard lyrics: “A face and a lover with a bar in his heart.”
Correct lyrics: “A face on a lover with a fire in his heart.”
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