Every year as the build-up to Christmas begins, we dig out those Christmas playlists and start getting in the festive mood by listening to the Christmas classics. While plenty of songs are all about the biggest day of the year, for example, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’, there are a few that have become Christmas staples even though they have nothing to do with Christmas at all…
‘Last Christmas’ by Wham
Even though ‘Last Christmas’ has ‘Christmas’ mentioned plenty of times and has a video set in wintry mountains, the song itself is all about being cheated on and trying to find someone special who won’t be unfaithful. Sure, it’s set around Christmas time, but the time of year isn’t important to the song.
2. ‘Jingle Bells’ by James Lord Pierpont
Though ‘Jingle Bells’ is commonly associated with Christmas, the original lyrics simply talk about dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh and don’t mention anything at all to do with Christmas. There are many versions of ‘Jingle Bells’ and some have more Christmassy lyrics, but the original was actually written to be sung for Thanksgiving.
3. ‘Winter Wonderland’ by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith
Another festive classic, ‘Winter Wonderland’ doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas at all and is more about the season of winter. The song doesn’t refer to any specific date and the lyrics could be talking about any day during winter.
4. ‘Let It Snow’ by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne
Another song that’s more about winter than Christmas, ‘Let It Snow’ has become a popular Christmas song because it reflects our wishes for snow, which many of us very often don’t get.
5. ‘Sleigh Ride’ by Leroy Anderson
Though ‘Sleigh Ride’ makes references to it being ‘lovely weather for a sleigh ride together’ and ‘gliding along with the song of a wintry fairy land’, the song doesn’t make any references to Christmas. There have been many recordings of the song and some change the lyrics ‘birthday party’ for ‘Christmas party’, but the original remains free of Christmas references.
6. ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ by Frank Loesser
As it’s name suggests, this song is simply about it being freezing outside and someone persuading the person they fancy to stay inside for a bit longer because of the cold weather. There are no Christmas references to be found anywhere in the song’s lyrics. It was originally written by Frank Loesser for the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter.
7. ‘Frosty The Snowman’ by Walter Rollins and Steve Nelson
A song about a snowman that magically comes to life when a group of children place a silk hat on his head, ‘Frosty The Snowman’ makes no mention of Christmas and could take place at any time there’s snowfall. The song’s lyrics have been adapted by some performers to refer to Christmas – for example, the lyrics ‘”I’ll be back again someday”‘ are changed to ‘”I’ll be back on Christmas Day”‘ in some recordings.
8. ‘Stay Another Day’ by East 17
Even though the song has a video with some snow in it, ‘Stay Another Day’ isn’t about Christmas at all – it’s simply a ballad about longing and loss. It was the UK Christmas Number One in 1994 and Christmas bells were actually added to make it more appealing to the festive market.