Announced: The Best Christmas Songs of All Time

A new heart rate study has revealed the Christmas songs that make our heart skip a beat.

2020: A Different Kind Of Christmas

Picture the scene. You have barely made it through Halloween before the Christmas songs start flooding the radio stations and department stores are adorned with decorations. Yet, in this surreal Tier 4 Christmas, a crowded shopping centre with a long queue and ‘Christmas Wrapping’ blasting from the speakers is a scene of nostalgia.

Heart Rate Study

Using heart rate tracking equipment, a new study by Wren Kitchens discovered how listeners’ heart rates reacted when they listened to top festive hits. The study was carried out in November 2020. Respondents were asked to track their average heart rate using heart rate monitoring equipment. They were then played Christmas songs and their heart rate was taken again as a comparison. Combining the heart rate tracking data of all users in the experiment, the average heart rate was 62.9 bpm (beats per minute).

Clear Winners

From Mariah Carey to The Pogues, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a good old festive sing song. Yet, a few Christmas songs showed a distinct physiological reaction. Although the average heart rate lay at around 63 bpm, when Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ was played, the average heart rate increased to 83.4 bpm! This is an increase of more than 20 beats per minute. Other heart-racers were ‘Fairytale of New York’, ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ and ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’.

Festive Favourites

Other unsurprising heart-racers were Mariah Carey’s iconic All I Want For Christmas Is You (increasing the average heart rate by 13.6 bpm), Happy Xmas (War Is Over) with a 15.2 bpm increase and the cheery Merry Christmas Everyone with a 14 bpm increase. All of these classics are sure to have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

The Low Scorers

By contrast, some Christmas songs were not quite so popular. Johnny Mathis’s ‘When A Child Is Born’ was revealed to be the least popular Christmas song. This slower ballad showed just a small increase in bpm by 5.3. Also in the low-scorers were Elvis’s Blue Christmas and Mud’s Lonely This Christmas. Both songs focus on loneliness and sadness at christmas, potentially suggesting why these may not be as heart-racing as the jollier numbers in the list.