NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As cherished seasonal songs take over the radio and streaming playlists, filling the world with nostalgia and cheer, ASCAP shines a spotlight on the songwriters behind the songs that help listeners fall in love with the holidays. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers, announces the Top 25 Holiday Songs of 2022. Featuring no fewer than 16 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, this year’s chart recognizes the songwriters whose beloved works are on constant rotation as the soundtrack to the festive season.
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” returns to the top of the chart for the first time since 2019. The holiday classic, written by acclaimed Broadway composer Meredith Willson, originally debuted in 1951 as a hit for Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters. A familiar holiday album favorite, the tune has been covered by top artists including Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bublé. It has also made appearances on both the screen and the stage with features in the popular Home Alone film franchise and the musical Here’s Love.
Next up on the list is “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish at #2. The ode to winter weather festivities, filled with the sounds of sleigh bells and clip-clopping hooves, was originally composed by Anderson as an instrumental piece on a hot summer day in 1946. The iconic lyrics by Parish weren’t added until 1950. Another holiday hit inspired by a wicked heat wave is “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. Written in Hollywood, CA on what was the hottest day of the year in July 1945, the song was first recorded by Vaughn Monroe and has since been covered by countless artists in a variety of styles from Randy Travis‘s country rendition to Ella Fitzgerald‘s jazz take to Twisted Sister‘s heavy metal release.
Johnny Marks‘s fireside favorites “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” take three of the top 10 spots as the undeniably classic songs continue to inspire new generations with holiday spirit. Marks, the ultimate holiday hitmaker, based his first holiday hit “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on a coloring book character that his brother-in-law Robert L. May created for department store Montgomery Ward. The instant classic was the first #1 song of the 1950s and inspired a stop-motion animated TV special. In 1973, Marks also received the inaugural award from the International Society of Santa Claus in tribute to his contributions to the spirit of Christmas.
Mariah Carey‘s iconic modern day classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” written alongside acclaimed songwriter-producer Walter Afanasieff, returns to the top 10 after making history in 2021 as the first holiday song to sell over 10 million copies in the US, reaching RIAA diamond status. José Feliciano‘s beloved bilingual singalong “Feliz Navidad” continues to cement its status as a yuletide standard in the top 15, and Kelly Clarkson‘s “Underneath the Tree,” written with hitmaker Greg Kurstin, joins the list after topping ASCAP’s New Classic Holiday Songs chart in 2021. ASCAP is sharing more fun facts on “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “Feliz Navidad” on its YouTube and social media.
Below are the top 25 most played ASCAP holiday songs of 2022*, all written, co-written or arranged by ASCAP songwriters and composers. Each song lists ASCAP songwriter credits and copyright date.
- “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Meredith Willson** (1951)
- “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson** and Mitchell Parish** (1948)
- “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Johnny Marks** (1962)
- “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Sammy Cahn** and Jule Styne** (1945)
- “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks** (1949)
- “Jingle Bell Rock” by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1958)
- “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)
- “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Fred Coots** and Haven Gillespie** (1934)
- “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey** (1994)
- “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Johnny Marks** (1958)
- “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin** (1941)
- “The Christmas Song” by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells (1946)
- “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano (1970)
- “Winter Wonderland” by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934)
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Ralph Blane** and Hugh Martin** (1944)
- “Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (1950)
- “Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)” by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman (1947)
- “Jingle Bells” (Frank Sinatra version), arranged by Gordon Jenkins** (1958)
- “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague (1966)
- “Deck the Halls” (Nat King Cole version), arranged by Nat King Cole and Leland Gillette (1960)
- “Santa Baby” by Joan Javits, Anthony Springer and Philip Springer (1953)
- “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin (2013)
- “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney** (1979)
- “Blue Christmas” by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson (1949)
- “Silver Bells” by Ray Evans** and Jay Livingston** (1950)
*Based on an analysis of ASCAP streaming and terrestrial radio data and continued membership in ASCA
**Indicates Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee
ASCAP is sharing a playlist of its Top 25 Holiday Songs for 2022 on Spotify here: https://bit.ly/ASCAPHoliday22.
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