It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's the holiday season, which means hours and hours of listening to Christmas music. Alongside the classics, and their covers, are the original Christmas songs which have become popular hits and fan favorites. Here is AOL Radio's list of the top ten original Christmas songs, written by many of your favorite artists!
'Where Are You Christmas?'
'Where Are You Christmas' was released in 2000 for the movie 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.' The soft ballad was co-written by Mariah Carey, James Horner, and Will Jennings. Carey was originally supposed to perform the song, but instead it was re-recorded and released by country star Faith Hill. The song picks up towards the end as Hill exclaims in a strong, joyful voice: "If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel like Christmas all the time."
'Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24'
When one thinks of music and Christmas, it's hard not to think about Trans-Siberian Orchestra, whose music and concerts largely take on a holiday theme and feel. This particular tune is a unique, instrumental medley of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Carol of the Bells.' It was released on the band's debut album 'Christmas Eve and Other Stories.' The dramatic instrumental piece describes a lone cello player who is playing a forgotten Christmas carol in war-torn Sarajevo.
Combining both the Spanish and English languages, Jose Feliciano scored big with his popular 1970 hit, 'Feliz Navidad.' The simple verses in the song helped propel it to the top of the charts, and it remains one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. The song includes an acoustic guitar and a Puerto Rican cuatro. Additionally, the horns added a nice touch to the song and was the idea of producer Rick Jarrad.
'Do They Know Its Christmas?'
In 1984, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote this charity song to help raise money for the famine in Ethiopia. Geldof then put together a group called Band Aid, which consisted of popular British and Irish musicians. The song allows for individual singers to perform several different lines and it all comes together for the energetic chorus, repeated by much of the cast. Some notables in the band include Bono, Sting, and Phil Collins.
'My Only Wish This Year'
In 2000, Britney Spears released a festive, teen-pop Christmas tune about hoping to find love on Christmas. The song was written by Brian Kieruff and Josh Schwartz and was originally released on the Christmas compilation album, 'Platinum Christmas.' Spears describes her loneliness during the holidays in this typical bubble-gum pop tune. She sings to Santa in the catchy hit: "I have been so good this year and all I want is one thing/tell me my true love is near."
In 1979, McCartney released the global hit, 'Wonderful Christmastime.' It was recorded solely by McCartney when laying down tracks for his 'McCartney II' album. The legendary Beatle was experimenting with electro-pop sounds and used an early synthesizer to help get the unique beats that play throughout the track. Despite the simplistic and catchy lyrics, the complex sounds made this tune one of McCartney's most unique and one of his most popular solo records.
'Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays'
Shortly after their successful debut album, *NSYNC released their second album, 'Home for Christmas,' which included their only single 'Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.' The song provided the young band with a huge pop anthem for the season. The joyful song features a memorable sing-along chorus and light dance-pop beats.
George Michael wrote and produced the often-covered track 'Last Christmas' for his new wave duo, Wham! It was only released as a promotional single, but it has become quite popular over the years around the world. The upbeat song is about a failed relationship in the past and the prospect of having a different and better one this upcoming year. The classic tune has been covered by Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World, Taylor Swift, and many other artists.
'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'
One of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time was this call for peace written by Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1971. Although the song is basically a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas classic and is a feel-good, inspirational tune for the holidays. The single famously features the Harlem Community Choir throughout the song. In it, they repeatedly sing, "War is over, if you want it, war is over now."
'All I Want For Christmas Is You'
Mariah Carey is known for having an iconic voice, and she garnered cross-over appeal with, perhaps, her biggest hit, 'All I Want for Christmas Is You.' The up-tempo love song was written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff and appeared on Carey's album, 'Merry Christmas.' In addition to showing off Carey's famous voice, the song includes bell chimes and a lot of back-up vocals. The song has sold more than 10 million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. In it, Carey sings about wanting simply to be reunited with her love for the holidays: "Santa won't you bring me the one I really need/won't you please bring my baby to me."