Common Words in Christmas Songs
Each year, new holiday songs do their best to make the rotation, but if findings from Spotify playlists and Billboard charts are any indication, we are set with our usual array of Christmas classics.
To be fair, it’s tough to top the likes of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and ‘NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” though props must be given to Pentatonix for putting their own unique spin on otherwise familiar seasonal jingles.
They’ve been rewarded for it too, as according to a 2016 study by Spotify, Pentatonix is in the top 10 for bands most associated with the fall (which technically runs Sept. 22-Dec. 20). You’ll find a similar story over at the Billboard Holiday 100, where Pentatonix made seven appearances last winter.
Using both Spotify and Billboard as our guide, we took a look at the lyrics of 20 of the most popular Christmas songs and threw them into a word cloud created at Tagul.com.
The playlist below reflects the artist we found to be most associated with that particular version of the song, which was then used to create the word cloud.
1. Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You
2. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
3. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)
4. Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
5. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
6. Burl Ives – A Holly Jolly Christmas
7. Wham! – Last Christmas
8. Jose Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
9. Gene Autry – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
10. Pentatonix – Mary, Did You Know?
11. Dean Martin – Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let Is Snow
12. Andy Williams – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
13. Michael Buble – It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
14. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
15. Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
16. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
17. Frank Sinatra – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
18. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
19. Idina Menzel with Michael Buble - Baby, It’s Cold Outside
20. ‘NSYNC - Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Word Cloud Results
To the surprise of no one, “Christmas” was the overall winner for tallying 99 references across the 20 tracks, while its prominent counterpart, “merry,” was second with 59 references. Rounding out the top five were a trio of non-holiday specific words: “want” (41), “know” (40), and “baby” (33).
Interestingly, “know,” “baby,” and “wanna” (otherwise known as want to), also featured heavily into our look at the Most Common Words in Popular Country Music Songs.
Attend Live Events This Holiday Season
Experience your holiday favorites live in concert as annual shows from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mariah Carey, Mannheim Steamroller, Jingle Ball, the Rockettes, and more, bring the magic of the season to life at venues all over the country.
Read our guide Thanksgiving to NYE: 15+ Live Events to Get the Most Out of the 2016 Holiday Season for more details on how to buy tickets to top live events from the Vivid Seats marketplace.