Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Wham 'most played Christmas song'

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham
Wham reached number two in the UK singles chart in December 1984

Wham's Last Christmas is most played festive track of the last five years, according to the company that collects royalties for composers and musicians.

The Performing Right Society puts the 1984 hit at the top of their chart of seasonal songs, just ahead of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas.

The Pogues come third with Fairytale of New York, recorded with the late Kirsty MacColl and first released in 1987.

Other featured artists include Slade, Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen.

Carey's song All I Want for Christmas is You comes fourth in the chart, just ahead of Springsteen's version of the popular standard Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Wizzard on Top Of The Pops
1. Last Christmas - Wham!
2. Do They Know It's Christmas? (original 1984 recording) - Band Aid
3. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
4. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Bruce Springsteen
6. Stop The Cavalry - Jona Lewie
7. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
8. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
9. Lonely This Christmas - Mud
10. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Source: PRS
The live recording, which took place at Long Island University in 1975, was originally the b-side to My Hometown and famously features the Boss bursting into laughter.


Jona Lewie's 1980 single Stop the Cavalry comes sixth, despite not being originally conceived as a Christmas song.

The anti-war song does, however, feature the line "wish I was at home for Christmas", while its brass band arrangement and chiming bells make it a common inclusion on Christmas playlists.

Surprisingly, Wizzard's ubiquitous I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and Slade's iconic Merry Xmas Everybody chart relatively low at seven and eight respectively.

Mud's Lonely This Christmas comes ninth in the poll, one place ahead of White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

The crooner's 1942 recording of the Irving Berlin song, which was originally featured in the film Holiday Inn, has sold at least 50 million copies, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The PRS collects royalties when songs are played on radio, TV, online and in public places and distributes them to its 60,000 members.

Jona Lewie, who is finishing work on his third album, told the BBC News website he was still proud of his biggest hit and had not tired of hearing it on the radio.

"The only time you might hear the song would be at Christmas, so that's not very often throughout the year," he said.

Out of the other nine tracks on the list, he said his favourite was Fairytale of New York.

He added: "I'd like to have seen Greg Lake's track [I Believe In Father Christmas] in there, and Elvis Presley's Santa Claus Is Back In Town - it would have been nice to get a bit of blues in there."

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