Christmas one-hit wonders aren’t as common as standard one-hit wonders, but they do still appear from time to time. If you’re looking to spruce up your festive playlist with a small selection one-hit Christmas songs, we’re here to help!
We’re all familiar with the concept of the “one-hit wonder”. To qualify for this title, the tune has to be a singular song from a relatively unheard-of band or artist who hasn’t produced any other majorly successful songs before (or after) their festive song.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the definitive list of Christmas one-hit wonders…
1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
More than just the producers of a singular “one-hit wonder” tune, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra really only plays music for the festive season – and nothing else.
The band only seems to go on tour around the Christmas season, playing songs specifically for Christmas Eve and other festive occasions.
Although you’ve probably heard the Orchestra playing during Christmas, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra outside of this.
2. Gayla Peevey: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Likely one of the best-known Christmas one-hit wonders in the world today, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is sure to capture the hearts and minds of children and adults all over the world.
Though often considered a novelty song by most, this one-hit wonder is bound to make you smile.
Adorable and endearing, the lyric of this unique song is popular among a lot of today’s festive fans, as they appeal to the dreamer inside us all, and remind us of the magic of Christmas.
3. The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping
Regarded as the top one hit wonder Christmas song by many, Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses first emerged in 1988. Since then, the tune has stood the test of time as one of the most compelling one-hit wonders on the charts.
Though you might hear this song on the radio every once in a while, there’s a good chance you couldn’t name anything else by the Waitresses.
This song by the Waitresses probably won’t appeal to every festive fan – but it’s definitely worth checking out if you like experimenting with some different sounds during the holiday season.
4. NewSong: The Christmas Shoes
Created by NewSong, “The Christmas Shoes” is best known as the song at Christmas most likely to make us all burst into tears. Whether you’ve seen the movie before, or not, this holiday tune is all about a poor boy struggling to purchase a pair of shoes for his dying mother.
The tearjerker might be something you’d prefer to skip when listening to the radio in some cases – but it’s also a great one-hit wonder worth remembering every once in a while.
5. Jose Feliciano: Feliz Navidad
A song written by an impeccable artist, Feliz Navidad has been performed by many different bands over the years. Though Jose has created renditions of other popular tunes over the years, like Light my Fire by the Doors, we can still classify him as a “one-hit wonder” for the Feliz Navidad melody.
The mega single released in the 1970s and has been a popular pick among radio stations ever since. Interestingly, despite being an amazing singer and songwriter, Jose Feliciano has faced a number of challenges during his life, including being blind since birth.
6. Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas
This might be a bit of a cheat for our list of Christmas one hit wonders, as technically, Band Aid was only created for the purpose of creating a Christmas song. This means Band Aid never really created another song to be classed as a hit or otherwise.
Still, this does mean the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” actually fits with our ability to identify a one-hit wonder.
The song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is one of the most popular in the world, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a unique experience.
While it’s true you won’t be able to find anything else from the actual “Band Aid” group anywhere, you can still check out songs from the artists that made up the new band.
What is a Christmas one-hit wonder?
If you’re wondering why we only have a handful of “One-hit wonders” on our list, it’s worth noting our definition of the one-hit wonder is pretty strict.
Although there are definitely a lot of songs out there – like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Kitt – which were more famous than other songs by the same artist, we were careful not to include any creator on our list who also had another number one hit outside of the song they released for the festive period.
If you’re looking for artists who had some of their biggest hits during Christmas, there are a lot more options to consider.
- All I Want for Christmas: While it’s fair to say Mariah Carey has had plenty of songs to her name over the years, “All I Want for Christmas” is easily the most popular. Few other songs by Mariah, including “Oh Santa”, another Christmas hit, have had the same impact.
- Last Christmas: Wham has also had a number of hits over the years, but Wham’s “Last Christmas” is probably the best-known all around the world. It’s so popular in the UK today the song has even started to have a unique game associated with it.
- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer: Created by Elmo and Patsy, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is a pretty fun song with a novelty edge to it.
If you want more fun tips on how you can make the most of your holiday season with some unique songs and music, check out some of our other amazing lists at Radio Fidelity.
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.