Christmas Music Quiz

A Christmas Gift for YouWhile some FM stations have been running all Christmas music, all the time since approximately Halloween, we’ve decided to wait until the actual month the holiday occurs for our first-ever Christmas quiz. While this may not exactly be all about rock and roll, we’re willing to bet that Christmas has changed your life at least as much as it has.

The questions are based on data collected by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) during the past five years, based on radio airplay monitoring, of the top 25 Christmas songs.

1. What is the #1 most-performed Christmas song?

2. OK. Let’s assume you got that one right, Rudolph. Clearly you know that when it was first played, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians made it a hit. Here’s a tougher one about the same song: What group/performer version is the most currently played?

3. What downer song by The King makes the list?

4. What does Phil Spector have to do with Christmas?

5. “Happy Xmas/(War Is Over)” by John Lennon isn’t on the list. What anthem is?

6. Lighting round. Name the tunes associated with the following—Christmas songs, that is:

   a. The Pretenders

   b. Bobby Helms

   c. John Mellencamp

7. Bonus question. Egg nog: Brandy or rum?

Answers after the jump…

1. “Winter Wonderland.” Oddly enough, the word “Christmas” doesn’t appear in the lyrics. And oddly enough, one verse of the tune written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith is a bit creepy: “Later on, we’ll conspire / As we dream by the fire / To face unafraid / The plans that we’ve made / Walking in a winter wonderland.” Conspire by the fire?

2. No, not Bing Crosby or Andy Williams. Rather, the Eurythmics. Who knew?

3. “Blue Christmas.” It was first recorded by Ernest Tubb in 1948. Elvis made it his own in ’57.

4. Plenty. The Ronettes score on the list with: #4, “Sleigh Ride” and #16, “Frosty the Snowman.” There is only one other performer with two in the top 25: Gene Autry. We’re sticking with Ronnie.

5. “Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)” by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. It is at #24. It is actually the newest song on the list. It is from 1984. (What’s with the parentheses in this and Lennon’s song?)

6. a., “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (#3); b. “Jingle Bell Rock” (#8); c. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (#21)

7. Peppermint schnapps.

The Top 25 most performed ASCAP holiday songs of the past five years are listed below. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio.

1. Winter Wonderland

Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith

Performed by: Eurythmics

2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells

Performed by: Nat “King” Cole

3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin

Performed by: The Pretenders

4. Sleigh Ride

Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish

Performed by: The Ronettes

5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Written by: Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie

Performed by: Frank Sinatra

6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Written by: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne

Performed by: Michael Bublé

7. White Christmas

Written by: Irving Berlin

Performed by: Bing Crosby

8. Jingle Bell Rock

Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe

Performed by: Bobby Helms

9. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Written by: Johnny Marks

Performed by: Gene Autry

10. Little Drummer Boy

Written by: Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone

Performed by: The Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra

11. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle

Performed by: Andy Williams

12. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

Written by: Johnny Marks

Performed by: Brenda Lee

13. Silver Bells

Written by: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans

Performed by: Kenny G

14. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram

Performed by: Amy Grant

15. Feliz Navidad

Written by: José Feliciano

Performed by: José Feliciano

16. Frosty The Snowman

Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins

Performed by: The Ronettes

17. A Holly Jolly Christmas

Written by: Johnny Marks

Performed by: Burl Ives

18. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Written by: Meredith Willson

Performed by: Johnny Mathis

19. Blue Christmas

Written by: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson

Performed by: Elvis Presley

20. (There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays

Written by: Bob Allen, Al Stillman

Performed by: Perry Como

21. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Written by: Tommie Connor (PRS)

Performed by: John Mellencamp

22. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)

Written by: Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman

Performed by: Gene Autry

23. Carol Of The Bells

Written by: Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich

Performed by: David Foster (instrumental version)

24. Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)

Written by: Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS)

Performed by: Band Aid

25. This Christmas

Written by Donny Hathaway, Nadine McKinnor

Performed by Gloria Estefan

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