From Justin Bieber to Mariah Carey: Five songs to get you in the Christmas spirit

Joy to the world, for Justin Bieber is dropping another Christmas charity song and has joined forces with former rivals, the UK’s National Health Service Choir.

The 26-year-old reached out to the choir to collaborate on a version of his hit, Holy, to raise funds for the NHS charity, which beat him to the 2015 Christmas number one.

The choir is comprised of nurses, doctors and other health-care staff working in Lewisham and Greenwich in the UK.

Choir members recorded their vocals at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios, with profits going to NHS Charities Together and the choir’s local NHS trust charity.

In 2015, the NHS choir’s A Bridge Over You beat out Bieber’s hit single, Love Yourself, for the year’s top Christmas song.

“It’s great to be reunited with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir, as we share a fun bit of UK chart history together,” Bieber said.

“Especially in these difficult times, I’m humbled to team up with them for a charity single that will benefit NHS workers on the frontlines of this pandemic and pay tribute to their unbelievable dedication.”

And while Holy has yet to prove itself in the ranks of best Christmas songs of all time, there are still a number of memorable tracks to look back on.

How To Make Gravy – Paul Kelly

Australians aren’t really known for our Christmas carols (bar everyone’s primary school favourite, The Australian 12 Days of Christmas).

Like all good Australian content, it involves a criminal and a Kelly, except this time we’ve swapped out Ned for Paul.

Paul Kelly’s stirring and emotional Christmas song is unlike any other you’re likely to hear blasting over the speakers at your local shopping centre during the holiday period.

How To Make Gravy swaps out the season’s signature jingling bells for a grungy guitar riff and focuses on a lonely inmate in lock-up.

“It was a song that doesn’t have a chorus, it’s set in prison, so I never thought it would be a hit song or anything… Once I start playing that song it lifts you up and takes you along with it,” Kelly said of his hit.

Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

Due to her impressive vocal range, Ariana Grande has often been compared to the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey.

Long before they joined forces on Mariah Carey’s Christmas Special, Grande tried her hand at a catchy Christmas carol.

The upbeat track talks of Grande’s apprehension to give in to a lover who may or may not be around next year.

Though Grande had said she didn’t want to record a Christmas song after her 2013 EP Christmas Kisses, Santa Tell Me ended up making it into the top 10 charts all around the world and remains a seasonal staple.

8 Days of Christmas – Destiny’s Child

An RnB-style Christmas carol doesn’t sound like something that should ever have been allowed to happen.

And yet, like everything else Beyonce touches, this one is gold.

Inspired by The Twelve Days of Christmas (surprisingly not the Australian version), this Destiny’s Child track is wonderfully 2000s.

Referencing some of the most wanted and now woefully dated gifts du jour, 8 Days of Christmas is a bass-heavy song that still slaps – 19 years after its release.

Wasn’t everyone begging their significant other for a pair of Chloe shades, a diamond belly ring and a gift certificate to get their favourite CDs in 2001?


All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey


Considered the penultimate contemporary Christmas tune, it simply wouldn’t be without Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You playing in every shop and on every radio.

For a song that was written in less than an hour, it has highlighted its staying power over the last 26 years, even topping the UK charts this year.

“Happy Christmas UK!” Carey said in a statement.

“We finally made it!!! We are keeping the Christmas spirit alive together despite how dismal the year’s been. Love you always! Joy to the world.”

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