Feliz Navidad

Album: Feliz Navidad (1970)
Charted: 40 6

Songfacts®:

  • This bilingual holiday classic comprises a simple English verse with a Spanish chorus, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" that translates as "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness." The song's composer, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano, told Billboard magazine: "If I had left in Spanish only, then I knew the English stations might not play it, so I decided to write an English lyric, 'I want to wish you a merry Christmas.' And then there was no way the stations could lock that song out of the programming."
  • Feliciano's original recording is the title track of his 1970 album. Other artists that have covered the tune include Boney M, Michael Bublé featuring Thalía and Celine Dion. It has also been performed on Glee.
  • The song is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in the USA, and features in the performance rights organization ASCAP's December 2014 list of the top 30 most performed holiday songs of all time, coming in at #21.
  • The song soundtracked a 2011 Hyundai commercial.
  • To English speakers, the title sounds like it could be a girl's name (Felice Navidad). This is often used as comedy fodder in movies and TV shows.
  • Bob Rivers did a parody of this song called "Police Stop My Car," which is all about getting pulled over for DUI.
  • José Feliciano's original version of the song first charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1998, peaking at #70. It returned to the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated the week of January 7, 2017 reaching #44. The classic bilingual Christmas tune finally reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 50 years after its release, on the chart dated December 19, 2020.

Comments: 1

  • Patrick from Wahiawa, HiChristmas Season (in song) doesn't start until I hear José Felciano on radio/TV/"The InterWeb";)
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."

Dino Cazares of Fear Factory

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Tony Joe White

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.

John Parr

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.