Wonderful Christmastime

Album: That's Christmas (1979)
Charted: 6 47
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was recorded during the sessions for the McCartney II album, where Paul once again retreated to his farm and laid down all the tracks himself. This time he was experimenting with the new electropop movement, which explains the weird boinging sound throughout the song. This sound was created by an early synthesizer called a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, which was also used on Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" and the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The Beatles never had an official Christmas release, although they distributed "Christmas Time Is Here Again" to their fan club in 1967. As solo artists, however, all 4 members released Christmas songs. This one and John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" have endured and continue to get airplay in the holiday season.
  • De La Soul sampled this for their song "Simply Havin'" on their album AOI: Bionix.
  • Although the members of Wings do not feature on the song, they do appear in the song's music video, which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex. McCartney recalled to NME in 2012: "We went out to some pub somewhere, and so that was a laugh... we just run out of the pub occasionally, filmed a bit, and then went back into the pub. So that was quite a nice evening!"
  • This continues to receive substantial airplay every year. "The song is what we in the industry call an evergreen, because it gets played all the time," explained entertainment attorney Bernie Resnick to Forbes. "[McCartney's] publishing royalty check every fourth quarter probably has a lot of zeros on the end."

    According to the Forbes website, another industry source estimates that McCartney earns over $400,000 royalties a year from the song. That sounds greatly inflated to us; songwriters with recurrent hits tell us their biggest song might pull in $10,000 a year, tops.
  • Martin Sheen, John Spencer, and Stockard Channing of The West Wing covered this for the NBC Celebrity Christmas album in 2000. Also Eli Young Band recorded a version on the 2011 compilation The Country Christmas Collection. Their cover peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in January 2012.
  • McCartney performed the song on the December 15, 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live.
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Comments: 8

  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiThis has never been one of my favorites but I wouldn't put it as blunt as Mark from LA. Show Sir Paul some respect. haha
  • Mark from Los Angeles, CaI like Paul McCartney, but this song is repulsive - probably one of the worst holiday songs ever recorded.
  • Jesse from Madison, WiDespite the relative simplicity of everything going on this song, there is an underlying complexity in it. I love the layers of sound built up by the synthesizer and how they form a neat framework for the lyrics. McCartney was a master of melody, and this song showcases it wonderfully. That's what made his contributions to The Beatles and all his subsequent solo work (not to mention hits he penned for others, like World Without Love by Peter and Gordon) sing so melodiously and so impossible to forget. Once you hear his songs, you never forget them. Notice all the Beatles songs he sings on, they are rife with melody, whereas MOST of Lennon's (excepting Julia) are more monotone. McCartney has always been my favorite Beatle, and his solo career kept that flame alive and burning brightly.
  • Tricia from Rockville Centre, NyI love the beginning of this song..the bonk, bonk...its makes you really feel happy and makes you want to go out and do something Christmasy!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis is one of my favorite Christmas Carols.
  • Adam from Los Angeles, CaFor some reason, when Christmas season begins...i tend to get alittle depressed-----this song always brings me out of my funk.
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaPaul McCartney plays and plays the synthesizer like a kid playing with a toy for the first time, and the lyrics repeat endlessly. In spite of that, the song is so infectious, I liked it anyway.
  • Jimmy from New York, NyJohn Fugelsang joked that this song sounds like two Casios f'ing.
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