Music

You've Been Singing The Wrong Lyrics To These Christmas Classics

From “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to “Frosty The Snowman.”

Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé performing Christmas music.
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images / Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The Christmas season is officially upon us, and with it comes all the usual festive fanfare. If you celebrate the holiday, this likely includes buying last-minute gifts for your nearest and dearest, putting up your favourite seasonal decorations, attending the Christmas work-do (while trying not to embarrass yourself), powering through a lot of festive food and drink, and, of course, listening to the annual influx of Christmas music.

Throughout the month of December, it can be hard to escape some of the most popular Yuletide hits while flicking through radio stations and scrolling through your Spotify playlists. Although, it would appear that many listeners simply cannot get enough.

In 2020, the self-appointed “Queen of Christmas” Mariah Carey stormed to the top of the UK’s Official Singles Chart with her 1994 hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and repeated her chart success the following year in 2021, landing in the top three.

Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s “Merry Christmas” spent multiple weeks as the UK’s Number 1 single in December 2021, proving that the appetite for all things festive music is very much alive today.

Although we often hear the same tracks played on repeat year-on-year, some of us still haven’t got to grips with the actual words of our favourite Christmassy bops. Yes, the lyrics to some of the most popular seasonal tracks, including Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas,” Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York,” and more, are often misheard and debated among music listeners — and you can find some of the most surprising misheard Christmas song lyrics, below.

“Winter Wonderland”

This yuletide classic has been covered by many different artists throughout the decades, including the likes of Macy Gray, Tony Bennett, and Doris Day. Although, Bing Crosby’s rendition of “Winter Wonderland” stands out as a favourite. In spite of its lasting popularity, slight confusion over the song’s actual lyrics still remains to this day.

Misheard lyrics: “Later on, we’ll perspire. As we dream by the fire”

Correct lyrics:Later on, we'll conspire. As we dream by the fire.”

“All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Although considered one of the most, if not the most popular Christmas song of all time — topping the U.S. charts as recently as 2021 — some listeners still manage to mix up the lyrics of Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit.

Misheard lyrics: “I just wanna see my baby staring right outside my door.”

Correct lyrics: “I just wanna see my baby standing right outside my door.”

Misheard lyrics: “For the North Pole's closing in.”

Correct lyrics: “To the North Pole for Saint Nick.”

“Wonderful Christmastime”

Paul McCartney’s 1979 festive favourite reached the Top 10 in the UK upon its initial release and has been an integral track on every Christmas playlist for the past four decades. Although, some listeners still aren’t quite sure about the song’s lyrics.

Misheard lyrics: “The moon is white, the spear is up.”

Correct lyrics: “The moon is right, the spirits up.”

“Fairytale Of New York”

The lyrics to this ‘80s Christmas favourite have long been shrouded in controversy, causing the BBC to drop the original version of the track from its official playlists due to the song’s use of “derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.” But when considering the enduring success of The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York,” one might assume that listeners know the lyrics like the back of their hands. However, that isn’t always the case.

Misheard lyrics: “I’ve got a feeling, it's years from meeting you.”

Correct lyrics: “I've got a feeling, this year's for me and you.”

Misheard lyrics: “It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank. An old man certainly won't see another one.”

Correct lyrics: “It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank. An old man said to me, ‘won't see another one.’”

“Frosty The Snowman”

This cheerful Christmas classic has been covered by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Bublé, and many more over the decades. However, the track’s actual lyrics are still called into question by some fans.

Misheard lyrics: “With a broom stuck in his head.”

Correct lyrics: “With a broom stuck in his hand.”

“Step Into Christmas”

Released in December 1973, Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas” became an instant festive favourite, reaching the Top 10 in the UK. Although, the words to the song haven’t always been so clear to everyone.

Misheard lyrics: Each inner feelin', come along baby.”

Correct lyrics: Eat, drink and be merry, come along with me.”

“Merry Xmas Everybody”

Another Christmas hit released in 1973 is Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” which remains inescapable throughout the month of December. However, the song’s exact lyrics can be hard to decipher through lead singer Noddy Holder’s signature shouty vocals.

Misheard lyrics:Does he ride a red-nosed reindeer? Does he turn up on his sleigh?”

Original lyrics: Does he ride a red-nosed reindeer? Does a ton-up his a sleigh.”

“Last Christmas”

As one of the most played yuletide tracks year-on-year, Wham’s catchy “Last Christmas” chorus signifies that the festive season is well and truly upon us. Although, some listeners perhaps don’t know the song’s lyrics as well as they’d like to think.

Misheard lyrics: “A face and a lover with a bar in his heart.”

Correct lyrics: “A face on a lover with a fire in his heart.”