The most popular Christmas carols, ranked

The track is searched for across YouTube and Google over 45,000 times a month, over double the combined volume of the second-ranking song.

Its widespread popularity can be traced back to World War I when the carol was instrumental in bringing about the famous Christmas truce of 1914 between Germany and England.

Silent Night has been translated into hundreds of languages and re-recorded by popular artists with American chart firm Billboard reporting that it is the most-recorded holiday song of all-time, with over 137,000 versions.

Carol of the Bells takes second place with almost 23,000 searches per month. This began life as a Ukrainian folk song, with new lyrics later added by a Ukrainian-American composer.

Away in a Manger, the song most sung in British schools during nativity plays, takes third place, receiving over 21,000 monthly searches while O Holy Night, which the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey, has covered, receives over 17,000 UK monthly searches and ranks fourth most popular in Britain.

Fifth place goes to In the Bleak Mid-Winter, written by English poet Christina Rossetti. It has been referenced in the TV shows Peaky Blinders and The Crown and sung by Katherine Jenkins in Doctor Who.

Completing the top 10 are Joy to the World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, placing seventh, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Good King Wenceslas.

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Colin Toh, chief editor of digital headphone magazine Headphonesty who conducted the research, said: “With Christmas just days away, the study sheds light on the most popular traditional holiday songs. Silent Night and Jerusalem are the UK’s most popular carol and hymn by far, with search volumes showing a difference of thousands more searches per month than the next ranking songs.

“Traditional songs written over a hundred years ago dominate both rankings, with only a few modern songs in between – though some have had rerecorded versions by modern artists, which helps extend the songs’ reach to a broader range of listeners.”

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Top 10 monthly searches

  1. Silent Night 45,730
  2. Carol of the Bells 22,830
  3. Away in a Manger 21,800
  4. O Holy Night 17,010
  5. In the Bleak Mid-Winter 12,660
  6. Joy to the World 11,210
  7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 10,610
  8. O Come All Ye Faithful 9,690
  9. O Little Town of Bethlehem 8,250
  10. Good King Wenceslas 7,730

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