It takes two people, on average, to write a classic Christmas hit, according to a report by PRS For Music
The songwriting society analysed its database of 22.2 million songs and top 20 most-played Christmas songs on UK radio, and found that two minds are better than one to create a Yuletide chart hit.
Ten of the most-played festive songs on the airwaves had two songwriters behind them including Fairytale of New York by The Pogues, Band Aid’s Do They Know It's Christmas and Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody.
Even solo artists have called on a partner to help them pen their Christmas songs, including Elton John who wrote Step Into Christmas with long-term collaborator Bernie Taupin, and Mariah Carey co-wrote All I Want For Christmas Is You with Walter Afanasieff.
However, this generation’s Christmas songs – those released post-2000 – have more than two people on board than the Christmas classics of the '70s, '80s and '90s.
Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas, released this month, credited four songwriters, Kylie’s Every Day's Like Christmas, released last year, had five and Kanye West’s Christmas in Harlem’ from also credits five.
Simon Aldridge, head of writer relations, PRS For Music, said: “The essence of any successful Christmas song is its ability to conjure the festive spirit, be it as a celebration or as a deeper reflection of the season. At its core, this can only truly be achieved through writing the kind of lyric and melody that resonates with all our feelings at this time of year, and it’s why, so many of the same classic Christmas songs have been covered and played countless times across the years. It takes exceptional songwriting talent to pen a long-lasting hit that speaks to many generations.”
In contrast to PRS’s festive-focused findings, in May this year, Music Week conducted an analysis of 2016’s Top 100 Singles and found that you need an average of 4.53 people to write the very biggest hits. To make the year-end Top 30, you needed to employ an average of 4.67 people.