Britain’s favourite Christmas carol revealed in a radio poll

Britain's favourite Christmas carol revealed in a radio poll. image: flickr

Britain’s favourite Christmas carol revealed in a radio poll

Britain’s favourite Christmas carol has been revealed in the annual survey conducted by Classic FM. More than 17,000 listeners voted ‘O Holy Night’ their number one choice. This was the 20th anniversary of the radio station’s poll, and the song held onto the top spot for the sixth year in a row.

It edged ‘Silent Night’ into second place. ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, by Gustav Holst grabbed third place, while ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ came fourth.

Covered through the years by legendary singers like Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli, and Celine Dion, ‘O Holy Night’ is believed to have been the very first carol that was played on any radio station. That occasion was Christmas Eve 1906, when a Canadian inventor, Reginald Fessenden, played the song on his violin when he broadcast the first medium wave radio programme in history.

The music for this beautiful carol was composed by Frenchman, Adolphe Adam, although the lyrics, taken from a French poem, existed for a long time before being put to music.

Continuing the poll, fifth position went to ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ by Howard Darke. This was followed by ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Carol Of The Bells’, ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’, ‘Once In Royal David’s City’, and finally, ‘Away In A Manger’, rounded out the Top 10.

Classic FM presenter, John Brunning, will have the pleasure of broadcasting the station’s annual poll results on Christmas Day. He will play the full rundown of the top 30 most popular as voted by the listeners.

As Brunning commented, “Carols have been at the heart of Christmas for hundreds of years, and continue to be enjoyed – and sung – by millions of people across the UK at this time of year”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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