Here are your favorite Christmas carols (kind of)


null / basist / Shutterstock

St. Louis, Mo., Dec 27, 2022 / 08:00 am (CNA).

For the second year in a row, we at CNA conducted an informal poll on social media to determine which Christmas carol reigns supreme as our readers’ favorite. To simplify things, the only choices we gave you to choose from were the top 12 carols (in the U.S. only, sorry) from last Christmas, as determined by the music streaming service Spotify.

(I cannot emphasize enough how unscientific this poll was. Remember, it’s all just for fun!)

And so, without further ado, the results for 2022 are as follows:

See CNA article for full size, full resolution image.

This is the second year we’ve done this poll. And frankly, I found this year’s results a bit surprising — but also very gratifying.

For one thing, my personal favorite carol — “O Come All Ye Faithful” — took the crown this year! I love this carol because of its beautiful message urging us to come before our newborn Lord and adore him — and also because, from a lyrical and musical standpoint, it just really lends itself to being belted out on Christmas morning at Mass.

Last year, “O Come All Ye Faithful” didn’t even place in the poll, a fact that I bemoaned at the time. Again, I strongly associate both “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” which placed second, with Christmas Mass during the day.

The two carols that took home third and fourth place are both mainstays of Christmas Midnight Masses, in no small part because both of them have “night” in their name — “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night.” Those two carols took home the gold and silver medals last year, respectively.

Speaking of “Silent Night,” our Rome correspondent Courtney Grogan Mares got to hear this classic carol sung in all its glory at the Vatican a couple of years ago. The video she took is really worth resharing:

There were a couple of other surprises. Last year, the occasionally controversial song “Mary Did You Know?” didn’t get a whole lot of love, finishing dead last. But this year, it turned in a much better performance, finishing middle of the pk. Also finishing near the middle was a carol that was not a contender last year: “We Three Kings.” (Arguably an Epiphany Carol, but still very appropriate for airtime on Christmas Day.)

“What Child is This?” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” both originating from England, finished middle of the pack last year, but this year “What Child is This?” finished last, and “Gentlemen” exited the poll entirely. Not sure what to make of that one.

The American standard “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “The First Noel,” also English, finished near the bottom.

Here are the full results: (again, it’s not scientific, it’s just for fun. Merry Christmas!)

204 votes for “O Come All Ye Faithful”

189 votes for “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

162 votes for “Silent Night”

161 votes for “O Holy Night”

113 votes for “Joy to the World”

64 votes for “Mary Did You Know?”

59 votes for “We Three Kings”

55 votes for “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

42 votes for “The First Noel”

41 votes for “Little Drummer Boy”

40 votes for “What Child Is This?”

40 votes for “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6553 Articles
Catholic News Agency (

1 Comment

  1. There are those songs to which only ONE person can do justice. ‘Mary Did You Know?’ is one of them. It is understandable that many have recorded a version of this song, because it is a profoundly beautiful song, but only Kathy Mattea can do it justice – she owns it. It was on the ‘Good News’ CD of new Christmas songs that she put out about 25 years ago and it just jumped out at you because it is so beautiful and because of her exquisite voice – none can match her, tho many have tried – they are all mere pretenders,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.