Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
11 Dec 2021
12:30 pm

LISTEN: Our 2021 Christmas playlist

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Mariah Carey's 'All I want for Christmas is You' is a classic but our Christmas songs 2021 playlist also includes the Drakensberg Boys Choir's beautiful 'African Christmas'.

Our Christmas songs 2021 playlist. Picture: Twitter

“Tis the season to be jolly”. In the category of Christmas songs, the first song that comes to mind is Mariah Carey’s iconic, All I want for Christmas is You”.

Mariah’s tune has become a classic; it is played in malls, homes and radio stations across the world during this time of the year.

Christmas songs help get people in the festive spirit, as they bring a sense of joy, camaraderie and nostalgia. The songs are known to be slow burners at times, only really becoming hits a couple of years and sometimes even a decade after their release.

Mariah knows this all too well. All I want for Christmas is You was initially released in 1994, but the song first reached the top 10 of the Billboards’ Hot 100 in December 2017 and in 2019, 25 years after its original release. It became the second-holiday single ever to hit number one on the Hot 100 list.

Statistically speaking, in terms of streaming and sales, the song is the best-selling holiday ringtone in the United States and is considered the best Christmas song ever made.

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Mariah cracked the door open for other artists to release holiday music which was once considered, cheesy and unmarketable. 

However, from the 1960s to the 1990s, legendary musicians such as Stevie Wonder, U2, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and John Lennon all released Christmas songs and some of them were major hits. 

What makes a great Christmas song?

An article by Classic FM explained in quite musical terms that the song must have a “sprinkling minor and diminished chords through the song or piece that’s otherwise in a major key”, which enhances that warm Christmas fuzzy feeling.

The song needs to have a stirring melody and nostalgia, it should hint at past times and heartbreak but it should have a determined optimism for the times ahead, that all will be well in the end.

The jingle of sleighbells is also considered crucial.

South African music is not known for traditional Christmas songs, as our December songs are upbeat and get you ready for a party.

Our playlist consists of a “national” Christmas song by a group named Sizalelwe Indodana. Another local favourite is from the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir. Their stunning An African Christmas was performed lived at I’langa Mall, Nelspruit, in 2019.

Our playlist promises festive cheer and covers a wide range of music genres.

From Whitney to Bieber, Guns ‘N Roses and a pop culture phenomenon, Mean Girls Jingle Bells Rock, we hope our playlist will please your family and friends.

Listen here: The Citizen’s Christmas Songs 2021 playlist

List of Best Christmas songs 2021: 

  • Mariah Carey- All I want for Christmas is You
  • Justin Bieber’s- Mistletoe 
  • Stevie Wonder-What Christmas Means to Me
  • Kanye West feat CyHi da Prynce & Teyana Taylor- Christmas in Harlem
  • Michael Bublé, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • Whitney Houston, Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • U2, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home”)
  • Celine Dion, O Holy Night
  • Wham!, Last Christmas
  • Queen- Thank God its Christmas
  • Jose Feliciano, Feliz Navidad
  • Nat King Cole- The Christmas Song
  • Kelly Clarkson featuring Arian Grande, Santa, Cant You Hear Me
  • Sizalelwe Indodana, A South African Christmas Song
  • Drakensberg Boys Choir, An African Christmas
  • Guns N’ Roses, White Christmas
  • Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker
  • Ed Sheeran and Elton John, Merry Christmas