10 Christmas Number Ones from the 1930s

1930s UK top of the pops christmas editionCountdown the top Christmas classics from the 1930’s with UnderTheChristmasTree in our special Top of the Pop’s Bygone Christmases edition.

Christmas songs help to make the holiday extra special. From cheesy classics to the warm heartfelt traditional tunes – we love to listen to them all year round.

Unlike today, Top of The Pops didn’t exist back in the 1930’s, so we’ve put together a fun ’10 Christmas Number 1’s from the UK in the 30s’ – You’ll be suprised to see a lot of songs which are still hugely popular today.

Let’s get this countdown started:


I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Irving Berlin
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Rolling in at number 10, is “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”. Written by Irving Berlin in 1937, this classic was only made popular a decade later when it reached number one in the charts. The song is still a firm favourite in the US where it was most popular.


Way You Look Tonight
Sung by by Fred Astaire
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Glowing in at number 9 is – Way You Look Tonight by Fred Astaire. Yes, we know it’s not a Christmas song but this romantic number has been on our radio and TV channel for years. With celebrities such as Michael Buble releasing his own version, we simply couldn’t miss out this 1930’s classic. Play the YouTube below to listen.


Jingle Bells
‘The King Of Swing’ Benny Goodman
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Jingling in at number 8 is ‘Jingle Bells’ which despite not being written in the 1930’s, was played by ‘The King Of Swing’ Benny Goodman in 1935. The song is regularly sung by children and adults alike across the world to celebrate Christmas – We love a bit of Jingle Bells, mainly because we can actually remember all the words.


What Will Santa Claus Say?
Louis Prima
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Coming in at number 7 is Louis Prima “What Will Santa Claus Say?” The song was released in the 30′s and proved to be a popular hit in the dance halls as Louis sings ‘What will santa claus say when he finds everybody swingin’? What will Santa Claus say. When he hears that sing, sing, singin’?.


Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie
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Swaying in at number 6, is a much loved Christmas song that to this day is sang by many children and adults across the globe.  ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ was written in 1934 by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie.  First sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November of 1934, we all still sing this today.  The song proved to be a huge hit and had sold 400,000 copies of sheet music by Christmas.


Winter Wonderland
Felix Bernard and Richard B Smith
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Jumping on the festive bandwagon in 1934 was ‘Winter Wonderland’ which comes in at number 5 on our list.  Winter Wonderland was written by Felix Bernard and Richard B Smith in 1934 and has since been sung by over 150 different artists. The song is popular across the world and to this day is still sung over the festive season.  Take a listen to Bing Crosby singing this traditional tune below.


The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
Written by Michael Carr, sang by Vera Lynn and Nat King Cole
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Dashing in at number 4 is a song that will make anyone tear up – The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot which was written by by Michael Carr, Tommie Connor and Jimmy Leach and was preformed by both Vera Lynn and Nat King Cole. A old classic which we still hear being played on UK  TV channels. Take a listen to Nat King Cole’s version below – Warning: Have a tissue at the ready!


O Little Town of Bethlehem: O little town of Bethlehem
Sung by Dick Haymes
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Finding it’s way in at number 3, this little number has been a favourite xmas carol for many years. Phillips Brooks who first wrote this as a poem, had his organist, Lewis Redner, add the music. This is now sung up and down Britain at nativity plays and churches – as it was in the 1930’s. Here is the song being sung at Carols fro Kings in 2000.


Silent Night
Sung by various artists.
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Quielty making it’s way to our top 2 slot, Silent Night was originally composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber. During the thirties this would have been on the radio over November and December – as it is today. Take a listen and watch this YouTube of Silent Night by Michael Buble:


We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Sung by various artists
Buy the album from Amazon UK

The number 1 star on the tree is of course – We Wish You A Merry Christmas. From Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales to America and beyond this traditional classic carol has been sung by children and adults. A perfect way to end our fun top 10 Christmas songs released or played during the 1930’s.

The 1930’s was a decade of varying music and singers.  Swing music was the most popular music of the day with it replacing Jazz music from 1935 onwards.  Musicians such as Billie Holliday, Judy Garland,  Glenn Millar and Benny Goodman were amongst some of the most popular musicians during the decade.

Do you have a favourite vintage musician? What Christmas song from the top ten is your favourite?

Why not take part in UnderTheChristmasTree popular Bygone Christmases by commenting in our easy and fast box below.

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