Driving Home for Christmas

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"Driving Home for Christmas"
Single by Chris Rea
Released 1986
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, cassette, CD
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop rock, Christmas
Length 4:33
Label Magnet
Writer(s) Chris Rea
Producer(s) Chris Rea, Stuart Eales
Chris Rea singles chronology
"On the Beach
"Driving Home for Christmas"
"Let's Dance"

"Driving Home for Christmas" is a popular single written by Chris Rea and released in 1986.[1] The song peaked at #53 in the UK Single Chart in 1988, and re-entered the chart in 2007, peaking at #33. It reached a brand new peak of #29 in 2015.[1] Although had modest charting, the single has a brief chart appearance every year in the Top 40,[2] and is featured among the Top 10 Christmas singles.[3][4][5][6]

It was used in Christmas commercials for supermarket chain Iceland in 1997, 1998, and 2011 respectively, with the latter featuring a cover by Stacey Solomon.[7] An alternative version of the single was released in Japan as "Snow".[8]


In a live interview on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today on 16 December 2009 Rea said he wrote "Driving Home for Christmas" many years before he first recorded it. His wife had come down to London to drive him home to Middlesbrough in her Austin Mini to save money because it was cheaper to drive than travel by train. Inspiration for the song came as she and Rea were stuck in heavy traffic heading out of London with a long drive to Middlesbrough ahead of them. Rea said "Driving Home for Christmas" is a "car version of a carol".[9]

Music video[edit]

In 2009, twenty-one years after the song was first released, an original video was made in aid of Shelter; all proceeds were donated to the charity. The celebrities who featured in the video were Martin Shaw, Mike Read, David Hamilton, Kristian Digby, Gail Porter, Lizzie Cundy, Kenny Thomas, Ewen MacIntosh, Carol Decker, Matt Di Angelo, Mark Brennan, Giles Vickers-Jones and Lionel Blair. (Andy Abraham, Alexander O'Neal and Kirsten O'Brien were scheduled to appear but did not make the final cut). Of the project, Rea stated "I wanted to do something special this Christmas and what better way than to help keep a roof over people’s heads when they need it most – at Christmas. By teaming up with Shelter we can hopefully make a difference."[10]

Another video, shows a polar bear driving in a car on a busy road on Christmas Eve in order to get home to be with his wife and son for Christmas.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Driving Home for Christmas"   4:33
2. "Hello Friend" (Re-Record) 4:21

Charts and certifications[edit]

Stacey Solomon version[edit]

"Driving Home for Christmas"
Single by Stacey Solomon
Released 18 December 2011
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Pop
Length 4:01
Label Conehead Management Ltd
Writer(s) Chris Rea

Singer and television presenter Stacey Solomon covered the song in 2011 and it was released on 18 December 2011 as her debut single. Originally intended to be used solely in commercials for supermarket chain Iceland and cabins, it was later released as a single due to popular demand.


The single was released on 18 December 2011 on iTunes with all proceeds going to Alzheimer's Research UK and children's hospice charity Together For Short Lives. Solomon has performed the song on This Morning and Daybreak.[7]

I an interview with the British newspaper The Sun, Solomon said that she was nervous about going head-to-head with the winner of that year's series of The X Factor, "If I got Christmas number one it would be the best feeling in the world," she said. "I'd be ecstatic. I don't know if I'd be able to look Simon Cowell in the eye! No, I don't think he'd talk to me!"[7][25] She subsequently said that she was not disappointed that the single did not make it into the UK top 20.[26]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Driving Home for Christmas"   3:55
2. "Driving Home for Christmas" (Alternative version) 3:16


Chart (2011) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 27

Other versions[edit]

Other artists who have covered the song include:


  1. ^ a b "Driving Home for Christmas". Discogs. 
  2. ^ James Masterton (21 August 2013). "Top 40 Annual 2012". James Masterton. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Rob Hastings (13 December 2010). "All we want for Christmas is an old festive song". The Independent. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Media Monkey (2 December 2010). "Mariah Carey top of the tree at Christmas". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Lauren Kreisler (19 December 2013). "Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You tops 1 million sales!". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Rob Copsey (12 December 2014). "I’m streaming of a white Christmas: Mariah and The Pogues set to enter Christmas Number 1 race?". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Blackburn, Jen (2011-11-26). "Stacey Solomon in Xmas No1 race | The Sun |Showbiz|TV". The Sun. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  8. ^ "Chris Rea - Snow on Amazon.co.uk". 
  9. ^ "Today: Wednesday 16th December". BBC News (BBC). 16 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Shelter England". England.shelter.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  11. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". DanishCharts.com. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". FinnishCharts.com. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas (In German)". MusicLine.de. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". NorwegianCharts.com. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". HitParade.ch. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Chart Stats – Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas". Retrieved 12 February 2010. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Certificeringer" (in Danish). IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "British single certifications – Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Driving Home For Christmas in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  25. ^ Published Saturday, 26 November 2011, 09:35 GMT (26 November 2011). "Stacey Solomon to release Iceland track as single - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  26. ^ Sperling, Daniel (1 November 2012). "Stacey Solomon: 'Simon Cowell could win I'm a Celebrity'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-12-31" UK Singles Chart.
  28. ^ Christmas with the Bachelors
  29. ^ Michael Ball Christmas
  30. ^ Album: Joe McElderry, Classic Christmas (UCJ)
  31. ^ A Glimpse of Stocking
  32. ^ The High Kings Last FM
  33. ^ Lucy Rose BBC

External links[edit]