Wonderful Christmastime

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"Wonderful Christmastime"
Single by Paul McCartney
B-side "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae"
Released 16 November 1979 (1979-11-16)
Format 7"
Recorded 30 August 1979 at Lower Gate Farm, Sussex
Length 3:45
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Eat at Home"
"Wonderful Christmastime"
"Coming Up"

"Wonderful Christmastime" is a 1979 Christmas song by Paul McCartney. It enjoys significant Christmas time popularity around the world.[1] The song was later added as a bonus track on the 1993 CD reissue of Wings' Back to the Egg album. [2]

The track was subsequently added as a bonus track to the 2011 reissue of the McCartney II album, with both full and edited versions included. The track was also mixed in 5.1 surround sound for inclusion on the 2007 DVD release The McCartney Years.

Background and recording[edit]

McCartney recorded the song entirely on his own during the sessions for his solo project McCartney II. Although the members of Wings are not on the recording, they do appear in the promotional music video,[3] which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.[4]

"Wonderful Christmastime" can be heard in the 1998 animated film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie during Santa's takeoff on Christmas Eve. Wings performed the song during their 1979 tour of the UK.[5]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, "Wonderful Christmastime" peaked at No. 6 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart on the week ending 5 January 1980.[6] Although the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States, it did chart for two weeks on Billboard's specially designated Christmas Singles chart in December 1984, peaking at No. 10.[7] It also reached No. 29 on Billboard's weekly Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in early January 1996.[7]

The 1979 release did reach the top 100 in the US music trades Cashbox (#83) and Record World.

The song continues to receive substantial airplay every year, although some music critics consider it to be one of McCartney's poorest compositions.[8][9][10] Beatles author Robert Rodriguez has written of "Wonderful Christmastime": "Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions."[9]

Including royalties from cover versions, it is estimated that McCartney makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at near $15 million.[11]


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "Most Popular Christmas Songs". 9 January 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewhine, "Paul McCartney/Wings Back to the Egg (Bonus Tracks)", Allmusic (retrieved 30 December 2012).
  3. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 251.
  4. ^ Sawday, Alastair (6 December 2007). "Top 10 cosy pubs". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 254.
  6. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920-2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 48. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  8. ^ Craig Outhier, "Paul McCartney's Worst Songs", Phoenix New Times, 25 March 2010 (retrieved 30 December 2012).
  9. ^ a b Robert Rodriguez, Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970−1980, Backbeat Books (Milwaukee, WI, 2010; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4), p. 191.
  10. ^ Alan Clayson, Paul McCartney, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-486-9), pp 192–93.
  11. ^ "Paul McCartney Continues to Have a Wonderful (Financial) Christmas Time", blogs.forbes.com, 23 December 2010 (retrieved 15 December 2011).
  12. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Review of The Ultimate Gift". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Holiday Havoc: THE VENTURE BROS.". Quick Stop Entertainment. Retrieved 23 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Paul McCartney, Straight No Chaser Tackle 'Wonderful Christmas Time'". Rolling Stone. October 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]