Wonderful Christmastime

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"Wonderful Christmastime"
Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney single - cover art).jpg
Single by Paul McCartney
B-side"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae"
Released16 November 1979
Format7-inch 45 rpm
Recorded30 August 1979, Lower Gate Farm, Sussex
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Getting Closer"
"Wonderful Christmastime"
"Coming Up"
Alternative cover
Music video
"Wonderful Christmastime" on YouTube

"Wonderful Christmastime" is a Christmas song by English musician Paul McCartney. Recorded during the sessions for his solo album McCartney II (1980), it was released in November 1979 following Wings' final album Back to the Egg earlier that year. It was his first solo single since their formation. It was later added as a bonus track on the 1993 CD reissue of Back to the Egg[1] and on the 2011 "Special Edition" and "Deluxe Edition" reissue of McCartney II; a longer, unedited version was also included on the Deluxe Edition. The track was also mixed in 5.1 surround sound for inclusion on the 2007 DVD release The McCartney Years.

Upon release, the song was a major commercial success, charting in numerous countries, including the Billboard Hot 100 and Holiday 100 charts in the United States and in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart and has since been certified Gold. Although regarded as one of McCartney's weaker compositions by numerous music critics, the song continues to enjoy significant Christmas time popularity around the world, and has been covered by numerous artists.

Background and recording[edit]

McCartney wrote the song in key of B Major, and recorded it 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,[2] which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.[3] It also includes footage filmed at the Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, where McCartney rehearsed his 1979 UK tour.[citation needed] Wings performed the song during their 1979 tour of the UK.[4]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, "Wonderful Christmastime" peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart the week ending 5 January 1980.[5] In the United States the single peaked at number 83 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart and number 94 on the Record World Singles Chart, but did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[6] "Wonderful Christmastime" would not appear on the Hot 100 until December 2018, when it peaked at number 47.[7]

In December 1984, the single appeared at number 10 for two weeks on Billboard's Christmas singles chart.[8] It also reached number 29 on Billboard's weekly Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in early January 1996.[8]

The song continues to receive substantial annual festive airplay, although some music critics consider "Wonderful Christmastime" to be one of McCartney's mediocre compositions.[9][10][11] 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."[10]

Including royalties from cover versions, it was estimated in 2010 that McCartney makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at over $15 million.[12]



Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979–2019) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[13] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 28
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[15] 39
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[16] 24
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[17] 67
Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 13
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[19] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[20] 26
Italy (FIMI)[21] 68
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 13
Portugal (AFP)[23] 34
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[24] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[25] 13
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 47
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[29] 29
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[30] 32
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[31] 15

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 400,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Kylie Minogue version[edit]

"Wonderful Christmastime"
Single by Kylie Minogue and Mika
from the album Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition
Released9 December 2016
FormatDigital download
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Steve Anderson
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"At Christmas"
"Wonderful Christmastime"
Mika singles chronology
"Hurts (Remix)"
"Wonderland Christmastime"
"It's My House"
Music video
Kylie/Mika "Wonderful Christmastime" (audio) on YouTube

Australian singer Kylie Minogue and British singer-songwriter Mika covered the song for Minogue's reissue Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition (2016). The song was released as album's second single on 9 December 2016 by Parlophone.[33]

The song was performed on 6 December 2016 by Minogue and Mika on Italian programme Stasera Casa Mika.[34]


Chart (2016) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[35] 23

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Italy 9 December 2016 Contemporary hit radio Warner Music Group [33]

Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewhine, "Paul McCartney/Wings Back to the Egg (Bonus Tracks)", Allmusic (retrieved 30 December 2012)
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Sawday, Alastair (6 December 2007). "Top 10 cosy pubs". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 333. ISBN 0-89820-213-2.
  7. ^ "John Lennon & Paul McCartney Holiday Classics Hit Hot 100 at Last, Among 20 Seasonal Songs on the Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920-2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 48. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  9. ^ Craig Outhier, "Paul McCartney's Worst Songs", Phoenix New Times, 25 March 2010 (retrieved 30 December 2012).
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Alan Clayson, Paul McCartney, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-486-9), pp 192–93.
  12. ^ "Paul McCartney Continues to Have a Wonderful (Financial) Christmas Time", blogs.forbes.com, 23 December 2010 (retrieved 15 December 2011).
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201851 into search. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "Europe Official Top 100". 1 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 52" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201851 into search. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". Singles Top 100. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  29. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  31. ^ "Michael Buble Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 January 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Wonderful Christmastime in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ a b "Kylie Minogue - Wonderful Christmastime (with MIKA) (Radio Date: 09-12-2016)". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  34. ^ "Mika, per Natale duetto con Kylie Minogue e poi a Stasera Casa Mika". tvzap.kataweb.it/. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kylie Minogue & Mika – Wonderful Christmastime" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  36. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Review of The Ultimate Gift". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  37. ^ "Paul McCartney, Straight No Chaser Tackle 'Wonderful Christmas Time'". Rolling Stone. 16 October 2013.

External links[edit]