‘O Holy Night’ voted the nation’s favourite Christmas carol for 2021

25 December 2021, 14:56

Choir of King’s College, Cambridge sing ‘O Holy Night’, the nation’s favourite carol
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge sing ‘O Holy Night’, the nation’s favourite carol. Picture: Alamy
Classic FM

By Classic FM

‘O Holy Night’ has been voted the Nation’s Favourite Carol in our annual survey, for the sixth year in a row!

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Every year, we invite the nation to vote for their favourite Christmas carols. And for the sixth year running in The Nation’s Favourite Carol, Adolphe Adam’s ‘O Holy Night’ has been voted to the No.1 spot.

Adam wrote the carol in 1847 under its French name, ‘Cantique de Noël’. The beloved melody reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity’s redemption, and has become a historic favourite in Classic FM’s annual countdown.

It is also believed to have been the first carol played on the radio.

A decade after Adam’s version came out, an English translation was released, and the carol has since been covered by artists including Pavarotti, Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby.

In The Nation’s Favourite Carol 2021, Holst’s setting of In The Bleak Midwinter was voted in at No.3, followed by Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, with Darke’s version of In The Bleak Midwinter in fifth place.

Read more: What are the original lyrics to ‘O Holy Night’ – and who has recorded it?

O Holy Night – Choir of King's College Cambridge

Classic FM’s More Music Drive presenter, John Brunning, counted down the special festive chart from 1pm to 3pm on Christmas Day. See the top 30 in full below.

The Nation’s Favourite Carol 2021 - top 30

1. O Holy Night
2. Silent Night
3. In the Bleak Mid-Winter (Holst)
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. In the Bleak Mid-Winter (Darke)
6. O Come All Ye Faithful
7. Carol of the Bells
8. O Little Town of Bethlehem
9. Once in Royal David’s City
10. Away in a Manger
11. Joy to the World
12. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
13. Ding Dong! Merrily on High
14. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
15. The Holly and the Ivy
16. Good King Wenceslas
17. In Dulci Jubilo
18. Gaudete
19. Coventry Carol
20. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
21. We Three Kings
22. Sussex Carol
23. The Three Kings
24. Candlelight Carol (Rutter)
25. See Amid the Winter’s Snow
26. The First Nowell
27. Angels from the Realms of Glory
28. Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
29. I Saw Three Ships
30. Star Carol (Rutter)

If you missed it, you can catch up with The Nation’s Favourite Carol 2021 on Global Player.