Top 10 Songs Written for Christmas Movies

With the holidays upon us, movie fans will likely be turning back to some Christmas classics, such as Home Alone or Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. There’s nothing quite like grabbing some hot chocolate or other holiday-themed favorite and soaking up the atmosphere created by this timeless favorite. Some have been spreading holiday cheer for the better part of a century, while others have only recently made their mark.


Over the years, the influence of these films has extended far beyond the television screens. Some of the songs written specifically for these Christmas movies have begun to stand on their own, becoming as much a staple for holiday radio stations as they have been in their movies. From “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to “Where Are You Christmas,” many popular songs were first heard in a movie and have since become holiday favorites.

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“It’s Christmas Time” – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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Charlie Brown and Snoopy look at the little Christmas tree at Charlie Brown's Christmas.

Some of the best lessons about Christmas come from the quotes in Charlie Brown’s birthday. The 1965 special was one of the first television specials produced in the United States. It’s inspired audiences to rethink the important aspects of the season (and to give ugly Christmas trees a second chance).

It featured two versions of the original song “Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelsohn. The first musical version was performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. However, it was the second version performed by the Children’s Choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church that is most often heard on the radio during Christmas.

“Silver and Gold” – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

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Red-nosed Rudolf Reinder

While the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was well known prior to the release of the 1964 film of the same name, several other songs were composed specifically for the film. As Rudolph travels the North Pole in search of his place in the world, he meets many colorful characters, each with a unique song to sing.

The entire movie is narrated by Sam the Snowman, who also performs: “Silver and Gold.” The now classic song was sung by Burl Ives, who lent his voice to the felt snowman. It may not have been the movie’s most exciting musical number, but it made its mark on the season nonetheless.

“White Christmas” – Holiday Inn (1942)

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A man stands between a man and a woman looking lovingly at each other at a Holiday Inn.

No matter what climate a person lives in, they can’t help but sing about their dreams of a “white Christmas.” For many, the song has been a holiday staple since before they were even born, and they may not be aware of the movie the song originated from.

Holiday Inn The singing stars legend Bing Crosby who plays Jim, an entertainer who dreams of leaving his life on the stage to open a country hotel. The 1942 musical includes the original song written by Irving Berlin and performed by Crosby, “White Christmas”. The number was an instant hit, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

“Where are you Christmas?” Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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Cindy and the Grinch talk in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

2000 live action How the Grinch Stole Christmas It was a humorous version of the classic Dr. Seuss novel that got mixed reviews from audiences. However, even those who preferred the old classic could not fall in love with the song performed by young Cindy Lou Ho.

“Where Are You Christmas” was written for the movie by James Horner, Will Jennings, and Mariah Carey. The film featured actress and singer Taylor Momsen. However, a version of the song was recorded by Faith Hill for the credits.

“You’re a mean person, Mr. Grinch” – How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

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The Grinch robs a train in the animated movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

1966 movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas It features an unlikely Christmas hero, the Grinch. The character was created by beloved writer Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, who also wrote the original song “You’re A Mean One, Mr.

The song describes the vile nature of the Grinch before his heart grew three sizes (thanks to the Whos’ inspirational attitude), and is sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice behind Kellogg’s® Frosted Flakes® mascot, Tony the Tiger.

“Have a Merry Christmas” – Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

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Judy Garland performs at Meet Me in St. Louis.

The general public is more likely to have heard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” than to have seen the movie from which it originated. Meet me in St. Louis is an MGM musical comedy that follows four sisters, one of whom was played by singing legend Judy Garland, who lead to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

The movie’s original theme song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, who wrote (via NPR), performed, and rewrote the score several times before it became the iconic song audiences know today.

The Snow Miser Song and The Heat Miser Song – A Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)

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Heat Scrooge and Snowshoe look at each other in the Year Without Santa Claus.

While technically two different songs, “The Snow Miser Song” and “The Heat Miser Song” are often lumped together as songs. Today, he’s a popular voice used for fun makeup makeover videos on TikTok, but he originally comes from the movie Stop-Motion, A year without Santa Claus.

Based on the Phyllis McGinley book of the same name (1956), this Rankin/Bass film follows two elves as they try to bring the spirit of Christmas back to the world and convince Santa that he’s still needed. During their trip, they meet the Heat and Snow Misers (voiced by George S. Irving and Dick Shawn, respectively), who perform their songs.

“Somewhere in My Memory” – Home Alone (1990)

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Kevin McCallister screaming at home alone.

There are many unanswered questions about Home Alone Movies, such as how many times parents can forget their children. But the franchise still manages to become a holiday favorite. What could have been a simple kid’s comedy has been elevated by his musical score into a perfect depiction of the holiday spirit.

Somewhere in My Memory was composed by the legendary John Williams, known for his work in films such as star WarsAnd the Harry PotterAnd the Jurassic ParkAnd the Indiana Jones. Needless to say, Home Alone He was guaranteed to be a success once he was signed, which is why”Home Alone The song is hard to forget.

“What is that?” – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Jack Skellington sings in Christmas Town in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Tim Burton The nightmare before christmas It can be classified as both a Halloween and Christmas movie and contains songs that perfectly represent (and blend) the mood of both holidays. This allowed the near-dark and spooky audiences to finally find their place in the season of light and joy.

The film features ten songs written by Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman. While actor Chris Sarandon gave his voice to the character Jack Skellington, Elfman provided his musical performances, such as the song “What’s This”.

Believe – The Polar Express (2004)

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A boy stands in front of a train on the Polar Express.

events polar express It has no logical meaning, and that’s exactly the point. Based on the children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburgh, the story follows a boy who begins to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. Through his trip to the North Pole, he learned the importance of simply believing.

Written to credits by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, “Believe” quickly caught on in popular culture. Performed by Josh Groban, “Believe” was nominated at the 77th Academy Awards for Best Original Song. It also won a Grammy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture in 2006.

Next: 14 Family Christmas Movies That Lowkey Spoils The Truth About Santa Claus

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