This is the happiest Christmas song in the world, according to science

Harriet Pavey

A musicologist has created the happiest Christmas song in the world after scientifically analysing 200 tracks.

Professor Joe Bennett studied Spotify's most-played songs at Christmas-time to discover what people love most about festive music.

Mariah Carey’s "All I Want For Christmas" was the most-streamed Christmas song of 2016, while Michael Bublé’s music accounted for 10 of the 200 tracks.

The research found that nearly half of the Christmas songs featured sleigh bells, while major themes included home, being in love and peace on earth.

The characteristics of the "ultimate Christmas song"

  • Major key (C major or A major)
  • 4/4 time, or 4/4 swing time
  • A lyric theme relating to Santa, snow, home or being in love
  • Sleigh bells playing 8 to the bar in the chorus
  • Tempo of approximately 115 beats per minute

Applying Professor Bennett’s findings, songwriters Harriet Green and Steve Anderson created the happiest Christmas song on earth, at least according to science.

Titled “Love’s Not Just For Christmas”, the toe-tapping tune features the word “Christmas” 21 times, with plenty of sleigh bells ringing. It's performed in major key with a 4/4 time.

Working with the London Community Choir, the song will be performed at Intu shopping centres to bring festive cheer to shoppers. The group has previously sung alongside famous musicians including Madonna and George Michael.

“There is no simple formula for a successful song, and in practice songwriters combine their own experience, musical skills, and personal creative preferences when writing,” Professor Bennett told the Stoke Sentinel.

"But we can infer listeners’ favoured song characteristics by analysing the most popular recordings – in this case, Christmas songs.”