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Global Comment Advent Calendar 23: “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey

Today’s calendar entry is – confession time – my personal all-time favourite Christmas song. I love all of the songs we’ve featured in the calendar but the reason I really love this one is its simplicity – it’s not a protest song, it’s not political, there’s no drinking or heartbreak or alcoholism or drug abuse, just a simple song about one of the life’s most important things – the people we love.

Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You is clearly aimed at a lover, but could be equally applicable to friends, family or anyone you might want to spend Christmas with, if you can ignore the mention of mistletoe. It is undoubtedly THE most fun Christmas song for singing along to in the car, mostly because of that ridiculously high note in the middle. Obviously no one except Carey herself can actually hit that note but the fun is in the attempt, and the laughter it will – I promise – produce, especially if there’s more than one of you. It also gets bonus points for having the longest uninterrupted (in my rather unscientific estimate) run of jingle bells, the fastest mid-verse lyric section (try singing along to it – it’s hard!) and the only video which features the artist’s pet dog dressed in antlers and an elf cape. Yes, really, There’s a lot of frolicking in the video, but the dog steals the show every time.

Released in 1994 as the lead single from the Christmas album Carey had initially been reluctant to create and written in a mere fifteen minutes – amazing huh? – with the entire backing track created on a computer, All I Want For Christmas is currently in the charts now, 21 years after its original release thanks to the advent of digital downloads. It was never actually Christmas number one, but as we’ve seen with various of our other calendar entries, this hardly matters when your song gets played every year. So far the song is estimated to have earned over $50 million in royalties – pretty impressive for such a simple song, but sometimes simple is the best thing.

Send this link to someone you love, and in the meantime enjoy the dog-reindeer frolics here: