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broodings from the burrow

December 20, 2016

virtual advent tour: day 20
posted by soe 7:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 20 of the Virtual Advent Tour!

Today the Virtual Advent Tour heads to Molly at my cozy book nook. Molly has written a post about her Christmas stocking tradition.

Thank, Molly, for the post and for taking part again in the Virtual Advent Tour!

In addition, I have a second treat for you: My awesome dad (who comments here as DOD) has written a guest post for us featuring a Christmas trivia game to challenge you. Put your holiday thinking caps on!:

You can hardly celebrate Christmas without music, but how much do we know about the songs we hear and love to sing? Here are iTunes’ top 20 downloaded songs of 2016 and the artists whose versions are currently the most popular. All you have to do is guess when they were written and whose versions brought the songs to our attention.

iTunes’ Top 20 downloaded songs of 2016

  1. “Hallelujah” — Pentatonix
  2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — Mariah Carey
  3. “Mary, Did You Know?” — Pentatonix
  4. “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” — Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  5. “Christmas Canon” — Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  6. “Jingle Bell Rock” — Bobby Helms
  7. “Last Christmas” — Wham!
  8. “Feliz Navidad” — José Feliciano
  9. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — Brenda Lee
  10. “Little Drummer Boy” — Pentatonix
  11. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” — Bruce Springsteen
  12. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” — Pentatonix
  13. “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” — Andy Williams
  14. “Noel” — Chris Tomlin featuring Lauren Daigle
  15. “Santa Tell Me” — Ariana Grande
  16. “The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole
  17. “Underneath the Tree” — Kelly Clarkson
  18. “O Come All Ye Faithful” — Pentatonix
  19. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” — Michael Bublé
  20. “Silent Night” — Pentatonix

[Find the answers after the jump. -ed.]


  1. “Hallelujah” was written by Leonard Cohen in 1984. It became popular after its inclusion in the Shrek movie (2001), where it was sung by John Cale and on the soundtrack by Rufus Wainwright.
  2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” was written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanassieff in 1994 and made famous that year by Mariah Carey. Top downloaded Christmas song of all time.
  3. “Mary, Did You Know?” was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene in 1991. It first became popular with the version recorded by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in 1996.
  4. “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” was written by Paul O’Neill and Jon Oliva in 1995. It gained wide fame through its version by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1996. 3rd most downloaded Christmas song of all time.
  5. “Christmas Canon” was originally the “Canon in D,” written by Johann Pachelbel somewhere around 1694. It was first made popular by Jean-Francois Paillard in a recording made in (France) in 1968. 6th most downloaded Christmas tune.
  6. “Jingle Bell Rock” was written by Joe Beal and Jim Boothe in 1956. Bobby Helms recorded it that same year with Hank Garland on guitar. 9th most downloaded Christmas song of all time.
  7. “Last Christmas” was written by George Michael in 1984. Michael and Andrew Ridgeley recorded as Wham! and released the record as a Christmas single that year. 10th most downloaded Christmas tune of all time.
  8. “Feliz Navidad” was written in 1970 by José Feliciano and made famous by his recording that year. 8th most downloaded Christmas tune of all time.
  9. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was written in 1958 by Johnny Marks of Rudolph fame and became popular when Brenda Lee recorded and released it when she was just 13 58 years ago. 5th most downloaded tune.
  10. “Little Drummer Boy” was written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati, & Harry Simeone in 1958. It originated as “Carol of the Drum” by Davis in 1955. Made popular by Harry Simeone Choral in 1958.
  11. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was written by songwriters J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1934 and gained tremendous popularity in a version by Eddie Cantor who performed it in 1934 on his radio show. Gene Autry had the most famous version, introduced in 1953, until Bruce Springsteen recorded the song in 1975 and released in on a Sesame Street compilation in 1982.[What?! More info on the album. -editor]
  12. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a traditional English carol that dates back to the 16th century and has been recorded successfully by Bing Crosby, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Barenaked Ladies before Pentatonix.
  13. “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle in 1963. It was made popular by Andy Williams that same year.
  14. “Noel” is from the album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship. The song was written by Ed Cash, Matt Redmond, and Chris Tomlin for the 2015 album. Lead vocalist on the song is Lauren Daigle.
  15. “Santa, Tell Me” was written by Ariana Grande, Savan Kotecha, and Illya Salmanzadeh in 2014 and released by Grande.
  16. “The Christmas Song” was written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells in 1945. It was been recorded four times by Nat King Cole; the most famous version is the stereo one from 1961.
  17. “Underneath the Tree” was written by Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin for her 2013 Christmas album Wrapped in Red released that year.
  18. “O Come All Ye Faithful” is from the 18th century, but cannot be traced specifically to one writer. The earliest printed versions credit John Francis Wade. The song is also known by its Latin title, “Adeste Fideles.” No single artist or group has had a hit of the song, but it is widely recorded.
  19. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” was written by Meredith Wilson in 1951. It was a hit for Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters in that year.
  20. “Silent Night” was written in Austria in 1818 by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr. It was Bing Crosby’s top selling record, and he donated his share of profits to the Church. It is also famous as the song that German and English troops sang together in the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War 1.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thanks, Dad! You totally rock!

Check back here tomorrow for the next stop on the Virtual Advent Tour.


Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 4 Comments.

Sorry for the confusion everyone! My post is up – but on my active blog:

Comment by Molly 12.20.16 @ 7:25 am

@Molly: No worries! My post was only up for a short time today before you caught my mistake!

Comment by soe 12.20.16 @ 8:01 am

I knew some of these roughly, but not specifically, except for Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, since it always comes up in those lists of Songs That Were Hits in the Year You Were Born. 🙂

Comment by Bridget 12.20.16 @ 9:33 am

Great songs, each and every one of them!!

Comment by AsKatKnits 12.20.16 @ 12:44 pm