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2 Christmas songs enter the U.K.'s Top 40 chart earlier than normal

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Allow me to start this next story by just noting we're in mid-November - mid-November - and in the U.K., holiday festivities are already underway. The top-40 charts there had the earliest ever appearance of a Christmas song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU")

MARIAH CAREY: (Singing) I don't want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" shows up on the U.K. charts every season, but never this early in November.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU")

CAREY: (Singing) I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my I wish come true.

A MARTÍNEZ AND MARIAH CAREY: (Singing) All I want for Christmas is you.

INSKEEP: Now, if this feels like a violation of the agreement we had with Thanksgiving, remember that people...

MARTÍNEZ: Agreement?

INSKEEP: ...In the U.K. do not celebrate Thanksgiving, so they're free to extend the season as far as they'd like.

MARTÍNEZ: I'm not aware of this agreement, but they definitely are. Another Christmas song just reentered the chart even higher than Mariah, and it should be because it's my absolute - no doubt about it - favorite.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHAM! SONG, "LAST CHRISTMAS")

INSKEEP: George Michael's 1984 song with Wham!, "Last Christmas," is number 37 on the U.K. pop chart.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LAST CHRISTMAS")

A MARTÍNEZ AND WHAM: (Singing) Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it away. This year...

INSKEEP: It's a good one.

MARTÍNEZ: I was just going to keep going until the end, but, you know...

INSKEEP: Oh.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. So as far as we know, the U.S. is not about to experience a lot of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas songs. But there is some Christmas creep.

INSKEEP: Yes. The Hallmark Channel is already wall-to-wall with Christmas movies. And stores are now introducing early Black Friday deals. So deals for Black Friday that are not on Black Friday but some other Friday or any other day of the week.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. Now, you know, the Steve Inskeep that I know is quite the polished, velvety-voiced crooner. So what songs do you...

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

MARTÍNEZ: ...Like to sing around the fire...

INSKEEP: Oh, my goodness.

MARTÍNEZ: ...On Christmas...

INSKEEP: I like - I don't know.

MARTÍNEZ: ...Either day?

INSKEEP: I like the really old stuff, you know...

MARTÍNEZ: Oh, do you?

INSKEEP: ...Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to Perry Como. You know, (impersonating Perry Como, singing) I'll be home for Christmas.

MARTÍNEZ: I can totally hear it. I can - knowing you, and I've only met you once, but knowing you, I can totally hear that.

INSKEEP: How have you only met me once when we've worked together for years?

MARTÍNEZ: We've only met in person one time. Yeah.

INSKEEP: This is true. We talk over the radio and sing from time to time anyway. Anyway, go - what's your favorite, other than Wham? What do you want to hear?

MARTÍNEZ: So other than Wham!, I guess the only other one that I would play, and I play these two songs back to back on a loop and never be tired of it, is Jose Feliciano.

INSKEEP: Oh.

MARTÍNEZ: "Feliz Navidad."

INSKEEP: OK.

MARTÍNEZ: I mean, think about it - a crossover hit that happened - what? - 53 years ago, 1970, in Spanish and English.

INSKEEP: Yeah. It's amazing.

MARTÍNEZ: Ground breaking. Yeah.

INSKEEP: Anyway, Feliz Navidad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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