Story of Song The stories behind the hits Novellic
Lyric Music

Merry Christmas Everybody


Album Released as a single

It was Slade’s manager Chas Chandler who suggested that they should write a Christmas song. Bassist Jim Lea came up with the basis for the song while taking a shower. In 1967 the band was called ‘N Betweens’ and they had a song, which vocalist Noddy Holder discarded, titled ‘Buy Me a Rocking Chair’. So after coming up with the verse melody for ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ the band used the melody of this song for the chorus and Lea’s melody as the verse. In an interview with Record Mirror in 1984, Lea explained: “Nod had written the chorus of it in 1967. In those days it was all flower power and Sgt. Pepper and Nod had written this tune. The verse was naff but then he came to the chorus and went ‘Buy me a rocking chair to watch the world go by, buy me a looking glass, I’ll look you in the eye’ – very Sgt. Pepper. I don’t use tape recorders, I just remember everything and if something’s been written 10 or 15 years ago, it stays up there in my head. I never forgot that chorus, and I was in the shower in America somewhere thinking – Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan – and suddenly out came “are you hanging up the stocking on the wall” and I thought that’ll go with that chorus Nod did in ’67. So I rang Nod and said what about doing a Christmas song and he said alright, so I played it to him and that was it.” Holder then worked on the lyrics all night while spending the night at his mother’s house and after an evening out drinking. In an interview with The Daily Mail in 2007Holder talked about the creation of this hit, he said: “We’d decided to write a Christmas song and I wanted to make it reflect a British family Christmas. Economically, the country was up the creek. The miners had been on strike, along with the grave-diggers, the bakers and almost everybody else. I think people wanted something to cheer them up – and so did I. That’s why I came up with the line ‘Look to the future now, it’s only just begun’. Once I got the line, ‘Does your Granny always tell you that the old ones are the best’, I knew I’d got a right cracker on my hands.” Holder and Lea then played the song to their manager, Chandler, and the rest is history.

Release Date: December 7, 1973

Songwriter/s: Noddy Holder – Jim Lea

Label: Polydor

Chart Rankings: This hit sold over 300, 000 copies on the day of its release in the UK and topped the Official Charts Company. It became UK’s fastest selling record and Slade’s best ever selling single. The song topped the charts in Ireland, reached number 4 in Germany and Norway, and peaked at number 3 in Belgium and Netherlands. In France it peaked at number 28 and in Finland it peaked at number 19.

Artist’s age on Release Date: The English Rock band was active for 7 years when they released this song.

Cover Versions: The 4 Skins – The Metal Gurus – Kim McAuliffie – Flush – Spice Girls – Steps – Tweenies – Oasis – Rooney – Girls Aloud – Tony Christie – R.E.M – Glenn Gregory – Brendan Benson – Mark Haze – Sloan – Ella Walker – Train – Cheap Trick – Also few Youtubers covered this song.

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