Measuring a Holiday Song’s “Festive Index”

What makes a Christmas song more “festive” than another? A site called embarked on an analysis of Christmas classics to determine which one reflects the season the most.

They analyzed the lyrics for 20 popular Christmas songs from the last decade and compared their lyrics against 170 “festive phrases” to figure out how well the songs match the holiday zeitgeist as a percentage score. The data was also combined with historical chart data from TV and movie appearances to give the song an overall score.

Here’s one of the charts that resulted.

More charts and analysis can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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