“Wonderful Christmastime” is a 1979 Christmas song by Paul McCartney. It enjoys significant Christmas time popularity around the world. The notable synthesiser riff was played on a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. The song was later added as a bonus track on the 1993 CD reissue of Wings’ Back to the Egg album.
Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, “Wonderful Christmastime” peaked at No. 6 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart on the week ending 5 January 1980. Although the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States, it did chart for two weeks on Billboard’s specially designated Christmas Singles chart in December 1984, peaking at No. 10. It also reached No. 29 on Billboard’s weekly Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in early January 1996.
The song continues to receive substantial airplay every year, although music critics consider it to be one of McCartney’s poorest compositions Beatles author Robert Rodriguez has written of “Wonderful Christmastime”: “Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions.” In 2006, pop-culture website Retrocrush.com voted it “Worst Christmas Song of All Time”, and the song tied with “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano for the same honour in a 2005 survey by Toronto’s CityNews.
Including royalties from cover versions, it is estimated that Paul McCartney makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings for this song at near $15 million.
McCartney performed the song live on the US late night television programme Saturday Night Live on the 15 December 2012 show.