Can you guess the Christmas Carol? Quiz


By: Sarah Crozer

6 Min Quiz

Image: Orbon Alija/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

We all know Rudolph had a red, shiny nose and Jack Frost nips at your nose but can you name the songs those lyrics come from? 

Christmas carols are an essential part of the holiday season and can easily become earworms, playing on a loop in your mind all day. From the  classics like "Silent Night" to modern-day classics like Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," you're bound to have heard these songs even if you don't have the same attachment to them as the rest of society. 

While many Christmas carols have religious overtones including "Joy to the World," "Silent Night," and "The First Noel," other equally popular tracks like "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "12 Days of Christmas" are known for their playful lyrics. 

So how many of these classics can you identify with just a single lyrics? If you see this line: "Hang your stockings and say your prayers cause Santa Claus comes tonight..”  can you correctly name the Christmas carol it came from?

It's time to put on your favorite holiday tunes cause here comes Santa Claus and he's gifting you this quiz so go ahead and get started! 

“...Had a very shiny nose...”

Just like “Frosty the Snow Man,” this song was based on a children's story. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, was created by Robert L. May, an employee of Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago. The store gave out Christmas books each year to children and May was asked in 1939 to create a story that kids would enjoy.


“It's Christmas time in the city. Ring-a-ling, hear them ring, soon it will be Christmas day."

The original lyric for "Silver Bells" was actually "Tinkle Bells," inspired by a tiny bell on the desk of composers Livingston and Evans!


“So really I'd better scurry, well maybe just a half a drink more...”

This famous duet has been covered by many famous artists but it was first released by Frank Loesser, who wrote it in 1944. He and his wife would sing it during parties to let people know it was time to leave. It was featured in the 1949 film "Neptune's Daughter" and won the Oscar for best original song.


“But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be...”

The Grand Hotel from "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas" is believed to be in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.


“I don't want a lot for Christmas, there's just one thing I need...”

Mariah Carey's '94 Christmas single "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is one of the most successful modern holiday tracks. It remains her biggest international hit and is the 10th best-selling single of all time, as we, as well as the best-selling Christmas single by a female singer.


“Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've no place to go..."

This song was recorded by Vaughn Monroe in 1945. “Let It Snow” is another summertime Christmas song, as creator Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne wrote the song while sweating away in Hollywood during one of the hottest days on record during July of 1945.


“...Mistletoe hung where you can see...”

Kevin McCallister can be caught having an elaborate dance party to this classic song in "Home Alone." Singer Brenda Lee recorded the original version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old.


“...Giddy up jingle horse pick up your feet...”

This Christmas song was first released by Bobby Helms in 1957 and it has received frequent airplay in the United States during every Christmas season since then.


“'s the best time of the year...”

This endearing performance can be found in the old classic, "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer." There’s Santa, Rudolph, elves square dancing, presents, a giant tree, mistletoe, tinsel, and the most classic Christmas icon – the abominable snowman.


“Christmas is here, bringing good cheer...”

The music of "Carol of the Bells" was written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 and the music remains in the public domain. The original lyrics were by Peter J. Wilhousky and the song is based on the Ukrainian folk chant "Shchedryk."


"Hang your stockings and say your prayers cause Santa Claus comes tonight...”

In 1947, Gene Autry recorded this song after riding his horse in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade and hearing people say "here comes Santa Claus."


“_____, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight.”

In 1953 Bing Crosby had a huge hit with a song that is originally called “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” in German.


“Oh what fun it is to ride and sing, a sleighing song tonight.”

This carol, so popular with young children because of its infectious tune and its simplicity, was created in Boston in 1857 by a man coming up with songs for a Thanksgiving program at his church.


“...You can plan on me. Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents on the tree.”

Gemini 7 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell asked to have "I'll Be Home For Christmas" played for them while they were in orbit in 1965.


“...Click, click, click. Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick.”

This is considered the first Christmas song to mention Santa. It is also recognized as the second-oldest secular Christmas song, after "Jingle Bells," which was written in 1857 while "Up on the House Top" was written in 1864.


“You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel...”

Thurl Ravenscroft, the singer responsible for this classic song from the 1966 cartoon "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas", also famously voiced Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.


“...and hurry down the chimney tonight...”

The 1953 classic "Santa Baby," was originally performed by Eartha Kitt but other sultry celebs including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and (unofficially) Marilyn Monroe have also performed their rendition of this song.


“Star of wonder, star of night...”

Written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857. "We Three Kings" was originally conceived by Hopkins as a carol that would include three solos, each representing the three kings. Typically these solos are no longer a part of the song.


“Where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow”

Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas” is the song's best-selling single of all time. In April 1975, the American military played the original “White Christmas” over Armed Forces Radio as a covert signal instructing soldiers in Vietnam to evacuate Saigon.


“Holy infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace."

Joseph Mohr, a pastor, wrote "Silent Night" as a poem in 1816. The Austrian pastor continued his work at the church until two years later, when the organ in the church broke just before the Christmas Mass and Mohr turned his attention back to that poem. Today, there is reportedly no Christmas carol that has been performed and recorded more than Silent Night.


“...Glory to the newborn king! Peace on earth, and mercy mild. God and sinners reconciled”

Felix Mendelssohn composed the tune to "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" as a tribute to printer/inventor Johann Gutenberg in 1840.


“Gone away is the blue bird. Here to stay is a new bird. He sings a love song, as we go along...”

Dick Smith wrote the words for "Winter Wonderland" while recovering from tuberculosis in Scranton, Pennsylvania.


“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.”

Australians have their own version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" where all of the animals are replaced by wildlife from down under.


"Said the night wind to the little lamb, 'Do you see what I see?' Way up in the sky, little lamb”

This song was written partly as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 b Noël Regney with music by Gloria Shayne Baker.


“...Just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow”

The 1942 master version of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" was damaged due to frequent use. He re-recorded the track on March 19, 1947 which is the version most people know today.


“Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir...”

Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (more commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written during a summer heatwave in 1944.


“Make the Yuletide gay. From now on, our troubles will be miles away.”

Written for the 1944 film "Meet Me in St. Louis," the original lyrics to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” were deemed too sad by both the film’s director Vincente Minelli and its star Judy Garland. They asked songwriter Vincente Minelli to rewrite sections of the song.


“There is just one thing I need, and I don't care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree”

Walter Afanasieff, Mariah Carey’s co-writer on “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” also wrote Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”


“Come and behold Him, born the King of angels...”

'O Come All Ye Faithful' was originally known as 'Adeste Fideles' because it was first written and sung in Latin before being translated into English. The Latin version remains popular and is sometimes still recorded today.


“You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout...”

This was written in 1932 by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots. They had trouble convincing anyone to produce it because it was seen as a kids' song so they thought it didn't necessarily have mass appeal.


“Glad tidings we bring, to you and your kin...”

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is one of the oldest secular Christmas songs, originating in 16th century England.


“With the kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you, 'Be of good cheer.'"

It was written specifically for "The Andy Williams Christmas Album" and the crooner performed it on his popular variety show, "The Andy Williams Show."


“Oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh...”

Originally it was to be named “One horse Open Sleigh.” This was the first song played in space. On December 16, 1965, astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford were aboard Gemini 6 when they played this on a harmonica and bells to Mission Control!


“I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart...”

This bilingual classic sung by the iconic Puerto Rican singer and songwriter José Feliciano was released in 1970 and quickly became a Christmas staple.


"How loyal are your needles! You're green not only in the summertime...”

“O Christmas Tree” is also known as “O Tannenbaum", a Tannenbaum is a fir tree. Organist Ernst Anschütz set his German lyrics to the 16th century folk tune following a tradition of songs praising the trees for faithfully remaining green


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