The Many Versions of Last Christmas

The Original Cover of "Last Christmas" in 1984 with Wham!
The Original Cover of "Last Christmas" in 1984 with Wham! | Source

A Modern Christmas Classic

Christmas music is just about as old as the holiday itself. While some songs are spiritual and reflect the true meaning of Christmas like Silent Night, others have become pop standards such as White Christmas, and then there are songs that are reflective of the holiday season while also reflecting modern times.

In the 1980s, one song that fell in the last category was "Last Christmas" by 80s outfit Wham! For those of you who do not know, Wham! is the ultimate exercise in 80s pop culture- combining romance, kitsch, humor, and silliness. Comprised of Andrew Widgeley and George Michael, they had a series of hits before disbanding in 1985.

in 1984, at the height of their popularity, they collaborated with other British artists to form Band Aid the UK equivalent of USA for Africa, the group responsible for giving us "We are the World." While Band Aid collaborated on the now popular, "Do they Know Its Christmas," individual artists and groups featured did their own songs.

Wham! decided to write and release their own original song Released on December 20, 1984- "Last Christmas" raced up the charts and became a fast seller. Ironically, it only reached number one in Ireland.

From the days of Aquanet and day-glow until the present- many artists have put their own twist on this Christmas staple.

Taylor Swift

Now before you insert some joke about how could Swifty cover a song that she can't use to make us guess who it's about- think about it- she really could have written this song herself. And while I think she probably has a Christmas Heartbreak song of her own, I think that's a few years down the road.

Taylor's version of Last Christmas was released in 2007- only a year after she burst on to the public scene. She was only seventeen about to turn eighteen at the time but the way she sings this song makes you think otherwise.

In lieu of the poppy rhythms, Taylor uses a more country approach to the song to make you remember she's a country artist.

It's not the worst cover of the song, however, I think those who get the most enjoyment out of it are true blue Taylor Swift fans.

Glee Cast

In 2009, Glee took over the pop culture universe with their blend of music, comedy, drama, and pop culture savvy. So it made total sense for them to cover one of the most popular Christmas songs in recent memory.

The song was recorded by the cast during the first season and included on the show's Christmas album but it was not used on the show until season 2.

The leads on the song are fictional and real-life couple Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith). At the time on the show, Michel and Monteith were not involved but Finn and Rachel were but as with them it was complicated.

Fortunately, the delivery of the song is not as complicated. As much as I love the original version, I was Gleeked out at the time and purchased this version. While I broke up with the show, I still am very much in love with this cover.

Savage Garden

Until someone invents a time machine for transit back to the 90s, the only way we can relive the last decade of the 20th century is through pop culture. Very few groups represent the era quite like Savage Garden.

Released in the 1990s, the song is unique in how lead singer Darren Hayes interpolates the song with another classic by Wham!- "Careless Whisper" at the end.

Darren Hayes's silky vocals and the unique arrangement make the song stand out. It sounds like Savage Garden with a slight twist. It's definitely worth a purchase for any true 90s devotee who also enjoys Christmas music.

The Cheetah Girls

For those of you who don't know, The Cheetah Girls is the reason why Sabrina Bryan is on Dancing with the Stars. She was part of the made for Disney group alongside Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams, both formally of the girl group 3LW. Together, they created the biggest sensation to hit the Disney Channel until they were dethroned by High School Musical.

As with any manufactured pop group, they recorded a Christmas album. Aptly named, Cheetah-licious Christmas, they covered many Christmas classics like This Christmas as well as attempting some original material like the title track. That's right, I said title track. It was the first official release for the girls as a group but was later revealed by Adrienne Bailon not to be their first album.

Last Christmas is one of the tracks they sing. If you are in middle school or grew up on the Cheetah Girls, you'll probably enjoy it. As for the rest of us, I say stick to another version of the song.

Digital Versions of "Last Christmas"

Other Versions

As I said, there are many versions. Here are some covers of the tune by well-known artists. Whatever version you listen to, just be sure no one's singing this song about you at the next karaoke gathering!

Coldplay

Miranda Cosgrove

Hilary Duff

Florence and the Machine

Happy Christmas!

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Comments 35 comments

midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

I love this song, Alecia. And all the versions of it you listed are great! Sharing, and happy Yuletide!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well that was interesting! I couldn't figure out what song you were talking about until I played Swift's version. Cool song; thanks for the history.


Jennifer Stone profile image

Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

I had no idea there were so many versions! Being an 80's chick, I only knew the Wham! one... thanks for sharing... all the best, Jen


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Alecia, great run down of cover artistes for this song, still a Christmas favourite this side of the pond even though George is not quite the quaffed, pluck-shaved, super groomed pop youth he used to be (sadly, he's more of a scruff now). I liked your cheeky Taylor Swift comment :o)


petenali profile image

petenali 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I gotta say that for this one, the original is best in my opinion. I gave it to my girlfriend the year it came out and she's now my wife, so maybe I'm biased! Whenever I hear another version it doesn't seem to flow nor have the same emphasis as George Michael gave it.

On a side note, I'm pretty sure George's partner was Andrew Ridgeley (not Widgeley...lol)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Another gem in your crown of hubs! Truly a great Christmas song proving we can still make classics! Great selections Alecia.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Very cool! I love your selection of music styles in your hubs. I used to love Savage Garden back in the day (and it's SO sad I can say that, lol). Awesome videos, too! Voted and shared. :)


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

I have to say Wham's is the best in my opinion. Although my favorite Christmas song is The Eagles "Please Come Home For Christmas."


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I love this song! I absolutely know who Wham is, George and I share the same birthday. Lucky him! I'm listening to Taylor's version, it sounds OK, nothing great. Savage Garden sounds awesome! :)


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Michelle,

I'm glad you enjoyed this hub! Thanks for sharing and Happy Yuletide to you as well :).


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Billybuc,

I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for commenting and coming by!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jennifer,

I'm partial to the Wham! version but I love the Glee one now too. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jools,

I couldn't help it with Taylor! She keeps giving us this material!! Yeah I'm sad that George Michael isn't doing as well as he could be but at least he's lived to tell the tale.

Thanks as always!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Petenali,

I agree- something about George Michael and the way he sings it. Sorry about the Andrew Ridgeley faux pas- I should've spell checked. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi tillsontitan,

Thanks for the complement! And thanks as always for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Cyndi,

I still love listening to Savage Garden. I wouldn't remind a reunion in fact :). Thanks so much for coming by and sharing!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks shiningirisheyes! I'll have to listen to the Eagles' song- I haven't heard it before.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Sunshine,

That's so awesome you have the same b-day as George Michael. I agree about Swifty's version- it's passable but not awesome. But you can't deny the power of Savage Garden! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I was familiar only with the Wham and Glee versions of the song. Thanks for introducing me to these other versions. The Wham video, which I hadn't seen for awhile, brought back the memories. The styles used to look so cool and now just look dated. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Alocsin,

I think the Wham! video still looks cool but yeah it does bring back great memories of the 80s! Thanks as always!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I hear this song once in a while, but not as much as the more popular standards. I liked the WHAM version best. Thanks for the memories. Voted up.


franz chong 3 years ago

I know them all.It was the original I heard as Boarding Music Adelaide to Sydney Christmas 2010 on what was back then Virgin Blue(Now Virgin Australia)on the way to a South Pacific Cruise then on the Christmas Eve Party there was a Dance Mix One I assume That would have been the Cascada one.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks teaches12345!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks franz chong!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I used to love the Wham version, in fact I was singing it today when washing up in the kitchen, it was on full blast on my radio! lol! great hub, nell


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I'll stick to the Wham version! Nice one, very entertaining read.

Thanks.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Wham used to be my favorite band. George Micheal...:))

I think the songs of yesteryears are easy to hum than today's...maybe it is to do with generation gap...lol

Happy Birthday Alecia. Wishing you many more to come!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks CrisSp!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Ruchira for the birthday wish! I agree- I feel like older songs are easier to hum to- I think it has to do more with melody for me.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Love this song and had no idea there were so many versions. Thanks for this and I gotta love George Michael's great hair!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Glimmer,

George Michael's hair was awesome :). Thanks :!


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I didn't know there were so many versions of this song! I loved it back in the 80's, and Taylor Swift's voice is pretty in her version, but all of the others I have either never heard of, or I really didn't like.

Great list!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Kathryn,

Yeah it is surprising how fast this song became a standard at Christmas. I think my second favorite version is the Glee one simply because it makes an interesting duet. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

A great song and song versions. Wham's version stands out as the best!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 23 months ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I agree Vellur, I love Wham's version the most!

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