I'll Never Listen To All I Want For Christmas Is You The Same Way After Learning This Fact

It's staggering.
Mariah Carey / YouTube / Columbia

If you’ve managed to go this far without becoming familiar with Mariah Carey’s iconic song All I Want For Christmas Is You, then I’d like to apologise for what I’m sure was a difficult time in your bunker.

The song has just achieved a record-breaking 16th week on Billboard’s number one spot, where it’s appeared for the past four consecutive years in the lead-up to Christmas ― some expect the tune will soon exceed $100 million in earnings.

It blasts from shop speakers, car radios, and YouTube ads yearly. “That song is just embedded in history now,” David Foster, 16-time Grammy-winning composer and producer, said. “It’s embedded in Christmas. When you think of Christmas right now, you think of that song.”

But what I certainly didn’t think about while listening to it, because I didn’t know, was this; it only took 15 minutes to write the song.


Yup! Mariah Carey cowrote the festive hit with songwriter Walter Afanasieff in about 15 minutes, per Cosmopolitan.

“It’s definitely not Swan Lake,” Walter said. “But that’s why it’s so popular—because it’s so simple and palatable.”

Speaking to Billboard, Walter said, “It was always the same sort of system with us. We would write the nucleus of the song, the melody primary music, and then some of the words were there as we finished writing it.”

“That one went very quickly: It was an easier song to write than some of the other ones,” he added.


I know ― though to be fair, they did tinker with their easy-bake hit for a little while after the first write-up.

“I tried to make it a little more unique, putting in some special chords that you really don’t hear a lot of, which made it unique and special. I think that’s one of the components that made it unique year after year. That part of it took maybe an hour,” Walter told Billboard.

“Then for the next week or two Mariah would call me and say, ‘What do you think about this bit?’ We would talk a little bit until she got the lyrics all nicely coordinated and done,” he said.

So, while the core of the song was written in less time than it takes me to make my morning bowl of porridge, the entire polishing process took a few extra hours. Still, worth it for a record-breaking hit, right?


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