, November 26, 1984 – Queen released their first and only holiday song, ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ / ‘Keep Passing The Open Windows’ / ‘Man On The Prowl’ UK
In 1984, Queen ventured into the world of holiday songs with the standalone single “Thank God It’s Christmas.” But while Freddie Mercury, a powerful vocalist, it was his ability to pull back for that song that guitarist Brian May recalls so vividly.
In telling the story of its creation, May told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, “Christmas songs are always recorded in the middle of July. You have to, to get them ready in time.”
This was Roger [Taylor]’s composition, mainly, except he didn’t have a chorus,” he said. “So I contributed the chorus and we worked on it together, to cut a long story short. And then, when it was almost finished, we presented it to Freddie, who loved it and did a beautiful vocal. I think it’s just the most understated vocal, and I love it, you know.”
The funny thing is, it doesn’t get that much attention in Britain as a Christmas single, because it doesn’t have a video,” he continued. “Everything’s about video these days and we never made a video for that song. It’s all in your mind. But I’m very fond of it. I think it’s a very different kind of Christmas song.”
But that all changed In 2019, Queen released a touching animated music video for “Thank God It’s Christmas,” depicting a snowy nightime winter scene in a city. Directed and animated by Justin Moon, its concept came directly from Brian May and Roger Taylor.
The video focuses on a nighttime street scene as glittery snow falls across the silent landscape and Mercury sings about the “long hard year” while giving thanks for Christmas. As the camera pans up it peeks into different apartments to reveal how each family is celebrating the season, ending with a group on the roof watching the Northern Lights streak across the sky.
Speaking about his thoughts behind the video Taylor says: “Ironically, Christmas tends to be such a stressful time for so many of us. So many emotions, joyful memories of past Christmas’ as delighted children and responsible adults / parents. It’s just a great relief when it finally happens.”
May adds: “The video goes a little further by including a subtle reminder that we as humans now need to feel a responsibility for the welfare of all creatures on Earth – not just for our own benefit, and that of our grandchildren, but out of respect for the rights of the animals themselves.”
Roger Taylor and Brian May’s composition, “Thank God It’s Christmas,” spent six weeks in the UK charts over the festive period of 1984 and 1985. It made a re-apearance in the charts in 1995 when it was released alongside Freddie Mercury’s “A Winter’s Tale” from the ‘Made In Heaven’ album
Here’s the beautiful clip