The Beatles Seven records of Christmas


The Beatles Seven records of Christmas

From 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded and released seven special Christmas singles through their fan club. These were closer to “Monty Pythonesque”-comedy than their normal releases. The first ones are whimsical, cheery and thankful for their success, but later records are more esoteric. They reflect their development as a unit, the 1969 recording is four separate pieces.

Each recording was pressed onto a 7″ flexi disc and mailed free to the British members of the Fan Club.

beatles yule copy

The results are interesting curiosities for all  Beatles fans. A compilation album (with all the 7 singles) was released in 1971 and available from the fan club between 1970 and 1972. It was never released commercially, and most  copies are bootlegs.

The Beatles’ Christmas Record 1963:


The first Christmas recording from the Beatles featured several versions of the traditional Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas and individual messages from the four, ending with a closing chorus of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo.


An edited version of this recording was sent to members of the Beatles’ American fan club in December 1964. The recording was also included as an unlockable bonus in the video game The Beatles: Rock Band.


  • Recorded: 17 October 1963
  • Location: Dick James Music
  • Writer: Tony Barrow
  • Producer: Tony Barrow
  • Issued: 6 December 1963
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 492
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 1 side, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 5:00


Another Beatles Christmas Record 1964:


The song Jingle Bells is sung, followed by individual messages to the fans. John mocks the prepared statement, doing an imitation of Paul Harvey and includes his own pseudo-words and ad-libbing. When Paul asks him if he wrote this himself, he says, “No it’s somebody’s bad hand-wroter. It’s been a busy year Beople peadles, one way and another, but it’s been a great year too. You fans have seen to that. Page two … Thanks a lot folks and a happy-er Christmas and a Merry Grew Year. Crimble maybe.”  The statement is apparently handwritten as at various points in the recording, Paul reads “making them” as “melting them” before correcting himself and George reads “quite a time” as “quiet time” before correcting himself with “great time” as well. Finishing up the record is a brief rendition of the traditional song “Oh Can You Wash Your Father’s Shirt?”


Another Beatles’ Christmas Record was not sent to American fans. Rather, at Christmas time 1964, US fans received an edited version of The Beatles’ Christmas Record, which had been sent to British fan-club members in 1963. Also, as opposed to using flexi-discs, the US fan-club sent the message in a tri-fold cardboard mailer, with the “record” embedded in one of the flaps of cardboard.


  • Recorded: 26 October 1964
  • Location: Dick James Music
  • Writer: Tony Barrow
  • Producer: Tony Barrow
  • Issued: 18 December 1964
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 757
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 1 side, 45 RPM
  • Total time: 3:58


The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record 1965:


Several off-key, a cappella versions of Yesterday are dispersed throughout the record, alongside Lennon’s Happy Christmas to Ya List’nas, Auld Lang Syne, a one-and-a-half-line version of the Four Tops’ It’s the Same Old Song, which they quickly stop before they violate the copyright, and an original poem titled Christmas Comes But Once a Year. A second version of Auld Lang Syne segues messily into a cover of Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction. I find this both funny and interesting and my favorite among the Christmas records.


Members of the Beatles’ U.S. fan club did not receive this (or any) Christmas flexi-disc in 1965. Rather, they received a black and white postcard, with a photo of the Fab Four and the message “Season’s Greetings — Paul, Ringo, George, John.” The Beatle Bulletin, the publication of the U.S. fan club, explained in its April 1966 edition that the tape arrived too late to prepare the record in time for Christmas.


  • Recorded: 8 November 1965
  • Location: Dick James Music
  • Writer: Tony Barrow, The Beatles
  • Producer: Tony Barrow
  • Issued: 17 December 1965
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 948
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 1 side, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 6:20


The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas 1966:


Recorded between sessions for Strawberry Fields Forever, for the 1966 offering, the usual greetings and thanks gave way to a ‘Pantomime’-themed collection of original songs and dramatic skits. The songs include Everywhere It’s Christmas, Orowainya, and Please Don’t Bring Your Banjo Back. Paul McCartney plays the piano. The sketches performed include Podgy the Bear and Jasper and Felpin Mansions.


Once again, the US fan-club members did not get a flexi-disc. Instead, they received a postcard with the message on one side and a short version of The Beatle Bulletin on the other, with enough room for a mailing label and postage.


  • Recorded: 25 November 1966
  • Location: Dick James Music
  • Writer: The Beatles
  • Producer: George Martin
  • Issued: 16 December 1966
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 1145
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 1 side, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 6:36


Christmas Time is Here Again! 1967:


An elaborate production, Christmas Time is Here Again! was developed around the concept of several groups auditioning for a BBC radio show. The title song serves as a refrain throughout the record. The Beatles portray a multitude of characters, including game show contestants, aspiring musicians (“Plenty of Jam Jars,” by the Ravellers), and actors in a radio drama (“Theatre Hour”). At the end John reads a poem, “When Christmas Time Is Over.” This offering was likely a deliberate homage to/continuation of the broadly similar “Craig Torso” specials produced for BBC Radio 1 that same year by the Beatles’ friends and collaborators the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, and also shares much in common with their then-unreleased track “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)”, recorded six months previously.



While British fans received a flexi-disc in an elaborate sleeve, American fans received a postcard similar to that of 1966.

1967 letter

  • Recorded: 28 November 1967
  • Location: EMI Studios, London
  • Writer: The Beatles
  • Producer: George Martin
  • Issued: 15 December 1967
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 1360
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 1 side, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 6:06

The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record 1968:

The first Beatles Christmas fan-club disc to be recorded separately, the 1968 offering is a collage of odd noises, musical snippets, and individual messages. McCartney’s song “Happy Christmas, Happy New Year” is featured, along with John’s poems “Jock and Yono” and “Once Upon a Pool Table.” Also notable is a rendition of “Nowhere Man” by the ukulele-playing Tiny Tim. Also included is a sped-up snippet of the Beatles’ own “Helter Skelter” and a brief snippet of Perrey & Kingsley’s “Baroque Hoedown” which was used three years later in Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Birthday” are also heard in the background for part of the message.The dialogue and songs for the flexi-disc were organised and edited together by DJ and friend of the Beatles, Kenny Everett.


Finally, the US fans got a flexi-disc for Christmas in 1968, but it came in a modified version of the 1967 UK sleeve.


  • Recorded: November–December 1968
  • Location: various
  • Writer: The Beatles
  • Producer: Kenny Everett
  • Issued: 20 December 1968
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 1743/4
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 2 sides, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 7:48

The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record: Happy Christmas 1969:

The final Beatles Christmas offering was also recorded separately, as the band had effectively split by this point. It features an extensive visit with John and Yoko at their Tittenhurst Park estate, where they play “what will Santa bring me?” games. Harrison only appears briefly, and Starr only shows up to plug his recent film, The Magic Christian. Paul sings his original ad-lib, This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas. Starting at 1:30, at the tail-end of Ringo’s song, the guitar solos from The End are heard, followed by Yoko interviewing John.


For the only time, the American and British jackets were identical. The US version of the flexi-disc had an elaborate drawing of the Beatles’ faces on it. Drawings were credited to Richard Starkey & Zak Starkey.


  • Recorded: November–December 1969
  • Location: various
  • Writer: The Beatles
  • Producer: Maurice Cole
  • Issued: 19 December 1969
  • Label: Lyntone, LYN 1970/1971
  • Flexi disc: 7″, 2 sides, 33⅓ RPM
  • Total time: 7:39

In December 1970, in the wake of the band’s break-up, the UK fan-club sent out a compilation LP of all seven recordings, entitled From Then To You. The master tapes having been mislaid, the LP was mastered from copies of the original flexi discs. In the US, the LP was repackaged as The Beatles’ Christmas Album and sent out by the fan-club around springtime 1971. With no new recording, the LP served to remind that the Beatles were no more, but had the advantage of durability over the original flexi discs, and, for the US, it was the first time the 1964 and 1965 messages had been made available.

Enjoy and have a merry Christmas!

– Hallgeir

Sources: Wikipedia,,, youtube,

8 thoughts on “The Beatles Seven records of Christmas”

  1. Is it me, or do George & Ringo on the 1964 cover look like not-very-convincing doubles? Americans, in fact – they look much too well-fed. Maybe John, too.

  2. Hallgeir,muchas gracias por poner estos discos, son sorprendentes como al paso de los años,todavia se aprecia el humor de los Fab Four en estos mensajes de navidad.Muy bueno.
    Muchas gracias.

    1. Yes, there are quite a lot of bootlegs collecting these

      …and one official release (but only available in the fan club between 1971 and 1972)

      – Hallgeir

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