Here are 10 non-festive classics that were Christmas number ones

Michael Jackson, Eminem, Dermot Morgan and Thin Lizzy all have one thing in common...

Here are 10 non-festive classics that were Christmas number ones

Michael Jackson performs Earth Song live

The race to secure Christmas number one might not be what it used to be - but in its hay-day being top on Christmas day was an ambition for every rock and pop act.

There's more in the Christmas number one back-catalogue than Slade and East 17 - here's some Christmas chart toppers which feature no bells, snow, or Santa.

Michael Jackson - Earth Song (UK - 1995)

Nothing says Christmas quite like a History-era Michael Jackson wilding-out in the middle of a hurricane singing about the rain forest dying.

The smash-hit topped the UK single chart from the end of November 1995 into January 1996 (meanwhile Boyzone's version of 'Father & Son' claimed Christmas number one in Ireland).

Mad World - Michael Andrews and Gary Jules (UK - 2003)

Right out of left field, Michael Andrews and Gary Jules beautiful (but also depressing) cover of Tears for Fears 'Mad World' topped the Christmas chart in 2003.

It was composed for the 2001 cult hit sci-fi teen drama 'Donnie Darko' - and was released as a single almost two years later and received blanket radio play which helped it to beat The Darkness'es riff-heavy yuletide offering 'Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End).'

Eminem - Stan (Ireland - 2000)

As the CD boom edged past its peak things got dark in Ireland when Eminem's hip hop psycho-drama 'Stan' snatched Christmas number one. He was number one again for the Christmas of 2002 with 'Lose Yourself.'

Meanwhile, Bob the Builders cheerier 'Can We Fix It' ruled the UK chart.

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall, Part II (Ireland and the UK - 1979)

The 1970's ended with Pink Floyd's disco-infused anti-state education protest track at number one.

It has a hit with Christmas shoppers on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The prog-pioneers held Abba's 'I Have a Dream' at number two.

The Human League - Don't you Want Me (UK - 1981)

This synth-tastic 80's hit is still a karaoke favourite in 2016.

It was the year's biggest selling single in Britain and spent five weeks at number one.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (Ireland and the UK - 1975)

Speaking of karaoke classics - Queens iconic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was also a Christmas number one.

The single sold more than 1 million copies when it first came out - and topped the charts again for five weeks in 1991 following the death of Freddie Mercury.

Thin Lizzy - Whiskey in the Jar (Ireland - 1972)

This Celtic rock anthem helped Thin Lizzy to break into the UK market.

A cover of their cover by Metallica won a Grammy for the 'Best Hard Rock Performance' in 2000.

Flying Pickets - Only You (Ireland and the UK - 1983)

30 years before Glee, this stripped-back vocal harmony-heavy hit struck a cord in both Britain and Ireland.

It was originally written by ex-Depeche Mode Vince Clarke - who released an electro version with Yazoo.

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You (Ireland and the UK 1992)

We know you know this one - but you mightn't realise it was a Christmas hit.

'The Bodyguard' soundtrack single is a Dolly Parton cover and it spent (a ridiculous) 14 weeks at number one in the US.

Dermot Morgan - Thank You Very Much Mr Eastwood (Ireland - 1985) 

Over a decade before Fr Ted was Fr Ted - Dermot Morgan scored a Christmas hit with this homage to boxing champ Barry McGuigan.

It features spot-on impressions of Bob Geldof, Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan...