In an October interview, Ed Sheeran confirmed that he and Elton John had written a Christmas song together. Now, he has shed more light on the situation as he told Jimmy Fallon about the track on The Tonight Show and noted how shocked he was that the title they gave the tune wasn’t already taken.
Sheeran began by reiterating what he said in the aforementioned previous interview, about how John’s excitement about his 1973 song “Step Into Christmas” continuing to do well on the charts made him want to record a new holiday tune. Sheeran also noted that he and John convened and wrote a trio of Christmas songs, the title of one of which, the one that the pair is releasing, is called “Merry Christmas.”
Sheeran thought that would be a temporary title due to how generic it sounds, but he was shocked when he couldn’t actually find another Christmas song with that seemingly obvious name:
“We write it and I title it ‘Merry Christmas,’ and I’m like, ‘We’re going to have to change that title because there’s probably loads of songs called ‘Merry Christmas.” I went on Spotify and I typed in ‘Merry Christmas’: nothing. There’s ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone,’ there’s ‘Happy Xmas,’ there’s ‘Merry Xmas,’ there’s ‘War Is Over.’ There was not a song called ‘Merry Christmas.’ And then I went on YouTube and checked it out and it baffled me. It’s kind of like this glitch in a video game where no one’s thought to… yeah.”
Indeed, Sheeran has a point about the lack of “Merry Christmas” songs out there, although there’s at least one exception: Of the first 100 songs that come up on Spotify when searching for “Merry Christmas,” only one of them, by Japanese singer and actress Ito Chieri (listed on Spotify as 伊藤 智恵理), is actually called just “Merry Christmas.”
Watch Sheeran’s interview above. He, Fallon, Michael Che, and Martha Stewart also played charades on the show, so check that out below.
Ed Sheeran is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.