Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ Revisited

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The picture sleeve of the 1979 original

NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon unveiled an updated, a cappella rendition of Paul McCartney‘s modern holiday classic “Wonderful Christmastime” on its December 20, 2016 broadcast, featuring the cast of the animated movie Sing, which opened in theaters the next day. The pre-taped piece was set up like the opening credits of The Brady Bunch, with Fallon appearing in the center square surrounded by members of The Tonight Show‘s house band, The Roots.

As the song begins, though, some of the celebrities who voice the characters of the family film appear in various squares. There’s Reese Witherspoon! Hey, that’s Scarlett Johannson! Is that Matthew McConaughey? Sure is.

Then, as the humans are replaced one at a time by their animated counterparts, they switch back to the actors. There’s Seth MacFarlane! And at around the 1:00 minute mark, the song’s author appears… Sir Paul McCartney, to help finish things off.

McCartney originally released the song as a 1979 holiday single. It reached #6 in the U.K. but with U.S. charts, er, frozen, at year-end, it was only a modest chart hit stateside. It’s since become a modern holiday standard. Forbes reported that the songwriting and performance royalties earn McCartney somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000 per year.

Related: Gift Guide: Classic rock Christmas albums

When McCartney tours, tickets are available here and here.

Watch the 1979 original, our classic video

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