With scores by John Williams and festive hits filling their soundtracks, the Home Alone movies have some of the most magical music of the season. The first film in the franchise was released to theaters in 1990, and the second followed in 1992. Although there are other sequels from more recent years, the Macaulay Culkin movies are the most well-known and the most loved.

Thirty years after its beginnings, Home Alone remains a holiday staple for families all over the world. The music of Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is timeless. An honorable mention goes to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” a total bop that never seems to have landed on the films’ soundtracks. Besides the phenomenal orchestral score, which songs are the best of both soundtracks?

17 Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

This song is a Christmas essential, but Alan Jackson’s country version is an unusual fit for the original Home Alone 2 soundtrack. Fans don’t seem to be too attached to this one as it doesn’t figure into the story of the movies.

Kevin isn’t too keen on “saying hello to friends you know” when it comes to Marv and Harry, either.

16 Sleigh Ride

TLC covered “Sleigh Ride” for the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. While their rendition is creative and mixes up the melody, TLC’s song is not in the movie, itself.

The “giddy-up” rap will definitely take some listeners by surprise if all they’ve ever heard is the Leroy Anderson original.

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15 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is evocative of Christmases of old. As sung by Mel Tormé, the song is beautiful and is rightly considered a Christmas treasure, but it doesn’t play a huge part in the Home Alone movies overall.

Kevin wonders whether or not he’ll have a merry Christmas without his family (until they come home).

14 O Come All Ye Faithful

Lisa Fischer’s “O Come All Ye Faithful” cover for the Home Alone 2 soundtrack is impressive, but it isn’t a song that Home Alone fans much remember hearing in the context of the films.

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Still, it’s definitely a good idea to pull this one up online and enjoy Fischer’s stunning voice.

13 Please Come Home For Christmas

“Please Come Home for Christmas” (sung by Southside Johnny Lyon) is memorable because it is part of the montage in which Kevin’s mom (Catherine O’Hara) finds a way to leave the family vacation to go home and make sure Kevin is okay.

The mom is worried sick about her son, and she goes to great lengths to get back to him. A trip with John Candy is certainly an unforgettable experience.

12 My Christmas Tree

“My Christmas Tree” makes Kevin and Buzz choristers in Home Alone 2. It’s a sweet little song that no one really knows the ending to. That is because Buzz teases Kevin onstage, Kevin retaliates, and the entire performance collapses right in front of the audience. John Hughes was smart to add this dimension of Kevin and Buzz.

Christmas still means toboggans in the snow, even if the McCallister kids mess it up.

11 Silver Bells

For the Home Alone 2 soundtrack, the band Atlantic Starr’s rendition of “Silver Bells” was a nice touch.

The song paints a lovely picture of Christmastime, and it’s great to hear the soulful version created by an R&B band. This one should definitely be featured on more holiday albums.

10 Run Run Rudolph

This Chuck Berry song is a defining feature of Home Alone. Both movies have important airport scenes.

In the first, the McCallisters race through the airport so as not to miss their flight to Christmas vacation, and they barely make it. Little do they know, Kevin is at home asleep. “Run Run Rudolph” will forever be associated with this movie.

9 Carol Of The Bells

“Carol of the Bells” is one of the most intense pieces of Home Alone. The swift, wordy carol starts to fade and leads into an epic moment in the musical score as Kevin’s heroic fate approaches.

For devoted Home Alone fans, it’s hard to imagine the song without its smooth transition into the toll of the bell and the cinematic sound of impending danger.

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8 O Holy Night

“O Holy Night” creates one of the most important scenes in Home Alone. Kevin approaches the neighborhood church, walks by the nativity scene, and slowly enters the chancel. As he walks down the aisle and takes in the architecture, the choir sings “O Holy Night.” Here Kevin has his conversation with Old Man Marley, a moment that changes the movie in a powerful way.

The elderly gentleman is estranged from his son and cannot spend time with his granddaughter, who is singing in the choir.

7 Star Of Bethlehem

“Star of Bethlehem” is yet another impressive choral piece that is featured prominently in Home Alone. The text of the song illuminates the characteristics of the historic Christmas star.

Most importantly, viewers can listen for the haunting tune in the score of the movie. It is interwoven with the increase of suspense in Kevin’s story.

6 It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Putting the Johnny Mathis cover of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” in Home Alone 2 was a great decision. The song’s self-explanatory title invites listeners to look around and notice the little Yuletide touches everywhere.

Kevin certainly notices them as he takes in New York City for the first time. The Plaza, the limo rides, the toy store, it’s all a kid’s dream playground.

5 Christmas Star

“Christmas Star” is less intense than “Star of Bethlehem” but still lends a touch of mystery.

The chorus of the song is emblematic of Kevin’s journey in both movies: “Star light, shine bright, see me through the dark night. Light mine, pathway, guide me home for Christmas day.”

4 All Alone On Christmas

No one should be alone on Christmas. Darlene Love gets that message across with spirit in her song for Home Alone 2. She is a powerhouse with vocals that will move the listener, and the saxophone solo is another star of the show.

Be sure to watch the official music video for the song, complete with the band in the studio with Macaulay Culkin, their sound guy.

3 White Christmas

There are a lot of memorable moments in Home Alone that are tied to music, but this one takes the cake. Kevin lip syncs to “White Christmas” while he is in the bathroom getting ready for the day. This very scene is responsible for his iconic and spontaneous face-slapping moment, sponsored by the burn of aftershave.

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The Drifters and Clyde McPhatter get all the credit for this classic hit. The doo-wop number never gets old.

2 Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas

“Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” became so popular after Home Alone 2 that church choirs started adding it to their annual Christmas cantatas. It’s an ebullient vocal and instrumental masterpiece that makes everyone want to “sing a song of the joyous season” and the “happy new year.”

For something cheery, this one is hard to beat.

1 Somewhere In My Memory

“Somewhere in My Memory” is, without question, the best song in the entire Home Alone series. The music is integral to the movie’s theme. The choir of angelic voices represents the joy of the idyllic childhood Christmas. Bette Midler’s version for the second movie soundtrack is nice, as is the Spanish cover by Ana Belén, but the original choral piece is the one that fans most remember.

A song that inherently discusses nostalgia and memory automatically generates more nostalgia three decades later. Its sweeping strings are just as poignant as its lyrics: “Somewhere in my memory, Christmas joys all around me. Living in my memory, all of the music, all of the magic, all of the family home here with me.”

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