“Filled up with so much love / All our family and friends are together where we all belong,” they sing over a wintry, sleigh bell-heavy arrangement. “Merry Christmas, everyone.”
You can watch a music video for the track below.
The duo announced in an Instagram statement on Monday that all U.K. profits from the track during “this year’s Christmas period” will benefit the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
They also teased the song in a brief video clip, with Sheeran revealing the tune’s origins. “Last Christmas, I received a call from my mate Elton John,” he said. “And he told me we should do a ‘Christmas song,’ and I replied, ‘Yeah, maybe in 2022.’ But I actually wrote the chorus that day, and here we are.”
Sheeran also elaborated on the backstory during a November appearance on The Tonight Show, explaining that he speaks with John “every day.” He was actually reluctant to do a Christmas song, but was eventually convinced otherwise.
“I’ve always been quite against it,” Sheeran said. “Not that I don’t like Christmas. I love Christmas, but in terms of doing a Christmas song, you need to chuck the kitchen sink at it.” He and John ended up writing three holiday tunes together, including this one.
Sheeran may have needed convincing, but John has holiday track experience with his 1973 stand-alone single “Step Into Christmas,” which had “Ho, Ho, Ho (Who’d Be a Turkey at Christmas)” as the B-side.
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