And the study of 2,000 adults found just 22 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 can hum the melody of O Come All Ye Faithful – in comparison to almost two thirds of those over 65.
While over a third (36 per cent) of 18–24-year-olds surveyed believe that “Round John Virgin, Mother and Child” is a lyric from ‘Silent Night’.
The research, commissioned by multi-mobility app FREE NOW, revealed 61 per cent believe carols are a crucial part of Christmas and need to be cherished – with over half (59 per cent) finding them an uplifting part of the festive season.
And those polled with kids under 18 are doing their bit to save the Christmas carol – as 55 per cent will be playing songs at homes this festive season, and almost two in five of these parents have even taught their kids the lyrics to popular carols.
To breathe new life into some of these Christmas favourites and to help spread festive cheer, The Cabbie Choir has taken to the streets of London to raise funds for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children.
After a rousing performance of traditional carolling classic Deck the Halls, Aiden Kent, a member of The Cabbie Choir, said: “Christmas can be a tough time for many - in particular the disadvantaged children and their families that we’re raising money for.
“FREE NOW’s Cabbie Choir has been a great way to support a fantastic charity but also to spread some Christmas cheer and help save the art of carolling from extinction.
“I’ve been a black cab driver for 34 years now, so I spend a lot of time on my own and this is the very first time I’ve been able to celebrate the festive season with other cabbies.
“The camaraderie has been brilliant and we’ve had a great time from the rehearsal stage and all the way through to our performances - I’m really proud to be lending my voice to this.”
Christmas carols should be passed down
The survey went on to find on average, the nation can only recall the names of six Christmas carols, but 70 per cent believe Christmas carols should be passed down between generations.
But Sussex Carol, Gabriel’s Message and What Sweeter Music are carols that could be most at risk of extinction as they ranked highest as ones the nation knows absolutely no lyrics to.
Nevertheless, despite 64 per cent saying they love carol concerts, only 37 per cent actually have plans to attend one this year.
Brits want to modernise Christmas carols
However, almost a fifth (17 per cent) felt like some of these songs could do with a bit of modernising, according to the data from OnePoll.com.
Nearly half did admit they often mishear or misunderstand some of the lyrics used in Christmas carols – as one in 10 had no idea what a ‘manger’ is.
Malcolm Shaffron, Honorary Secretary of London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children said: “We’re delighted that FREE NOW have chosen to raise money for our charity, which will go towards funding annual outings for special needs and disadvantaged children, and their carers.
“It’s brilliant to see black cab drivers come together to form this fantastic choir, which really does embody the spirit of Christmas joy, after what’s been another tough year for many.
"We’re very much looking forward to hearing them sing at our annual festive fundraiser in the heart of London next week.”
The Cabbie Choir will be doing a special performance at Burlington Arcade on Friday 17 December as part of a London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children fundraiser.
To support the Cabbie Choir and donate to the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children, or text CHOIR £5, £10 or £20 to 70580.