Around this point in the Christmas season, I’ve about had it with the Christmas music selection on the radio. I don’t know how it works, but I swear stations buy the rights to about 12-15 songs that fit their format and play them endlessly.
Sadly, they are missing out.
I love Christmas music in all it’s glorified cheesiness – the nostalgia, the “limited availability” feel of it, listening to my kids (and sometimes Kenny) sing-a-long…the list goes on. Bing, Burl, Frank, Nat, Dean, Peggy, The Ronettes – yes. Remakes that are not over-sung, over-whined, or over-popped? No. I just simply cannot stomach endless amounts of THAT Mariah song (you know the one. I am sort of sorry – I know so many people like it, including my own kids. I just cannot with that version), the Carpenters (I try to like their stuff, I really, really do) or … gasp! any sunsetting artist looking to turn a quick buck by butchering some old favorites (I’m looking at you, James Taylor).
Cue the drama: I am going to go big here and say that it is a TRAVESTY – a PNW and satellite radio disaster! – that I haven’t swooned to David Bowie’s and Bing Crosby’s Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy without me pushing play on my iTunes Christmas playlist. Something’s wrong, folks. Something’s wrong indeed. Granted, it’s probably my child-of-the-80s traditional listening habits, but still.
All this to say: if you’re like me, and tired of the same old shizz you’re hearing on the radio, I’ve prepared a mostly rock-ish list – in no particular order – of my some of my favorite not-frequently-played-but-definitely-should-be Christmas song favorites. I know I missed some good ones, so for the love of all that is good and holy in this world, I encourage you to comment and add to the list. #HelpASisterOut #HelpABrotherOut #SaveOurHolidaySoundtrack #TisTheSeasonToShare
(If you click a link, click the back arrow to come back to this page.)
- Merry Christmas, Baby – Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
- Christmas Song – Tim Reynolds and Dave Matthews (Love. Love. And usually tears.)
- Someday at Christmas (Alternate version)– Jack Johnson (the drums make this one extra fun)
- Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie (awk audio vignette aside. I do like to watch it on video)
- Christmas Lights – Coldplay
- Christmastime – Smashing Pumpkins
- Wonderful Christmas Time – The Shins (I read last year that this is one of – if not the – holiday song that gets the most spins. I’ve only heard it once this year, so I don’t buy it…hence: included on my list.)
- Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC (Yes.)
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – She and Him
- Electronic Santa Claus – Blazer Force (mostly because Gavin adored this when it was on the Target commercial, and it’s now a dance party tradition for us. Not that we frequently dance party, but when we do, and it’s the holidays, it’s ON. Side note: Remember when Target was cool at Christmas and owned the commercials scene and a did bespoke Christmas album? No? Check it out here – 2010 Christmas Gig Album. Lots of good listening.)
- The Man In the Christmas Suit – Neil Halstead (“Hey! It’s Jerry Garcia, ain’t he cute?” Yes. He is. A little dark, and possibly sad-ish, but I enjoy this version. Fountains of Wayne version is also solid. )
- Thanks for Christmas – XTC
- Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen (Because Freddy. Vocals on point. And it gets kind of yell-y at points, so you can unleash some seasonal frustrations by singing along at the top of your lungs.)
- Angels We Have Heard on High – Sufjan Stevens. (Such a unique arrangement. The chorus hasn’t left my soul since I heard it for the first time this season on Sunday. His music is wonderfully different if you have an appetite for that. Listen to the albums in full vs. by song to get the full experience. Eh, while you’re at it, let’s break the rules and check out: We Need a Little Christmas, Lumberjack Christmas /No One Can Save You From Christmases Past, O Come, O Come Emmanuel and Silent Night. There are a few more, but I cut myself off from linking.)
- Silent Night – Temptations. (Voices. Harmony. Just lovely.)
- 2000 Miles – Coldplay
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues (Very Irish. But I like that.)
- Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time) – Pearl Jam
- Merry Christmas Everybody – Oasis (But I know there are many fans of the Slade original)
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Weezer (A slightly angsty take on the classic. You’re not quite sure if they are, in fact, wishing you a Merry Christmas, or if someone’s forcing them to sing it to you. Good for those off days during the season. )
- Snowman – Sia (New…but I am obsessed with the arrangement here. I also like Santa’s Coming for Us. )
- Shake Hands with Santa Claus – Louis Prima
- All I Want for Christmas – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
I couldn’t find a suitable shareable version of Little Drummer Boy / Silent Night / Auld Lang Syne by Jimi Hendrix, but that’s worth a Google if you’re a fan.
P.S. This list *might* have included some Pentatonix songs, however, I was so traumatized by their silly Christmas special, I’ve not yet recovered. It was only made worse by the fact that the lead dude had on loafers and no socks. I don’t care how trendy this is, your feet are freaking slimy and wet coming out of those things and that shizz is never in style. And, that thought is permanently melded into my brain and I now can’t hear a Pentatonix song without picturing it. #NoThanks #PutSomeSocksOnYaHippie #ThoughtsOfYourFeetSlimeRuinedYourTunesForMe