Monday, December 13th, 2010
96

There Are Actually Some Great Christmas Songs!


Okay. Just two weeks to go. Everybody's sniffling and coughing and more regularly and severely hungover than usual. And feeling guilty about all the extra baked good they're eating. And too busy with planning and shopping and going to holiday parties to even really enjoy any of it. And it's so cold. (Will winter never end??!! Oh, right it hasn't even started yet.) Worst of all, perhaps, the music. Which, if the world made any sense, we'd only be just starting to hear on the radio and TV commercials and piped into in the aisles of our corporate convenience stores, but instead have already been subjected to for three weeks. So much Christmas music sucks.

But not all of it. Some artists have actually made music that makes this especially trying time of year better and not worse. They're like the guys who sell the Christmas trees on the street—every time I walk past and smell that delicious pine smell, I want to to thank them for helping us all get through this. We're almost there.

96 Comments / Post A Comment

Dickdogfood (#650)

My favoritest is ultimately my indiest: The Wedding Present, "No Christmas." Available at fine video sites everywhere.

Dickdogfood (#650)

It has that perfect I. AM. GOING. TO. DIE IFIHAVETOLIVETHERESTOFMYLIFEWITHOUTYOU! OPEN THE DOOR! OPEN THE DOOR! YES, I KNOW IT'S 2AM. I'M NOT DRUNK, I SWEAR! I JUST GOT YOU THIS, OK? THIS GIFT. THIS GIFT. I WRAPPED IT MYSELF. WITH THE PRETTY RIBBON. I JUST WANT TO TALK TO YOU. OK? PLEASE? SHIT, DON'T CALL THE COPS! vibe to it, which I think we can all relate to every holiday season.

Rollo (#3,202)

I suppose I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I rather like Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Don't be embarrassed! I'm with you!

It's amazing.

Dickdogfood (#650)

They call this THE BIG LIE: sing a song that already sounds like other classic holiday songs, get people to play it enough times, get people to cover it enough times, and sooner or later people will start believing it is actually a classic!

So yeah, I dig it. It needs to be more Mariah-y, though.

jolie (#16)

Team Everything Mariah Has Ever Done Ever

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I consider "Always Be My Baby" to be a Christmas song.

metoometoo (#230)

Me too.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@metoo: You don't say?

barnhouse (#1,326)

Ray Davies <3 <3 <3

cherrispryte (#444)

Christmas is all Around, from Love Actually! (Which, yes, a big point of the movie is that the song is sad and horrible. But you know what? I LOVE IT.)

Matt (#26)

Christmas Portrait by The Carpenters (preferably the expanded CD version) is unfuckwithable. As is Nat "King" Cole's The Christmas Song lp and Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas.

Also Sonic Youth's cover of "Santa Clause Don't Cop Out on Dope." And James White and the Blacks' "Christmas With Satan."

Matt (#26)

The Coltrane version of "Greensleeves" from the Village Vanguard box or better yet the Coleman Hawkins one off Soul.

Weezer's "Christmas Song." Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas."

Matt (#26)

Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Face to Face" because it was featured in the best Christmas movie of all time, Batman Returns.

Matt (#26)

The Johnny Cash, Lou Rawls, and Beach Boys Christmas records. The first, Columbia, Sinatra one, and bits of the Reprise one.

Matt (#26)

Also not "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown." Fuck that song.

Matt (#26)

Oooh the Arab Strap cover of that U2 song.

Matt (#26)

ROBERT. GOULET.

Matt (#26)

The Jackson Five Christmas record.

Matt (#26)

"'zat You Santa Claus?" by Louis Armstrong.

Matt (#26)

"Little Star of Bethlehem" by Can.

Matt (#26)

The new Kanye Christmas song that wasn't even out when this was posted.

R. Kelly's brand-new Christmas song, which is pretty much a rework of his new album's title track with a few Christmas lyrics added? IT IS GREAT. The five-minute album version is even better.

MatthewGallaway (#1,239)

I never get tired of 2000 Miles by the Pretenders…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmx3QC7n6sk

Dave Bry (#422)

Oh god, yes! How could I have forgotten that one?! So excellent.

jolie (#16)

"Last Christmas"
"2000 Miles"

hockeymom (#143)

I have to disagree with the inclusion of WHAM.
Thanks to Glee, it's on non-stop rotation in our household.

I did love the Glee-ification of "Baby It's Cold Outside." 10 yr old said, "that's a great song and those two guys are so cute singing it to each other."

jolie (#16)

Go sit in the slut shaming corner with Dave Bry. I'll be by later to deal with you.

hockeymom (#143)

"Slut Shamed, with Dave Bry"…Next, on BRAVO.

Bittersweet (#765)

The other day at Target I heard a Taylor Fucking Swift cover of "Last Christmas" coming out of some CD display. It took some major deep breaths to keep me from destroying that sucker.

jolie (#16)

@Bittersweet: I would have slut shamed that CD player SO HARD

iantenna (#5,160)

i was all set to give glee a second chance if they were doing covers of forgotten midwestern power pop songs. then i remembered there's a shitty pop standard with the same title.

jolie (#16)

OMG AND! "Christmas Wrapping"!!

KarenUhOh (#19)
jolie (#16)

Everything I know about holiday romance I learned from The Waitresses.

Dave Bry (#422)

I kind of think "Last Christmas" belongs in the sucking category. But, yes, the Waitresses song is totally great!

jolie (#16)

YOU HUSH YOUR WHORE MOUTH, DAVE BRY.

Dave Bry (#422)

Oh my goodness!

Also, though (because I am a glutton for that kind of vulgar abuse), I am Team-not-very-much-of-what-Mariah-has-done-ever-besides-"Fantasy."

I can't even imagine what what kind of mouth I will be said to have now.

jolie (#16)

Ew, probably the kind of mouth that finds a raw egg, squash and gin holiday cocktail appealing.

KarenUhOh (#19)

And, here, prominently featured on A John Boehner Christmas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryKRcVqsph8&feature=related

David Cho (#3)

The lack of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' sort of undermines this list!

keisertroll (#1,117)

What?! No "Slick Nick (You Devil You)? No "Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope"? NO "MISTRESS FOR CHRISTMAS"?!!!

You could've at least slipped in "Dominic The Donkey".

Matt (#26)

RIGHT ON MAN.

WindowSeat (#180)

Came for The Pogues, was not disappointed.

THe list is good and nearly complete but is missing my personal favorite: Tom Waits, Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12qBoy2rhVw

Multiphasic (#411)

The Murder City Devils' "364 Days".

Note-perfect take from the band whose basic m.o. was "Pogues meets Dead Boys, only gay."

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I only listen to xXxMASS music from the 13th century. Nowel, Owt Of Your Slepe or GTheeFO.

DMcK (#5,027)

I can't be the only one who's sick to death of that Pogues song, can I? Should I duck now?

Moff (#28)

You are not!

Matt (#26)

Hey dude do you want the Summer of Megadeth glogin because our Official Position is "fuck that Pogs song."

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I'm very excited that "Do They Know It's Christmas" got the imprimatur of non-lameness.

Bittersweet (#765)

14-year-old me heartily agrees, and suppresses a squeal at the Simon Le Bon video still.

Moff (#28)

It's not Christmas until Roger Whittaker shows up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2HG3kzyabg

R-WHIT 4 LIFE

tigolbitties (#2,150)

dear dave bry,
you have forgotten the very best christmas song* – courtesy of the 69 boyz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYgsDsWJdFc
"5 FRESH GOLD CHAINSSSSSSS"

*i have learned that only a select few people from the south have ever heard of this song – i thought it was a global hit…

I have to pipe up and add Pearl Bailey, Five Pound Box of Money:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOQ0oJfsz58

hman (#53)

Velocity Girl/Tsunami'Season's Greetings' 7" (BOY, AM I PREDICTABLE)

carpetblogger (#306)

I'm stunned there's no Christmas in Prison. John Prine is the MAN.

Jane Minty (#8,051)

I'm still amazed that both of these versions of "Little Drummer Boy" actually exist!

NominaStultorum (#1,638)

Sufjan Stevens, "Sister Winter." Because the truest Christmas song is the one that says "Apologize, apologize."

NominaStultorum (#1,638)

OK, one more: Joni Mitchell, "River."

Matt (#26)

Also let's just get this out of the way right now: "Ice of Boston" is the only New Years song.

cherrispryte (#444)

STRONGLY, STRONGLY AGREE.

Leon (#6,596)

OMG So much fun. this past weekend was officially the time of year i went from being a terrible grinch cynic prick to YAY HOLIDAYS for two and a half weeks. I love them all, even the ones that are bad, because I was lucky enough to have warm little-leon-memories of song and family and music, so hooray for all! Thanks everyone for a million songs to make sure are on my ipod!

fiveoneeight (#872)

Tis The Season For Los Straitjackets.

Suits. Wrestling masks. Christmas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJiA7eYxOHI&feature=related

iantenna (#5,160)

also, where the fuck is mahalia fuckin' jackson? that xmas album will knock your dick into your watch pocket.

LondonLee (#922)

And Thin Lizzy and The Sex Pistols

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN2bcS9shuY

Dave Bry (#422)

Oh, man, excellent. Phil Lynot rules. What an awesome name for a Christmastime band, "The Greedies!" Thank you, London Lee!

Dave Bry (#422)

Addendum:

Big Star, "Jesus Christ"
Steve Earle, "Christmastime in Washington"
Palace Songs, "Christmastime in the Mountains"

scottorrot (#7,358)

Showcase Showdown, "Merry Christmas I Fucked Your Snowman"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv9XZI3zwF4

mu (#8,201)

Look…Beck "The Little Drum Machine Boy"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV9tJ-YTnTQ

DandyKoufax (#6,590)

I suppose they were only going to pick one song by the Godfather, but what about "Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryKRcVqsph8

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I was looking for that one, too!

SpeedyGonzalas (#3,348)

You missed Back Door Santa by Clarence Carter and Merry Christmas from The Family by Robert Earl Keen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMj4Q6EVOW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg

WellThen (#1,251)

The Darkness. "Don't Let the Bells End." Come on.
Also, gotta agree with Matt on "'zat You Santa Claus?"
(And I also like "All I Want for Christmas is You"! Can't help myself!)

sunnyciegos (#551)

I am so, so late to this, but just wanted to toss in Nellie McKay's "A Christmas Dirge." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHteYSqr2fU

areaderwrites (#592)

What, no "Christmastime for the Jews?"

DELETED USER (#6,643)

Two collections of internet-made Christmas music that will make you go blind with rage and/or horror can be found here: http://keepamericascared.com/xmas

Enjoy! And by that, I mean try not to die/kill anyone!

All I want for Christmas is Grace Jones to make a comeback.

Moxie (#81,363)

I was minding my own business, trying to buy roughage in the grocery store last night when what to my poor unsuspecting ears should appear but Jack Johnson singing some shitty xmas tune. I quit Christmas.

Ledrew (#654)

Two from the garage:
Yo La Tengo: "Rock n Roll Santa" — go, Santa, go!
Sonics: "Don't Believe in Christmas" — fat guy didn't show

Also, in the storied tradition of Jews producing solid Christmas albums (exhibit A: Phil Spector), the new John Zorn/Dreamers Xmas disc is absolutely enjoyable.

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