December is upon us and soon we shall be force-fed Mariah Carey, Wham! and that Band Aid thing which, at first, will be perfectly tolerable but will eventually become about as entertaining as watching the educational tv that comes on at four in the morning while being repeatedly kicked in the back of the head by an angry reindeer. So, to help you cope, I have compiled a list of 10 alternative Christmas songs which you can refer to in order to retain your Christmas spirit without contemplating suicide or at least, without poking sharp implements down your ear holes. Enjoy.
Reuben – Christmas is Awesome
First up is an offering from the amazing yet recently disbanded Reuben, ‘Christmas is Awesome’. Any song that contains the lyrics “you got horrid shit, you got a comedy sock” is a classic in my book. Remember that.
Eazy-E – Merry Muthaphuckkin’ Xmas
Christmas in Compton? Seems fun, I mean where else is an AK considered a stocking filler? I think this track is literally the polar opposite to ‘White Christmas’ [insert laughter here]. Sorry, that wasn’t even remotely witty…
Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
We all head into Christmas Day with this mentality because, let’s face it, no-one has their heart set on a festive argument. But, a controversial board game and a trivia disagreement later and your Uncle has your Grandpa in a headlock. Typical Uncle Keith, he’ll be back inside before the new year.
King Kooba – O Christmas Tree
Electronic Christmas tunes are usually pretty awful — Dubstep Snowman is a prime example — but King Kooba’s ‘O Christmas Tree’ from the OM Records Home For the Holidays compilation is a gem. An exquisite piano sample and some loungey understated percussion make this one perfect for a bit of festive snooze background music.
The Knife – Christmas Reindeer
I imagine Christmas in Sweden is incredibly förkylning (cold, or whatever Google Translate says the word cold is in Swedish…it might say yoghurt) and at times, Karin’s voice reflects such temperatures here, ascending icily ever higher. Quite haunting in places, the metallic snare and distorted tail of the kick somehow lends ‘Christmas Reindeer’ a melancholic and occasionally ominous air. Ideal for a perilous and potentially life-threatening drive home through a blizzard.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want for Christmas
This one is all about the Christmas bells plodding throughout. I imagine the conception of the song went something like this: “How do we make a Christmas song guys?” [moment of silence while everyone thinks] “Bells. And then some more damn bells, with bells on.” Genius. All poor humorous commentary aside, I’ve always liked Karen O’s quivering voice and this is rather charming.
Blink 182 – Happy Holidays You Bastard
For this entry it was a toss up between ‘Happy Holidays You Bloody Buzzard’ and ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’, which is undoubtedly a better song. ‘Happy Holidays’, however, eventually prevailed because it makes me laugh and it’s only 45 seconds long. Ahhh, brief teenage memories.
Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis
I would attempt to craft a present-related pun about how rap sounds the same as wrap here, but that would just be silly. Run DMC would never tolerate that kind of poor wordplay. The Rev would slap me upside the head with a piece of coal.
Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas
Songs For Christmas is a compilation featuring five Christmas related EPs and they’re all pretty damn good. A mix of reworked traditional songs and some beautiful originals, Stevens’ plinky (in a good way) style fits Christmas like a custom gimp suit…so, you know, very well.
Tim Minchin – White Wine in the Sun
Christmas in Australia, or at least parts of it, is sunny. While my family cranks the heating up to 11, breaks out the Miniature Heroes and watches The Muppet Christmas Carol, Tim Minchin’s posse drinks white wine in the sun and presumably pops off a few shots at some kangaroos. This one’s a bit of a sentimental crooner but a dash of humour makes it worthwhile.
And that’s it. This is the end…of the list, not the world.
Additional Note: This list, of course, is one informed by personal preference and is certainly not definitive. There’s a ridiculous amount of Christmas tunes out there, so please post any we’ve missed in the comments. Meeeerrrryyyy Christmas!