Look, if we’re honest with ourselves, Christmas songs kind of suck. “White Christmas” is an exception because it has one of the greatest melodies ever written — that’s an objective FACT — but otherwise?Christmas music is awful, awful, awful. There are exceptions, though, and I’ve identified the five best, because I am awesome. Not as awesome as these Christmas songs, but it’s pretty damn close.
6) U2 – Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home)
Hah! You thought this list was going to be “edgy,” right? This one throws that assumption right out the window (though admittedly, it’s a red herring).. Sure, it’s the most traditional one here, but whatevs, yo! Bono’s grating earnestness is PERFECT here. Their rendition is joyous and fun and wholesome, yet has just enough energy to be cool. Also, I can’t count.
5) John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
John Lennon may be the most overrated Beatles, but there are worse things to be. When he wasn’t busy forgetting to shower, he was busy writing great songs. One of them is this song, which has children singing. Children singing seems like a Christmas sort of thing, doesn’t it? At no other time of year would we tolerate such shenanigans, but at Christmas it seems appropriate.
4) The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
Drunk, cynical storytelling full of love, heartbreak, booze, and joyous reality? There is a reason why this is the best Christmas song no one actually talks about. It’s a beautiful bit of folky Irish fun, really, and it’s something that should be part of any Christmas season.
3) The Whirling Dervishes – You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Everyone covers Christmas songs. Most suck. Some are good. Some even become standards of the season. But few become definitive. The rest of the world may not consider this take on the Grinch song definitive, but I sure as hell do. Listen to it and you’ll agree that I am right. This is IT:
2) The Kinks – Father Christmas
In their long, storied career, The Kinks have had a lot of kickass songs. None kicked as much ass as their amazing Christmas song, Father Christmas, though. This was introduced to me by my old man, who, despite his flaws, was pretty awesome when it came to music. How this manages to capture that Christmas spirit while also being punk as hell (despite coming from a ’60s band) is beyond me, but I’m thankful for it. This. Shit. ROCKS.
1) The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
To me, this song is the holiday season. It IS December. It IS Christmas. It’s EVERYTHING. It’s not a holiday season until I’ve heard this song. Fuck all that traditional Christmas bullshit. “White Christmas” is a nice song and I like it. Most of the traditional stuff is annoying as hell. This, though? The year isn’t complete without it.
Thanks for reading. Screw off!
SUPER SPECIAL BONUS SONG!!!1!
Because every list has the “I’d have included it if I wasn’t bound to some arbitrary number of entries” entry: