Christmas Songs That Don’t Suck

We’re off to do our annual holiday trek all over New England. We will have sporadic Internet access, but don’t expect any blogging before next Wednesday. Not that anybody’s going to be reading blogs over the weekend, anyway…

If you’d like some seasonal music, below the fold is a list of the 21 songs from the holiday playlist that earn a four or five star rating. Two of them aren’t strictly Christmas songs, but “Jingle Bells” doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus, either, and that doesn’t stop people from playing it all the goddamn time.

Have a good weekend.

  • “Valley Winter Song,” Fountains Of Wayne
  • “Fairytale Of New York,” The Pogues
  • “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas (Previously Unreleased),” Blink-182
  • “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch,” Boris Karloff
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Ohmega Watts Remix),” Charles Brown
  • “Merry Christmas Emily,” Cracker
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Darlene Love
  • “Christmas Song,” Dave Matthews Band
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Death Cab for Cutie
  • “Christmas Light,” Deegan DeWitt & The Sparrows
  • “I Saw Three Ships,” Don Dixon
  • “Christmas Is Going to the Dogs,” Eels
  • “I Want An Alien For Christmas,” Fountains Of Wayne
  • “The Man In The Santa Suit,” Fountains Of Wayne
  • “Xmas,” Jesse Malin
  • “Wintertime Blues,” John Hiatt
  • “Father Christmas,” The Kinks
  • “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Psapp’s Lady Remix),” Les Brown And His Band Of Renown
  • “Just Like Christmas,” Low
  • “Wintersong,” Sarah McLachlan
  • “All I Want,” The Weepies

(These are sorted by rating, and then alphabetically by artist. The first two are the five-star songs, and the rest rated four stars. If you put a gun to my head and made me pick three from that set to round out a Top Five, I’d go with “Father Christmas,” the Darlene Love “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” and “The Man in the Santa Suit,” but I’m not deeply committed to any of those.

(Also, I’m not sure what to make of the fact that three of that top five are concerned with class issues and economic hardship…)


  1. #1 cyneric
    December 22, 2006

    “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” was sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony the Tiger), not Boris Karloff.

  2. #2 whomever1
    December 22, 2006

    The “An Even Scarier Solstice” CD is available at the HPLovecraft Historical Society site–some really great parody songs.

    “Gosh, oh gee, how happy I’ll be, when that’s out of my noggin!”

  3. #3 igor eduardo kupfer
    December 22, 2006

    Way too much Fountains of Wayne.

    Otis Redding – Merry Christmas, Baby
    The Pretenders – 2000 Miles

    and, depending on your tolerance for kitsch,

    Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

  4. #4 Algerine
    December 22, 2006

    I’ve always liked the Pretenders’ 2000 Miles, and Matt Pond PA’s cover of Holiday Road has a christmassy feel to it.

  5. #5 Perry Rice
    December 22, 2006

    Merry Christmas From The Family, Robert Earl Keene!

  6. #6 Brian Postow
    December 6, 2007

    Weird Al’s “Christmas at Ground Zero”? And of course the Tom Lehrer Christmas Carol.

    Although I’m not sure that those are in the spirit you’re aiming for.

  7. #7 Hohn
    December 6, 2007

    The various Adam Sandler Hanukkah songs are amusing, the first couple of times per year.

  8. #8 Tom
    December 7, 2007

    Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses

  9. #9 Dan Miller
    December 7, 2007

    Sufjan Stevens puts out a Christmas album every year, and all of them are highly recommended. Look especially for his cover of “Amazing Grace”.

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