Holiday listicle of alternative/punk Christmas songs

By Kristan Pagliei

December brings a plethora of obstacles: preparation for finals, packing to head home to family, and the unceasing flow of intrusive Christmas music. While some may revel in this time, adorned with necklaces of blinking rainbow lights and reindeer antlers atop the head, some do not. Here are the songs for those fed up with the radio, the holiday and the most bitter of Scrooges.

1. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight)” by The Ramones, Brain Drain 1989

The holidays often include families stuffed into dining rooms and churches overcrowded by the Christmas crowd. It’s easy to bump heads with a loved one—literally. The Ramones tell the joy of the season while pleading to keep it joyous.

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by My Chemical Romance, Gift Wrapped – 20 Songs That Keep on Giving! 2009

Without getting into the hairy details about the original song, this classic hit transforms whiney lyrics about tossing aside presents for the true spirit of the holiday into an angry, brash and emo pine for a lost love.

3. “Father Christmas” by The Kinks, Misfits 1978

This is the true Anti-Christmas Christmas song. It’s been covered by all sorts of misfits: Warrant, Green Day and Smash Mouth. It’s for the tough kids who refuse sissy toys and even for the kids who get what they want but still want to be punk about it.

4. “Christmas in the Room” by Sufjan Stevens, Silver & Gold 2012

The pure simplicity of this song makes up for the absence of noise and angst. It does away with crowded airports, shopping malls and traffic jams. It’s about two people in love at Christmastime and, for even some of the most cynical, that is what Christmastime is about.

5. “Xmas Has Been X’ed” by NOFX, Xmas Has Been X’ed / New Year’s Revolution 2013

As with the lot of NOFX’s government-charged and drug-infused tunes, this one puts Christmas up there with the NRA. Their message is that St. Nick is dead and Christmas also deserves to die, too.

6. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Bad Religion, Christmas Songs 2013

Not all Anti-Christmas Christmas songs have to mention the charade that is the holiday season. This is but one of eight Christmas tunes (except for “American Jesus,” which is in a league of its own for this album), mostly religious ones, too—performed by Bad Religion.

7. “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” by Tom Waits, Blue Valentine 1978

For the indifferent or otherwise occupied during this Christmas season, consider Waits’s tale of a prostitute’s letter to Charlie. Aside from the title, Christmas isn’t mentioned once. That and the thought that someone may have once received a Christmas card like this will send a grin across any Scrooge’s face.

8. “Christmas Treat” by Julian Casablancas, Christmas Treat – Single 2009

Though the line between satire and seriousness is quite thin, Casablancas’s voice atop the repeated lyrics, “I wish it was Christmas today” is satisfying. After the three-hour drive to your least favorite Aunt’s house for dry ham and marshmallow-less yams, this one will be a treat.

9. “Xmas Eve (She Got Up and Left Me)” by Rancid, B Sides and C sides 2007

In the off-chance that Christmas ends up being terrible, Rancid is there. Despite the political debates that will ensue, hopefully Christmas Eve will not go like this but instead, brings you closer together.

10. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Waitresses 2003

This lyric-packed hit sums the whole holiday up for those that may consider skipping it altogether. While a radio frequent through the season it keeps its cool with its repeating mantra, “Merry Christmas, but I think I’ll miss this one this year.”



Categories: Opinions, Uncategorized

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