View Full Version : Your Favorite Alternative Christmas Songs

08-31-2001, 07:46 PM
I was dragged to Santa's Villiage last weekend, so bear with me for having christmas on the brain.

Help! I started this project in early December last year, and quickly hit a wall since it's difficult to find songs when you don't know who sang them... I'm trying to form a collection of Christmas songs, preferably recorded since 1990, by alternative (or rock, as long as it's not by an "adult contemporary" artist) bands/singers. I have Come All Ye Faithful: Rock For Choice, which sort of gave me the idea, since I know that there must be a lot more songs out there than are on that cd. Maybe I'll have better luck if I start earlier....

The songs I'm seeking can be either covers like Everclear's version of "Santa Baby" or non-traditional and/or orginal songs like Fountain of Wayne's "I Want an Alien For Christmas." Anyone have any favorites to recommend to me?

08-31-2001, 08:06 PM
I've kinda been partial to the Pretenders' 2000 Miles, sung by Chrissy Hynde. Nice little alternative Xmas ditty, though I think it was an 80s song.

08-31-2001, 08:29 PM
My favorite so far is Leon Redbone's "Christmas Island". Some originals, some standards in his own unique style. I particularly like "The Christmas Ball".

08-31-2001, 08:31 PM
Whoops, the above post should have indicated that I'm talking about an entire CD, not just one or two songs. I love all the songs on that disk.

08-31-2001, 09:01 PM
Joni Mitchell's, "I Wish I Had A River", you hardly ever hear it, but it's wonderful, really.

08-31-2001, 09:33 PM
Well. I have this great CD called "The Jingle Cats". It's real samples of cats' meows, put together to make Christams carols (like they did with those "singing" doggies a few years back).

The recording boasts a ton of happy favorites... everything from "Jingle Bells" to Elvis's "Blue Christmas".

Oh, man, it's hilarious.

And it'll drive you nuts in five minutes or less, guaranteed.

Freudian Slit
08-31-2001, 09:46 PM
Everclear- "Hating you for Christmas"

and Blink 182- "I Won't Be Home for Christmas"

Whenever all the radio stations are playing that sappy holiday fare, I tune in for the above. I feel evil. :cool:

08-31-2001, 09:57 PM
You might try a CD entitled Dark Noel. It had a lot of Christian hard rock and alternative artists doing their version of Christmas music. I don't much listen to Christian music anymore, but I would recommend this CD to anyone tired of the standard fare. Look for it on Radrockers (http://www.radrockers.com) if the site still works.

Mr. Duality
08-31-2001, 10:35 PM
One of his albums is "Toolbox Christmas". Christmas classics played on tools, both of the power and hand varieties.

08-31-2001, 11:40 PM
As long as I'm not disqualified, as a Jew, from having an opinion . . . .

The only Christmas song I ever have any desire to hear is The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's "Fairytale of New York" (and I can't believe I get to be the first to mention it in this thread).

09-01-2001, 12:38 AM
weird als " christmas at ground zero"

indie band munkafests " my birthday is near xmas and it sucks "

and the ramones : i dont want to argue anymore at christmas

i may have killed that title but thats the gist of it

09-01-2001, 12:42 AM
"Weird Al" Yankovic - "Christmas at Ground Zero"

And if "Weird Al" ain't alternative, I don't know what alternative is. (Hell, Al made "The Alternative Polka", fer cryin' out loud! :D)

09-01-2001, 02:11 AM
My favorite ? The Twelve Days of Christmas (http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/4656/lyrics/30mckenziebrothers.htm) of course.

Typo Negative
09-01-2001, 04:26 AM
I nominate 'Fuck Christmas' by FEAR.

Also the Dickies version of 'Silent Night'.

09-01-2001, 05:00 AM
"Grandma got run over by a reindeer" Forgot who sings it. Sorry.

Now it's stuck in my head.

09-01-2001, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by Booker57
"Grandma got run over by a reindeer" Forgot who sings it. Sorry.

Now it's stuck in my head.

Patsy & Elmo. And their Xmas CD is actually pretty good.

A CD called A Broadway Christmas has a song "I Don't Remember Christmas" which is my all time favorite.

09-01-2001, 08:13 AM
You also forgot Weird Al's The Night Santa Went Crazy. A classic!

09-01-2001, 08:16 AM
I'd have to say "Styrosnow" by the Eraserheads. It's a brilliant song, because they just don't get snow in the phillipines (where the band is from). So instead they pray for styrosnow. Genius.

09-01-2001, 08:19 AM
Yup, Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero". I used that one to demonstrate the importance of lyrics to fella bilong missus flodnak. And let's not forget the Spike Jones version of "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".

Why A Duck
09-01-2001, 09:44 AM
For entire CD's of holiday mirth, might I recommend:

- Punk Rock Xmas (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000033NG/qid=999354618/sr=2-1/ref=aps_sr_pm_1_1/103-7638305-9179003) - Contains quite a few of the songs already mentioned. Plus some other gems.

- Lump of Coal - A collection by various artists that may be tough to find. Has a nice version of "The First Noel" by Crash Test Dummies, and Henry Rollins with "Night Before Xmas".

- Mojo Nixon and the Toad Liquors - Horny Holidays (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000P4N/qid=999354801/sr=1-2/ref=sc_m_2/103-7638305-9179003) - Their version of "Night Before Xmas" is priceless. And ya have to love a sexed-up Xmas disc that starts off with "Happy Birthday to you, you woodworking Jew, Happy Birthday dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to you."

For singles, try:

- The Reducers - Nothing for Christmas. Almost impossible to find, but a great tune from a great Connecticut band.

- Pansy Division - Homo Christmas "Licking nipples, licking nuts, sticking candy canes, up each other's butt".

And BTW, damn you, while searching Amazon for the links I added 3 CD's to my wish list...

Albert Rose
09-01-2001, 09:52 AM
I agree that 2000 miles and [/i]Fairytale of New York[/i] are great Christmas songs. I listen to Phil Spector's album A Christmas Gift for You and the first A Very Special Christmas around that particular time of the year.

Ukulele Ike
09-01-2001, 10:05 AM
I've been fond of the old vaudeville ethnic classic, "Miss Fogarty's Christmas Cake," since I first heard it on a holiday Celtic broadcast on WKCR, New York, about ten years ago. Sample verse:

...Maloney was took with the colic,
O'Donnell had pains in his head
McNaughton lay down on the sofa,
And he swore that he wished he was dead
Miss Bailey went into hysterics
And there she did wriggle and shake
And everyone swore they were poisoned
From eating Miss Fogarty's cake

09-01-2001, 10:06 AM
On a slightly evil note, Apocalypso (Wiping the Smile off Santa's Face) is not too bad. 1985, though.

09-01-2001, 10:23 AM
Foremen - "Buy War Toys For Christmas".

We have got our fingers crossed, for another cold war frost, singing "Oh my golly, let's be jolly, then a holly-caust"...

09-01-2001, 10:34 AM
It's gotta be Homo Christmas (http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/SongUnid/EDCD643C58DB5EA348256A1C002434E4), by Pansy Division.

09-01-2001, 10:37 AM
i must agree "christmas at ground zero" and "the night santa went crazy" are the best.
last year, a friend of mine was just out of the hospital. so my kids, three of my son's more brainy friens, and i got dressed up and went "caroling" at his place. cheered him up alot.

09-01-2001, 11:22 AM
A friend of mine, now deceased, wrote a parody of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and titled it "Freddy Phelps is Coming To Town"

You better watch out
Now don't you be lax,
or you'll be appearing
in his next fax
Freddie Phelps is coming to town!
He's making a list,
or so he will tell,
for each one in Heaven there's a billion in hell
Freddie Phelps is coming to town.....

And it went on from there. I just wish Bill(the friend) was still alive so I could tell him how funny it still is.

09-01-2001, 11:27 AM
And let's not forget Christmas at K-Mart by Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band

09-01-2001, 11:28 AM
XTC (performing as "The Three Wise Men" : "Thanks For Christmas"

I also second the nomination for the Dickies version of Silent Night!

09-01-2001, 11:55 AM
Martin Mull's "Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope." I also liked his "Santa Fly," but I've only heard it once.

09-01-2001, 12:16 PM
I can't believe no one has posted "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses.

A note about Dark Noel: The full title is Excelcis: A Dark Noel, and it is not a Christian band compilation. There are now two cd's in the series (second one subtitled "A Winter's Song"), and are mostly pretty good. They are put out by Projekt and have the standard collection of gothic and darkwave artists, mostly from that label. A couple tracks are laughable, but are made up for by the rest.

And how could I forget Loreena McKennit's two Christmas albums? To Drive the Cold Winter Away and A Winter Garden are both exquisite. My favorite is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from the latter.

09-01-2001, 01:02 PM
Jill Sobule: "Merry Christmas from the Family"
Ray Stevens: "Santa Claus is Watching You"

Second Echo
09-01-2001, 05:34 PM
Well, I'm not sure if this is exactly what youre looking for, but might I suggest my favorite Christmas album, Merry Axemas: Guitars for Christmas. It came out in 1997 and features many of today's top guitarists putting their own spin on Christmas classics. I'm not going to write out the whole tracklisting, but a few of the songs are:

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer--Kenny Wayne Shepherd
The First Nowell--Eric Johnson (EXCELLENT, btw)
Amazing Grace--Jeff Beck
Silent Night/Holy Night Jam--Joe Satriani
Joy to the World--Steve Morse
The Little Drummer Boy--Alex Lifeson

Thats about half the album. Anyay, its all instrumental, and each song reflects the style and personality of the guitarist who recorded it. I've seen it in a few stores around the holidays, but probably the easiest way to get it is through Amazon, Borders, or some similar 'net commerce site.

And if that sounds interesting, theres also a Merry Axemas 2 featuring another slate of guitarists (and at least one bassist) doing a different set of Christmas songs. I don't own that one, but if it's even close to the origional, it's worth every penny.

And 3 cheers to everyone who mentioned Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero" and "The Night Santa Went Crazy". Both classic.

Wow...my first post here! Hooray!

09-01-2001, 07:03 PM
I like to listen to Cheech and Chong's, Santa Claus and His Old Lady.

It gives me that warm, Christmassy, feeling.

09-01-2001, 09:48 PM
"Let's Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas" from MST3K. It's based on "Road House" and is hands down one of the funniest Christmas songs ever. Search out a copy of "Clowns in the Sky: The Music of MST3K" somewhere and listen to it if you've never heard it.


09-02-2001, 12:28 AM
Well, it's not a parody or a satire-I don't think-but I found an interesting performance of "We Three Kings" by Sarah McLachlan and the Barenaked Ladies on cdnow. It actually sounded really nice. Especially Sarah Mclachlan's verses...Wow.


09-02-2001, 12:39 AM
"Little Drum Machine Boy"--Beck

09-02-2001, 07:21 AM
I've always had a soft spot for 'Walking round in women's underwear' by Bob Rivers. Lyrics to this and others like it can be found here (http://www.speelman.net/humor/xmas/index.shtml).

But then two of my listening favourites are 'A Tijuana Christmas' by The Tijuana Brass (the bossa nova 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' being a high point) and 'A Very Reggae Christmas' which sounds like it's by some ancient white guy playing with the 'reggae' button on his grandkid's Casio. Tacky is as tacky does . .

09-02-2001, 02:24 PM
Some other Bob Rivers parodies I would recommend include "I Came Upon a Road-kill Deer," "It's the Most Fattening Time of the Year," and "The Chimney Song" ("There's something stuck up in the chimney and I don't know what it is..."). See "Twisted Christmas" and "More Twisted Christmas."

09-02-2001, 03:10 PM
My fave alternative Christmas song is "St. Stephen's Day Murders" by Elvis Costello, with the Chieftains. It's on the Chieftains' Bells of Dublin Christmas album. More people should hear it. It's a perfect antidote to painful family gatherings.

idiot box
09-02-2001, 08:16 PM
The Kinks- Father Christmas
Calibretto 13 - Merry Freakin Christmas
Save Ferris - Christmas Wrapping
MXPX- christmas comes only once a year
red peters & friends- holy sh** its christmas
RunDMC- Christmas in Hollis- not alt rock but still =P


09-02-2001, 08:42 PM
Well. I see that a number of people have already mentioned Weird Al's two christmas parodies. Darn them. Darn them to Heck. I do see, however, that no one has mentioned "Christmas Time in Hell", from that South Park movie.

09-03-2001, 01:19 AM
another vote for "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (Extra Gory Version).

Also Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol":
"Kill the turkeys, ducks, and chickens,
Mix the punch, draaaaag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again!"

09-03-2001, 10:17 AM
Gabriel's Message by Sting. It's beautiful and haunting.

My son has a thing for "A Very VeggieTales Christmas". Singing vegetables. There's a calypso version of 'He is born, the holy child' that is very good, and there's also one of Junior Asparagus singing 'While by my sheep' that is adorable. Sheep bleat the echo to the chorus... I should tell Scylla.

09-03-2001, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Weird_AL_Einstein
Well. I see that a number of people have already mentioned Weird Al's two christmas parodies. Darn them. Darn them to Heck. I do see, however, that no one has mentioned "Christmas Time in Hell", from that South Park movie.
I'm pretty sure that's from This is Spinal Tap, actually ("No bells in Hell!/ No snow below!").

My favorite obscure Xmas song is "I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas" from The Goon Show: "I'm walking backwards for Christmas/ Across the Irish Sea..." Okay, it doesn't make any sense, but hey, it's The Goons...

09-03-2001, 11:48 AM
This might not be considered alternative, but Chuck Berry's "Run, Run Rudolph" has always been one of my faves. Last Christmas I found a version by Keith Richards on Napster that truly rocks.

Creaky mentioned Elvis, his "Santa Claus is Back In Town" is great too, with lines like, "Got no sleigh with reindeer, no pack on my back, you won't see me comin', IN A BIG BLACK CADILLAC", and "Hang up your pretty stockings, turn off your light, Santa Claus is comin', DOWN YOUR CHIMNEY TONIGHT".

"FairyTale of New York" is a great one I'd forgotten, I'll have to put it on next years Christmas CD.

As far as "Merry Christmas from the Family" goes, Jill Sobule's version is ok, but I prefer the Robert Earl Keene original.

09-03-2001, 12:47 PM
We blast out Twisted Christmas by Bob Rivers every year while we decorate the tree...
I am partial to "Wreck the Malls" and "The Restroom Door said Gentlemen" Oh god I think its time for Christmas in Sept

09-03-2001, 08:08 PM
I am Santa Claus Don't know who sings it, but its cross between Xmas music and Ironman by Black Sabbath. Very funny. Some of the lyrics I remember:
How much does he weigh?
It takes 8 reindeer to pull his sleigh!

Leave him cookies and beer
He'll stop first at your house next year!

Sigh, the only station in town that would play that has gone country and so the odds of my being able to hear it this year are slim to none.

09-03-2001, 09:04 PM
Once, while driving to my parents' house for Christmas, I picked up an out-in-the-boondocks radio station, and they played a song to the tune of Jingle Bells that went something like:

Rust and smoke,
The heater's broke,
The door just blew away,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Chevrolet,
<something something>
<something something>
The radio, it's okay,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Chevrolet!

I only heard it the once. Damned if I can remember the rest of the lyrics, or who wrote it. I'd love to hear it again.

09-03-2001, 10:52 PM
The following site is one I found another time when I googled "German Shepherd humor" The very first item is a rather sweet version of The Twelve Days... and the second is(IMHO) the most hilarious parody of "Winter Wonderland"


09-03-2001, 11:01 PM
Oops, I forgot to add the following for tracer, in the post immediately preceeding my own here.


Click on #24

I highly recommend anything by Da Yoopers. My personal favorite of theirs is "The Second Week of Deer Camp" Actually hdearing them adds to the experience, their "accent" is hard to describe

09-04-2001, 07:08 AM
My contribution: Shonen Knife's Phil Spector tribute, "Space Christmas".

I'm waiting for Santa Claus
He's riding on a bison sleigh
I'm waiting for Christmas gifts
I wanna get a spaaaaaaceship!

09-04-2001, 02:12 PM
Listen, The Snow Is Falling by Yoko Ono

09-04-2001, 03:01 PM
There's always The Arrogant Worms (http://www.arrogant-worms.com/) Christmas Turkey CD, containing:

Christmas Sucks
Vincent the Christmas Virus
Christmas Hangover
Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass
Christmas is Almost Here [Aaahhhggggrrr!]

09-04-2001, 03:16 PM
"Fairytale of New York" & "2000 Miles" are the best serious alternative Christmas songs. If you're in the mood to laugh, find yerself a copy of Christmas in the Stars, the Star Wars Christmas album, featuring songs like "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas" and "R2-D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas". & if you're from Baltimore, you will appreciate "Walking in an Essex Wonderland".

09-04-2001, 03:52 PM
Y'all have already gotten most of the good ones!

Actual cover song - Little Drummer Boy, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Satire - Christmas with the Devil, Spinal Tap

pcubed - Mojo Nixon, yes! Never met another Mojo fan online.

09-28-2001, 12:00 PM
Thanks everyone! I've finally gotten most of your suggestions (other than whole cds) downloaded.

I too love Bob Rivers, and have three of his Christmas cds(The Ironman-like song is on "I Am Santa Claus" btw), as well as the mentioned "Christmas in the Stars" which I have had since grade school. Anyone have the Muppets christmas cd that came out in the early 80's? They do duets with then-famous singers. Run Run Riendeer was the best. I need to find another copy of it. I think I saw it at staples last year.

If anyone thinks of more...

09-28-2001, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Annie-Xmas
Originally posted by Booker57
"Grandma got run over by a reindeer" Forgot who sings it. Sorry.
Patsy & Elmo.
How many people here ever caught ELmo's sequels to GGROBaR? Don't remember the title of the first one, but it was essentially a reply from Santa explaining that Grandma was really run over by Grandpa, who framed Santa for the job.

The second one is "Don't Make Me Play That Grandma Song," where Elmo plays a radio DJ who is sick of playing "that grandma song," even though his callers constantly request it.

I guess Elmo felt guilty after recording the first... :D

(Oh, and "Weird Al" Yankovic's Christmas At Ground Zero is better than his The Night Santa Went Crazy, IMO. Less gory and easier to sing to.)

09-28-2001, 04:23 PM
Happy Christmas (War is Over) John Lennon

09-28-2001, 04:50 PM
Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family"

09-28-2001, 06:23 PM
Merry Christmas (I don't wanna fight tonight) by The Ramones

Christmas in Vermont by Ed's Redeeming Qualities

Father Christmas by the Kinks

Buck The Diver
09-29-2001, 12:12 AM
Geez, am I the only one who has Jimmy Buffet's "Christmas in the Carribean"?

Buck The Diver <---Texas' Biggest Parrothead

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