As anyone who has flipped on a radio during the month of December knows, there’s plenty of Christmas songs to listen to during the holiday season. Sure, hearing them three dozen times in one day can get a little irritating, but they’re not all bad, and if you’re having family or friends over for a holiday party, they’ll expect some seasonal tunes to come out of the stereo while sipping eggnog and exchanging gifts.
So, we here at Beatcrave have selected ten holiday songs to get your playlist started. Happy Holidays!
10.) Coldplay – “Christmas Lights”
This new track features singer Chris Martin doing his best “charming yet sensitive” voice combined with elegiac piano melodies, and while we’ve heard many a Coldplay song explore this lyrical territory before, what can we say, the band knows how to strike the right heart-breaking chord. Martin may sing, “It doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all,” but this song feels a hell of a lot like Christmas if you ask us.
9.) Weezer – “The First Noel”
This interpretation of a beloved Christmas clasic is the perfect middle-ground if you’ve got relatives over for Christmas. It’ll satisfy the older, “traditional” crowd while also making your younger relatives think you’re cool. It’s a Christmas miracle!
8.) Smashing Pumpkins – “Christmastime”
Singer Billy Corgan is in “Tonight, Tonight” mode here, going way over-the-top emotionally. But it’s the holidays, and in this case he can be forgiven for getting melodramatic. When you’re a little kid Christmas is the best day of the year, and this song captures that sense of excitement and anticipation that we lose when we’re saddled with all the stress the holiday brings to adults. Listen to this one for a reminder of how you used to feel about it.
7.) The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
Even seminal punk rockers The Ramones couldn’t keep away from penning a Christmas song. Luckily for us listeners, they did a great job with it. Radio DJs tend to overlook this tune during the holiday season and that’s a shame. Find a spot for it on your own holiday mix as a pleasant surprise to the music aficionado out your party.
6.) Dave Matthews – “Christmas Song”
Dave Matthews retells the story of Jesus Christ and in doing so reminds us all that iPods, Blu-Ray players and smartphones may be nice, but no matter what your religious beliefs, Christmas is really supposed to be about one thing: Love.
5.) Death Cab for Cutie – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Throw everyone a curveball with Ben Gibbard’s take on this popular U2 track. As is to be expected, he takes an anthemic song and turns it into a sensitive acoustic piece, but hey, some people like that.
4.) The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York”
The late Kirsty MacColl lent her vocal talents to this Christmas song by Irish band The Pogues. Some of the language is a little abrasive for those seeking mainstream holiday cheer but it’s such a beautiful and moving song that we couldn’t keep it off our list.
3.) Trans-Siberian Orchestra – “Christmas Canon”
This take on Pachelbel’s Canon in D takes one of the most familiar works of music in history and reworks it for the holiday season. Fortunately, it works, resulting in a song that can lift the spirits of anyone who needs it this Christmas.
2.) “Glee” Cast – “Last Christmas”
The cast of TV’s “Glee” take on this holiday classic, and as usual, they do a very good job with it. If you’re looking to find the right balance between traditional holiday favorites and more current tunes, this is a perfect middle ground. Plus, it’ll probably be welcomed by any younger relatives who are among this show’s many addicts.
1.) John Lennon – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”
This year marked the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon’s passing but his music remains as relevant as ever. Of all the songs on the list, this may be the most moving for everyone. Lennon knew that Christmas is a unifying time that is meant to bring all people, regardless of race, age, gender, etc., together, and his lyrics expressed a strong sense of renewed hope (“Another year over/A new one’s just begun”). Like all of Lennon’s songs, it seems so simple and obvious when you hear it that you wonder why no one wrote it before. That was all just part of Lennon’s genius.
Any other Christmas songs that should make their way onto the playlist? Let us know in the comments.