Christmas Songs

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WARNING: Never, ever listen to this.

"All of a sudden there comes Christmas, and there is an absolute tidal wave of darling little girls and sweet little boys making millions of dollars on records singing enchanting little Christmas songs that are perfectly nauseating."

In the days when sales of vinyl singles really did control the position of songs in the charts, Christmas was the time when glurge-laden songs topped the charts for weeks as children bought them for grandparents (and grandparents for grandchildren). Ubiquitous in stores, malls, and practically every other place with a PA system in November and December. Every so often somebody will pen an Anti-Christmas Song as an antidote, but the only real way to escape the onslaught is to become a Hikikomori - or go off the grid entirely - for two months a year.

Nevertheless, everyone's got an album that they lovingly pull out from the bottom of the CD cabinet when December rolls around. Despite all the cheap, irritating, and soulless renditions (and re-renditions, and re-re-renditions ad nauseam) to be heard all over the place during the holiday season, the original simple melodies are still there, just waiting to be heard and to remind us why these songs really are merry and bright. And for those who really like this stuff, at least one radio station in almost every town goes to all Christmas music all the time on December 1st if not before.

In other words, when done right, these are still indisputably Awesome Music.

Trivia note: At the end of The Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army reached the outskirts of Saigon, the American Forces Radio Service had to alert Americans in the area without panicking the local populace, all while in the process of smashing their equipment and recordings. As one Vietnam vet put it, he knew the end was near when AFRS began playing Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" in April.

Christmas Carolers will often be singing these, as you might expect. The Grinch, however, may sing an Anti-Christmas Song.

If you're looking for the story by Charles Dickens, that's A Christmas Carol. (Except when it's Yet Another Christmas Carol.)

This Very Wiki also has at least four pages devoted to notable Christmas albums:

  • Merry Christmas (1945) by Bing Crosby is the best-selling Christmas album of all time. His version of "White Christmas", which appeared on this album but was originally recorded for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling single ever.
  • The Beach Boys' Christmas Album (1964) by The Beach Boys features five original songs performed in the band's signature surf-rock style, along with seven standards performed in the style of The Four Freshmen.
  • A Very Special Christmas (1987), an album series in support of Special Olympics. As of this writing ten albums have been released under this banner, with the most recent being a Greatest Hits Album in 2013.
  • Christmas in the Heart (2009) by Bob Dylan surprised both fans and critics alike upon its release, since it was Dylan making a completely straight Christmas album.

Examples

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    Straight 
  • "Jingle Bells".
    • Also known for the parody lyrics "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...", which came full circle when, in Batman: The Animated Series, The Joker himself sang them.
    • There's also a Japanese version, minus the phrase "Jingle Bells", sung by Japanese pro wrestlers.
    • "Jingle Bells" is probably the single best-known and most widely-performed Christmas song of them all...which is rather ironic, given that it doesn't really have anything to do with Christmas specifically, secular or religious... it's actually a song about young guys in 1850s Medford, Massachusetts, who used to drag-race their one-horse sleighs in the town square. There's a small, hard to find plaque in said town square to commemorate it.
    • "Bjällerklang", the Swedish version, is about getting out of the house to avoid getting Cabin Fever, not drag racing. The verses have a slightly altered melody. The first part of the chorus has the same melody as the American version. However, a second chorus with a melody not used in the American version is sung after the original chorus.
  • The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York". Notable for turning into an insult fest mid-way through, which was controversially censored by Radio 1 in 2007 for a couple of days. Interestingly, Radio 2 (which has a decidedly less daring reputation than its lower-numbered sister station) played it unexpurgated. People are still arguing about it to this day, as it involves Kirsty Mac Coll calling Shane Mc Gowan a fairly awful homophobic insult. The lack of censorship is basically down to the fact that it's been a fixture of the Christmas music rotation since 1987 and everyone knows the lyrics anyway, a modern cover version that tried to replace them with something less offensive just didn't sound quite right and the song's just too popular to not play at all.
    • Special mention should be made of this song. It doesn't celebrate Christmas at all ( It's merely set on Christmas Eve). It is more about the eroding of dreams and the people you've come to hate (but are stuck with). The British keep voting it "Best Christmas Song" in various polls. Something about being stuck with family resonates with us, we think.
  • "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon.
    • Not to mention "Wonderful Christmastime", by Sir Paul McCartney.
      • Jars of Clay released a cover if one wishes to hear a version much lighter on the synthesizers.
      • And if you'd like to hear the song with even more synthesizers, Earthsuit has you covered.
      • And if you want no synthesizers (or instruments for that matter), look no further than Paul's 2013 rerecording featuring the acapella group Straight No Chaser (the same one that did that epic version of "12 Days of Christmas" listed further below).
      • Back to "Happy Christmas(War is Over)", Maroon5 recorded a minimalist version, just piano, guitar and keyboard. Meanwhile, The Polyphonic Spree went the opposite extreme (given that the band includes a nine-piece chorus, full brass ensemble, clarinet, flute, violin, harp and theramin, this is to be expected).
    • Speaking of The Beatles, there's always "Christmas Time Is Here Again", a delightful ditty composed especially for their 1967 fan club single.
  • Britain has two unquestionably awesome rock songs from the seventies: "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Roy Wood. Both are heard in shops across the country the minute they start advertising "It's almost Christmas", which is usually around mid-October.
  • "Christmas Time Is Here" by Ray Parker, Jr.
  • "The Little Drummer Boy".
    • The counterpoint duet "Peace on Earth"/"Little Drummer Boy", created for a 1977 Christmas Special, has endured for upwards of 30 years due to its unique teaming of David Bowie and Bing Crosby. Depending on your mindset, it can be enjoyed straight or as kitsch.
    • And there's the 1970 version by The Jackson Five, where Michael substitutes "mule" for "lamb". Also the only time you'll hear "Baby Jesus" in the song, instead of the classical "Baby Jesu" or the "little baby" more commonly heard today.
  • "Silver Bells" - Debuted in a now little known holiday comedy starring Bob Hope called The Lemon-Drop Kid.
  • "Do You Hear What I Hear" - An allegorical Christmas song dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisisexplanation here.
  • "Carol of the Bells"
  • "White Christmas", written by Irving Berlin.
  • Sufjan Stevens put out a 5-CD box set of Christmas songs, both old and new. His original songs include "Get Behind Me, Santa!", "Sister Winter", "We're Goin' To The Country", "Put The Lights on the Tree", "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!" and "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!"
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra pretty much built their career on this, their alter-egos being a more conventional rock group that despite multiple albums made no money whatsoever until they had a crossover hit with Christmas tunes. Several full albums of such followed.
  • Mannheim Steamroller's best-known work has been Christmas music.
  • "Christmas Time Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi, from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • "The Christmas Song" (often known by its opening line 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire'), written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells, performed by Nat "King" Cole and various others.
  • "Sleigh Ride". The original arrangement by Leroy Anderson features a nifty tempo shift halfway through. This is another one of those "winter songs" that became associated with Christmas; except from some vocal versions that substitute the birthday party at the home of Homer Gray (as the lyrics go) for a Christmas party, the holiday is not mentioned.
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
  • "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - America's favorite bit of Christmas "folklore" that was originally created as a marketing gimmick for Montgomery Ward. Really.
  • The band Low recorded a mini-album of Christmas songs, some original ("Just Like Christmas"), some cover versions ("Blue Christmas") and some traditional ("Silent Night", "The Little Drummer Boy").
  • "I Believe in Father Christmas", by Greg Lake. Some folk who don't listen closely to the lyrics have mistaken this song for being anti-religious; however, Word of God says it's really about growing up and growing out of some childhood illusions. Sarah Brightman's cover of this seems to underline it, since she sang it in this oddly childlike voice.
  • "Niño Lindo" and "Si la Virgen fuera Andina", two popular Venezuelan Christmas songs who, rare in the genre, actually remember why Christmas is called that. Popularized by the versions of several child chorus and the ones by Nancy Ramos; the latter musical career has essentially reduced to singing those.
  • "Mamacita, Dónde Está Santa Claus" is an English-Spanish song involving a kid waiting up for Santa.
  • "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses is a cute story about a woman trying to get together with a guy. Various mishaps result in one or the other of them not making the date, until on Christmas Eve, their individual decisions to just sit out Christmas as a result of a hectic year gets them together.
  • "Please Come Home for Christmas"
  • "Merry Christmas, Baby"
  • "This Time of the Year" by Brook Benton.
  • The Killers release a Christmas song each December with the proceeds going to charity. So far they've recorded:
    • "A Great Big Sled" (2006), a Springsteenian ode to lost innocence, produced by famed British alt rock producer Alan Moulder.
    • "Don't Shoot Me Santa" (2007), a novelty song about Santa attempting to kill Brandon Flowers. Currently the best selling of all their Christmas singles.
    • "Joseph, Better You Than Me" (2008), a gospel-fused song featuring Neil Tennant and Elton John
    • "¡Happy Birthday, Guadalupe!" (2009), a Mexican-pop flavored love song featuring indie rockers Wild Light and Mariachi El Bronx, the mariachi alter-ego of the SoCal punk band The Bronx
    • "Boots" (2010), a melancholy piece of nostalgia featuring samples from It's a Wonderful Life.
    • "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball" (2011), an uptempo, country-sounding somg with aa Retraux video.
    • "I Feel It In My Bones" (2012), a sequel to Don't Shoot Me, Santa Claus, where Brandon has escaped and Santa is hunting him down.
    • "Christmas in LA" (2013), a depressing number about a struggling actor (Owen Wilson), trying to make it through the hot, un-festive California holiday.
    • "Joel the Lump of Coal" (2014), their most traditional Christmas song about a lump of coal, meant for a bad child, trying to make the best of his situation.
  • "O Tannenbaum", also known as "O Christmas Tree" in English. Shares its melody with the official state song of Maryland as well as with "The Red Flag", the (semi-)official anthem of the British Labour Party.
  • "Silent Night" - written in Austria on Christmas eve of 1818, has one of the most recognized melodies in world.
  • Franz Schubert's version of "Ave Maria".
  • "What Child Is This?", set to the tune of the (non-Christmas) folk song "Greensleeves".
  • "O Come All Ye Faithful"
  • "Deck The Halls"
  • "O Holy Night". The original lyrics include an additional verse with an Abolitionist message, which is often lazily Bowdlerized out in modern recordings by just copy/pasting the first verse twice.
  • "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" - Some useful trivia: nowhere in the original version do you find the word "ye".
  • "O Come Emmanuel" is technically an Advent carol rather than a Christmas one, but...
  • "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
  • "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  • "Good King Wenceslas"
  • "The First Noel"
  • "The Holly and the Ivy"
  • "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?" from On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • One of the few bilingual Christmas songs to regularly get radio airplay, Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad/I want to wish you a Merry Christmas."
  • "Jesus Christ" by Big Star, Alternative Rock's very own Christmas anthem.
  • "This Christmas". Covered by numerous artists in the 40 years since its release, but NO version is better than the classic original by Donny Hathaway.
  • "Give Love on Christmas Day", recorded by The Temptations, Jackson 5, and Johnny Gill.
  • Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis." Recorded for the 1987 charity album A Very Special Christmas, it features Run telling the tale of stumbling upon Santa's very full wallet in a city park, and being tempted to keep it — but then he decides to do good by returning it, and is miraculously rewarded:
    But I'd never steal from Santa, 'cause that ain't right
    So I headed home to mail it back to him that night
    But when I got home, I bugged, 'cause under the tree
    Was a letter from Santa that said the dough was for me!
  • Anyone else have a soft spot for Stevie Wonder's "Twinkle Twinkle Little Me"? It's beautiful.
  • "Silent Hill", by Thomas Howard. No relation to the actual Silent Hill.
  • Oddly enough, "When You Wish Upon a Star" is considered a Christmas song in Japan, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The star referred to is probably the star that led the Magi. This has led to it being performed for a number of Christmas albums, such as those by Rod Stewart, Mary J. Blige, Celtic Thunder and Idina Menzel. In the Scandinavian countries it's possibly tied to Disney's TV special From All of Us to All of You, a perennial must-see.
  • The Nutcracker Suite, by Tchaikovsky. Either the straight orchestra version, or various interpretations. Notably, a swing version originally performed by Les Brown and his Band of Renown, later played by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
    • There is also a jazz rendition of the whole Suite that was arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in 1960. It's all kinds of awesome.
  • Probably worth mentioning here but there is actually a Maria-sama ga Miteru Christmas Album. No original songs but several of the seiyuu singing Christmas Carols.
  • "Some Children See Him", one of a number of carols written by Alfred Burt. Can be glurge-ified because of its anvilicious socio-political message.
  • Angels & Airwaves' "Star of Bethlehem". In the album's final release, it was split into two songs: "Star of Bethlehem" and "True Love".
  • "We Need a Little Christmas", written for The Musical version of Auntie Mame.
  • Carbon Leaf's Christmas Child album has several original Christmas and winter-themed songs, including the title song about a child counting down the days left, and "Red Punch, Green Punch" about the type of family Christmas parties you find boring as a child but fondly look back on later.
  • "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
  • "Jingle Bell Rock"
  • "The 12 Days of Christmas"
  • "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", yet another "winter" song that came to be associated with Christmas. The songwriters, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, wrote it in the middle of a heatwave in Hollywood to take their minds off the heat, similar to how the lyrics of "The Christmas Song" were initially just a way for Bob Wells to immerse himself in winter during a hot summer; coincidentally, both songs were written the same year, 1945.
  • "Winter Wonderland", again a "winter" song now associated with Christmas.
  • "Joy to the World," which originally was written as a song for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
  • "My Favorite Things", taken from The Sound of Music, has come to be considered one even though it really hasn't anything to do with Christmas (or even winter, save for the one line about snowflakes).
  • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
  • "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
  • "A Marshmallow World"
  • "A Holly Jolly Christmas"
  • "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. Listen to the radio regularly during December, and you will DEFINITELY hear this song.
  • In 1990, Pretty Maids released the In Santa's Claws EP which features two christmas songs ("In Santa's Claws" and "A Merry Jingle", a medley of sorts) along with some live material.
  • From Elton John's heyday in 1973, we have "Step Into Christmas".
  • "Guanaguanare", by Jesus Avila.
  • Dar Williams' "The Christians and the Pagans" depicts a pair of neo-pagan (and quite possibly lesbian) women spending Christmas Eve with one's devoutly Christian uncle and his family, and how they're able to overcome their respective cultural differences and enjoy the season together. It leavens its moral message with gentle humor, and is a genuinely great song.
  • Owl City has several: "Christmas Song," "Peppermint Winter" and "Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time."
  • The Partland Brothers' "Christmas Day", which works in a bit of "Little Drummer Boy" during the coda.
  • "Pass It On" from Fraggle Rock. Oddly enough, the episode the song was written for ("The Perfect Blue Rollie") wasn't specifically intended as a Christmas Episode, but was released on two Christmas-themed compilations for its themes of giving and You Mean Xmas. It was also performed on A Muppet Family Christmas for this same reason, as Kermit and Robin walk into a Fraggle hole and check in on their winter festival.
    • The Dandy Warhols later covered the song; their version can be found on the multi-artist Cover Album Here To There.
    • From the show's actual Christmas Episode, check out "There's a Promise" and the instrumental "Festival of the Bells".
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has had a few Christmas-themed original songs, including "Santa Knows", "Key To This Wonderful City", "I Believe" and "Yes Virginia".
  • Jon Anderson of Yes has a Christmas album released in 1985 called 3 Ships, which features, along with some covers of traditional Christmas songs, originals such as "Save All Your Love", "Easier Said Than Done" (written by Chariots of Fire composer Vangelis), "Forest Of Fire", "Day Of Days", "2,000 Years", "Where Were You", and "How It Hits You".
    • And also from Yes, there's Chris Squire's Swiss Choir.
  • "Winter Star" by Canadian singer Johnny Reid.
  • The Jamster character Schnuffel had a short song called "Christmas Song" which features him singing about the excitement of Christmas along with how peaceful and relaxing it is.

    Melancholy 
  • "White Christmas" is one of these, as the oft-omitted introductory verse makes (painfully) clear:
    The sun is shining, the grass is green,
    The orange and palm trees sway,
    There's never been such a day,
    In Beverly Hills, L. A.
    But it's December the 24th
    And I'm longing to be up north...
  • "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which debuted during the height of World War II, but is actually about a college student studying away from home. That said, the war subtext is much more popular, to the point where modern covers have soldiers wishing their families a merry Christmas during the bridge.
  • "Merry Christmas Darling" by the Carpenters is another one in which the singer pines for a loved one from whom she's separated, and it too first gained popularity during a war (Vietnam, in this case).
  • "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", which was written for Meet Me in St. Louis and has something of an interesting history.
  • "Blue Christmas", written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson, famously sung by Elvis Presley, tells a story of unrequited love, making the singer's Christmas anything but merry.
  • Rockapella's "Hold Out for Christmas" initially seems whimsical but swiftly reveals itself to be one of these. Starting off "Christmas in Tokyo does not make sense, Santa and Sumo don't mix", and closing with a coda that begins, "Christmas at home is a life away" makes this song a Tear Jerker for anyone who's ever had to spend a holiday season alone on business travel, in the military, or otherwise away from friends and family.
  • ''Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'', originally recorded by Darlene Love, and covered by everyone from U2 to Death Cab for Cutie.
  • "Do They Know It's Christmas?", first done by BandAid in 1984 to raise money for the victims of the Ethiopian famine, comparing it with the joyous occasion of Christmas in first-world countries. The subsequent Live Aid concert and charity appeal raised about £150m. Sadly, it may have actually made the situation worse- some journalists have claimed the money ended up in the hands of the military junta, who used for an enforced resettlement program. Up to 100,000 people may have been killed as a result. The earlier civil war had actually made the famine worse.
    • As for the song itself, it contains an instance of research failure with the line "There won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time". Tell that one to the people of Kenya...
    • Also, "No rain or rivers flow..." except, ya know, that longest river in the world... (the fucking Nile!)
    • Critics reportedly responded poorly to the two subsequent renditions of the song (in 1988 and 2004) because they felt that they were cashing in on the original, which they said, in spite of its obvious drawbacks, had its heart in the right place.
    • The 2014 version was sung to raise up awareness of the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa.
  • "Last Christmas" by George Michael and Wham! Covered by Billie Piper and by Taylor Swift.
  • "Celebrate Me Home" by Kenny Loggins.
  • "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way" by Jim Croce.
  • "Pretty Paper" by Roy Orbison.
  • "Christmas Ain't Like Christmas Anymore" by Kitty Wells.
  • "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg is technically a Christmas song, as it mentions that the events of the song happen on Christmas Eve (Probably because the songwriter needed something that rhymed with "sleeve"). The song is actually about a guy who runs into an ex-girlfriend by chance and the two of them spending the evening catching up on what they've been doing since the apparently amiable breakup.
  • Coldplay's "Christmas Lights" provides us with yet another example of heartbreak at Christmas.
  • Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" has a little of this, reflecting as it does the singer's wish for a world without the war, violence and unrest of The '60s when it was written.
  • "Whatever Happened to Christmas?" by Frank Sinatra. Aimee Mann later did an effective cover version.
  • "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" by Simon & Garfunkel.
  • "First Christmas" by Stan Rogers.
  • Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus", originally recorded with Irish folk group The Chieftains for their Christmas album The Bells of Dublin, and then again as a solo version. Listen to the original here and the remake here.
  • "White Wine in the Sun" by Tim Minchin is not exactly a parody, and not entirely straight, and not at all religious Christmas song. It's also an absolute tearjerker.
  • "I Hate Christmas Parties" by Relient K. It's about as cheery as it sounds.
  • "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)" by Type O Negative is a dirge-like remembrance of people in the singer's family who've died in the last year. It may be the single most depressing Christmas song ever.
  • "World Be Still" from Roundhouse.
  • The beautiful "Coming Home" by One To One.
  • "Keeping the Dream Alive" by Münchener Freiheit has become a Christmas song by association.
  • "The Power of Love" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Another by-association one, although the lyrics are more appropriate to Hallowe'en. Gabrielle Alpin later did an effective cover version for a Christmas advert.
  • "River" by Joni Mitchell somewhat subverts this. It's a song about heartbreak over a failed relationship that happens to take place during Christmastime rather than a typical song about Christmas (not unlike "Fairytale Of New York" above), but it's considered a standard and frequently covered for Christmas albums, such as those of Cee-Lo Green, Blue Rodeo and Idina Menzel.

    Parody/Humorous 

  • "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy.
    • And the sequel song, "Grandpa's Gonna Sue the Pants Off of Santa"
    • There was... an acoustic blues version of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" done by Poe.
    • Dr. Elmo also made a 2000 election version as well as another sequel song, "Please Don't Make Me Play That Grandma Song Again"; Dr. Elmo takes the role of a beleaguered radio DJ who is weary of playing that song. The self-deprecating humor (he criticizes his own singing) is brilliant.
    • Da Yoopers did a parody called "Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck."
    • A parody of a parody: "Grandpa Got Runned Over by a John Deere" by Cledus T. Judd. And yes, it's still a Christmas song... sorta.
    • There was also (during the height of their career) a parody song called "New Kids Got Run Over By A Reindeer" ...
  • Michigan State University's all-male a cappella ensemble the Spartan Dischords have their own holiday season medley called "Christmas Soup" (more a mash-up than a medley) which evolves with popular culture as seen in their 2011 Winter Concert here. This ain't yer grandpa's The Twelve Days Of Christmas, not by a long shot. As just one of many examples of absurd lyrical juxtaposition within this musical agglomeration,
    I'm dreamin' of a' Six geese a' layin',
    Jack Frost nippin' at your nose.
  • Bob Rivers has produced numerous albums full of these.
  • Bob Dylan's klezmer-style rendition of "Must Be Santa" from his album Christmas in the Heart. Nothing like a good old-fashioned Hanukkah themed Christmas song!
  • Jethro Tull with their whole Christmas Album, (though a few almost play it straight, at least in spirit).
    • Also, 'A Christmas Song' one of their earlier songs (reworked on the Christmas Album). Starts off as a traditional carol and then changes theme.
    Once in Royal David’s City
    Stood a lowly cattle shed,
    Where a mother laid her baby.
    You’d do well to remember the things He later said.
    When you’re stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
    You’ll laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
    You’re missing the point I’m sure does not need making;
    The Christmas spirit is not what you drink...

    ...[outro] Hey, Santa, pass that bottle will you?

  • "Rusty Chevrolet", an ode to The Alleged Car, again by Da Yoopers.
  • "Christmas at Ground Zero" and "The Night Santa Went Crazy", both by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
    • His song "Weasel Stomping Day", sung in typical Glurgical Christmas style, concerns a fictitious holiday in which people wear Viking helmets, spread mayonnaise on their lawns, and squish weasels under their boots.
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Chiron Beta Prime"
  • "Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas", album credited to Tales from the Crypt and the Cryptkeeper.
  • "Leroy the Redneck Reindeer," by Joe Diffie.
  • "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas," Jeff Foxworthy.
  • "Here's Your Sign Christmas," Bill Engvall (not really parody, but comedy if you like the performer).
  • "The Carol of the Old Ones"
  • "A Christmas Carol" by Tom Lehrer.
  • "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy" by Buck Owens, covered by Garth Brooks and pretty much every other male country artist at one time or another.
  • "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt, covered by Madonna and pretty much every other female artist at one time or another.
  • "A Five-Pound Box of Money" by Pearl Bailey.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000's "(Let's Have) a Patrick Swayze Christmas".
    • and the Mike-Era "Merry Christmas... If That's Okay", which pokes fun at seasonal Political Correctness Gone Mad and the whole stupid "War on Christmas" phenomenon.
  • "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
  • "Father Christmas", by The Kinks, in which a man playing Father Christmas outside a (presumably British) department store is mugged by street thugs. "Father Christmas, give us your money! Don't mess around with those silly toys!" Punkest Christmas song ever!
  • "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" by Spike Jones.
    • And "I'm the Angel in the Christmas Play" by the same, which is about an unrepentant delinquent cheerfully admitting to all the mischief he's been up to, ending each verse with an announcement that he's playing the angel in the school Christmas play.
  • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" by blink-182, with a chorus that goes "It's Christmas time again/It's time to be nice to the people you can't stand."
    • Also "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" - "It's Christmas Eve and I've only wrapped 2 f*** ing presents."
  • "No Presents for Christmas" by King Diamond.
  • "Merry F** king Christmas" and "A Lonely Jew on Christmas", both from South Park.
  • Sarah Silverman's "Give the Jew Girl Toys", the video of which ends in Silverman cuddling next to a Bound and Gagged Santa Claus.
  • Denis Leary has a Christmas special as well as a song by the title "Merry F** king Chistmas", complete with overly cynical lyrics such as "Old St. Nick's got bourbon breath / It's so cold you could catch your death / A cop just sold me crystal meth / It's a merry f** king Christmas"
  • Sort of borderline, but "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" by the Ramones.
  • "Ohhhh, Santa Claus, Santa Claus, You are much too fat..." The highlight of many an Elementary School Christmas performance.
  • Jingle Bell Metal by Psychostick contains parodies of several Christmas songs.
  • "Ho Ho [BEEP] Ho" by Kevin Bloody Wilson.
  • They Might Be Giants have a few, most of which involve Santa Claus acting like a dick to the narrator.
  • In A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, Stephen performs the cheery, extremely unsubtle "Another Christmas Song", which is all about people buying "Another Christmas Song" and hopefully making it a yearly Christmas standard so that Stephen can get rich. Multiple levels of metafiction at once coupled with multiple levels of Special Effect Failure.
  • The cast of Sailor Moon Abridged did an album of parody songs, that can be bought on their site.
  • The "Christmas Scare-ols," written to give Disneyland visitors something to do while waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction, comprise an assortment of traditional Christmas songs re-arranged in a minor key and with the lyrics altered to reflect the sensibilities of the denizens of Halloween Town.
  • Tiny Tim released the jaw-dropping "Santa Claus Has Got The AIDS This Year."
  • Disturbingly, there are two novelty Christmas songs about fisting: "XXXMas Song" by Vinnie and the Stardusters and "Fist Me This Christmas" by the Wet Spots.
  • "The Twelve Days After Christmas" focuses on the downsides of owning all the gifts from its namesake song, and the nasty breakup between the "true loves" that results.
    The four calling birds were a big mistake / for their language was obscene / the five golden rings were completely fake / and they turned my fingers green!
    • The title works only because many people don't realize that the actual "Twelve Days of Christmas" are after Christmas; they are the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany.
  • Thrash band Whiplash has a song called "I Hate Christmas", with arguably one of the greatest lines in all of music: "Jingle Bells, I'll see you in Hell!"
  • Rhan Wilson's Altared Christmas series. The gimmick? What if you played Christmas songs in a Darker and Edgier minor key? It's a lot better than it sounds, that's what.
  • You Ain't Getting S*** for Christmas. The song is hilarious when ma "Takes the two fruitcakes and the turkey and throws them out the front window."
  • Ray Stevens has several, including "Xerox Xmas Letter," (an over-the-top Christmas letter for "Nightmare Before Christmas" (where he dreams that a bunch of lawyers take Santa to court for wearing fur, smoking, working only one day a year, etc.).
  • The Jingle Bell Barking Dogs.
    • And their feline counterparts.
  • There is a disturbingly hilarious parody of "Walkin' In a Winter Wonderland" called "Walkin' Round In Women's Underwear", about crossdressing.
    • That's courtesy Bob Rivers, a parodist who basically makes a living off of songs like "Grabbe Yahbalz" ("Grab your balls like Michael Jackson! Fa-la-la-la-la...), his Signature Song "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" ("The first thing of Christmas that's such a pain to me is finding a Christmas tree."), "The 'What's It to Ya?' Chorus", "I Came Upon a Roadkill Deer", "The Restroom Door Said 'Gentlemen'", and, most brilliantly, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" set to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun", with a pretty good Dylan impersonation.
  • And let's not forget "Monster Holiday", the Christmas-themed sequel to "The Monster Mash".
  • AC/DC gives us "Mistress for Christmas", which (as one might have guessed from an AC/DC song) is less about the "Christmas" part and more about the "Mistress" part.
  • "Please Santa Claus" by Anna Russell.
  • The 12 Guido Days of Christmas.
  • "No More Christmas Singles", the Spitting Image... er... Christmas Single.
    No more Christmas singles
    They're worse than any war
    If we hear Aled Jones again
    We'll throw up on the floor
  • The entire Oi to the World album by the Vandals, but especially "My First Christmas As a Woman".
    • The title song - later covered by No Doubt - is about an Indian punk and a skinhead getting in a fight that nearly results in the death of both of them - at least, until the spirit of the holidays wins out.
  • "Elf's Lament" by Barenaked Ladies and featuring Michael Buble.
  • This commercial for (the fake) "The Sharks A Capella Holiday Album" supposedly produced by the San Jose Sharks. It manages not only to make fun of and lampshade holiday songs and albums, but also the commercials that are used to peddle them as well.
    Announcer: Yes, vocal tones so unique and distinctive, only your dog can truly appreciate them!
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas with Doug and Bob McKenzie, aka The Canadian Twelve Days of Christmas.
    On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 5 GOLDEN TOQUES! Four pounds of back bacon, three French toasts, two turtlenecks, and a beer...
    ...in a treeeeee...
  • I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus, by Stand Still.
  • Make A Daft Noise For Christmas and Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me (about "a most immoral Santa") by The Goodies.
  • Hark, how the WAA all seem to WAA, joining in rhyme. WALUIGI TIME!
  • 1960s garage-rock band The Sonics did "Don't Believe in Christmas", airing typical holiday disappointments to the tune of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business".
  • "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
  • Kip Addotta's I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus. It's actually Mommy in disguise.
  • The Hives & Cyndi Lauper - A Christmas Duel I bought no gifts this year And I slept with your sister.
  • A cappela group Straight No Chaser has a song called "12 Days" that blends "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with... almost everything. It starts fairly normal, until about half the group jumps from two to four, and is corrected by the other half, who interpolate the third day lyrics in, before ending up somehow at five golden rings. And then they start throwing in "Deck the Halls" and "Here We Come A-Wassailing" and, I kid you not, Toto's "Africa". Seriously, just listen.
  • "All I Want for Christmas Is to Rock" by Hair Metal band Sniper.
  • Allan Sherman's "The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas," with such offerings as A Japanese transistor radio, green polka dot pajamas, a calendar book with the name of his insurance man, simulated alligator wallet and much more. On the twelfth day, he's going to exchange them all.
  • "Santa Claus Is Pagan Too" by Neopagan group Emerald Rose. A fairly good-natured Take That at Christians who are either ignorant of or prefer to disregard the Pagan origins of many Christmas traditions.
  • "Green Leaves", Lazy Smurf's parody of "Greensleeves" and "What Child Is This" that is sung about the joys of smoking smurfnip in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "A Haunted Christmas". Also in the same story is "Streams Of Sarsaparilla Ale", a parody of "Good King Wenceslas".
    • And in the same universe, there's "The 12 Smurfs Of Christmas".
  • "The 12 Drugs Of Christmas".
  • "Christmas at the Zoo" by The Flaming Lips. What's more Christmas than breaking into a zoo to free all the animals?
  • The Chieftains' Christmas album The Bells of Dublin includes a hilarious collaboration with Elvis Costello called "St. Stephan's Day Murders". Christmas is over, and a few members of the family have had it with holiday cheer.
  • Butthole Surfers recorded a version of "Good King Wencelaus". It mainly fits this category because Gibby Haynes spends most of the song in a faux-drunken monologue (complete with slurred speech, stuttering and the occasional Alcohol Hic), where he's alternately commenting on the music itself or just ranting incoherently about, say, bugs having sex.
  • "Jingle Rock Bell" is, well, a rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" with all of the lyrics replaced with the words "jingle", "bell", and "rock" (e.g. "Bell jingle, rock jingle, rock rock bell / Bell rock, jingle rock, bell rock bell"). It originated when a metafilter user commented that he liked to sing the song that way, to his wife's annoyance.
  • The Venezuelan song' "Tun-tun", about a grouchy Scrooge type complaining about all the people celebrating outside and disrupting his sleep. It includes the verse (translated) "If the Kid note  has born/ then you go to Bethelem/ and me, from my bed/I'll give you my bless".
  • Comedy Choral group Folie Vergue Takititá have a very funny set of parodies of popular christmas songs. It includes an awesomely dirty version of the "Rudolph the Red-noised Reindeer" song, where turns out that Rudolphs's problem is very tiny.
  • Pink Floyd, of all bands had a Christmas song that they did as a one-off joke for BBC Radio. The lyrics are straight enough (being about Santa coming and the dividing of parcels), but the whole thing is so ridiculous and the production values so atypically crappy, that it belongs here rather than in straight examples.
  • Then there's 'The 12 pains of Christmas.' a twist on the original it takes all the .. well pains of the holidays with each part slowly getting angrier and angrier.
  • A youtube user made a parody of "Hark! The Angel Voices Sing!" by crossing it over with Portal and having the turrets singing, called, "Hark! The Turret Voices Sing!" about how all will bow down before the animal king and any who resist will be blown from the skies. Needless to say, it's a fine example of Black Comedy.
  • Pansy Division's shamelessly obscene "Homo Christmas."
  • "A Dreamers Christmas" is a 2011 album by John Zorn's band The Dreamers with covers of Christmas carols.
  • The Aqua Teen Hunger Force cut a Christmas album with such triumphs as Carl being "Home for Christmas" so he can watch the-then PapaJohns.com Bowl.
  • There's Canadian singer Metro's "Eleven Days From Christmas", which uses a multitude of Ukrainian gifts such as pails of borscht and a big bowl sour cream (most of the items are food). It also has the singer occasionally breaking to pump up the band and tell them how beautiful they are.
  • The group Medioevo have "Mi Alegre Parrandón", a parody of the typical cutesy spunky carol by Los Tucusitos, where the "kid" singing ask for such gifts as anticonceptives for her sister (also a second hand bike "so her boss don't have to bring her in the early morning"), a battery radio and a number of personal effects for "[her] brother who is so innocent]" who is now in the Model Prison, and a grill and a big jar of Adobo for her momto help her with her skwers-selling business near the Universitary Stadium. It ends with the "kid" having to be forcibly shut up while giving her Long List of wanted Christmas gifts, so the chorus can wrap up the song. Have a Vocalod version!
  • Harry Stewart recorded several of these in the '40s and '50s in the guise of his Norwegian-American character "Yogi Yorgesson". Examples include "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas", "Yingle Bells", and "I Was Santa Claus at the School House (for the P.T.A.)".

    Glurge-laden 
These are very much YMMV. One person's Glurge is another person's Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Please don't natter about how you disagree with an entry.

  • The "Coventry Carol" is probably the oldest of these songs. It was originally part of a stage play written in the 16th century; the song is essentially about the Massacre Of The Innocents that takes place after the birth of Jesus.
  • And that old classic, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". It sounds like a funny parody, except that hippos are one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals on the planet. Not so funny anymore, is it?
    • The song was actually meant to raise money to buy a hippopotamus for the singer's local zoo.
  • "Grandma, We Love You" by the St. Winnifreds Girls' School Choir went to No.1 in the UK - and it's not even the strangest thing to have topped the charts there.
  • "Granddad" with Clive Dunn likewise.
  • Any song about New Year's Eve, although not directly related with Christmas, but in some countries begins to air about the same time. The glurgiest one is "Faltan Cinco Pa' Las Doce", either the original by Nestor Zavarce or the Jose Luis Rodiguez version, who in Venezuela is ritually broadcast into any radial New Year Countdown ever.
  • "Christmas Shoes", the only mainstream radio hit by Christian pop group Newsong, is a story told by a man who was griping about the shopping crunch, reminded of the True Meaning of Christmas by an extremely poor little boy trying to gather enough change pennies to buy shoes for his mother who might very well die on Christmas Eve. Not only glurgy, but also highly manipulative and depressing.
    Little boy: Daddy says there's not much time / You see, she's been sick for quite a while
    And I know these shoes will make her smile / And I want her to look beautiful / If Mama meets Jesus tonight.
    • There is also a good chunk of possible Values Dissonance; in at the end of the song the narrator concludes that God arranged the whole thing, tragedy included, just to teach him the true meaning of Christmas.
    • Also the assumption that Jacob Marley Apparel is in effect and that Jesus is shallow enough to care. Oh, and let's not forget that the poor kid is not only about to lose his mother, but blow the last of his cash just to make her smile one last time when he's going to sorely need it to help keep himself alive very soon.
    • All of which makes Patton Oswalt's standup comedy bit giving the song a Take That by parsing its meaning line-by-line that much more hilarious. Watch it (with bonus animated accompaniment) here.
  • "Grown-Up Christmas List", originally performed by Natalie Cole and David Foster but a favorite of cheesy, melisma-loving pop singers everywhere.
  • "Happy Birthday, Jesus" by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Starts out as a cheesy version of the standard Happy Birthday song, and by the time it gets to the lyric "I'm so glad it's Christmas / All the tinsel and lights / And the presents are nice / But the real gift is you" you will probably want to kill.
    • It's usually performed at Christmas concerts by the absolute youngest member of any given choir, too. So imagine those lyrics sung in a wavering, high-pitched falsetto to get the full effect.
      • Another "Happy Birthday, Jesus" was recorded in 1959 by an intolerably sweet moppet called Little Cindy. She was a child evangelist apparently, with a godawful (fake?) Southern accent: "She said you was so awful good/ And then she made me crah/ She said they nailed you to the cross/ They wanted you to dah." John Waters later reissued it in a compilation album of bad Christmas recordings.
      • And yet another version of "Happy Birthday, Jesus" features an insufferable little boy gaily singing about how he got only one gift that year, his mother's aforementioned song.
  • Another one for the pile: "Merry Christmas" by the Christian band Third Day.
  • "Christmas in the Northwest" by Brenda White.
  • "Christmastime in Arkansas Again". A syrupy-sweet reflection about Christmas and an unashamed tribute to the state of Arkansas, with a locally famous weatherman named Ned Perme on piano.
  • "The Cat Carol". Sweet Jesus, "The Cat Carol".
  • "Ven a mi casa esta Navidad" by Luis Aguile, about the singer offering a friend without friends or family to spend Christmas with him and his family, fits somewhere between Glurge and Tear Jerker. Other singers covering this go with glurgey.
  • A particularly jarring example is "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)" by John Denver. The contrast of the lyrics with the cheery, upbeat music makes it more depressing than a really depressing thing.
  • Train's "Shake Up Christmastime" was written for a Coca-Cola commercial in 2010, though the extended version regularly receives radio airplay during the holiday season and was also performed at the Christmas parade at Disney Theme Parks in 2014. cs188 has an hilarious YouTube Poop of it here.

    Other 
  • "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" by Fall Out Boy. Contains lyrics such as 'Merry Christmas, I could care less' and 'all I want this year is for you to dedicate your last breath to me, before you bury yourself alive.'
  • "Santa Stole My Girlfriend" by The Maine. The title is pretty self-explanatory. Chorus calls Santa an obscene name.
  • "O Holy Crap". Good lord, good lord.
  • The Nostalgia Chick did a countdown of the Top Ten Most Disturbing And Inescapable Christmas Songs. With all the Glurge and creepy messages the titular songs featured, it's probably no wonder that she filled it with Black Comedy and horrific imagery.
  • Pictured above: The Star Wars album Christmas in the Stars, which is not quite as infamous as The Star Wars Holiday Special but comparably misconceived (at least they don't sing about "Life Day" here). It featured the voices of Anthony Daniels and, on "R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas," an 18-year-old named John Bongiovi.
  • In Full Metal Jacket has Drill Sergeant Nasty singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus as the platoon stands at attention.
  • "All I want for Christmas is to Kick Your Ass", by the Midnight Riders. Yes the band made up for Left 4 Dead 2.
  • In 2007 or 2008, Sting was asked by his label if he would like to do a Christmas album. He refused, but instead released a winter-themed album, 2009's If on a Winter's Night.
  • In Venezuela, Gaita Zuliana are often lumped with other Christmas songs, despite most of the songs that are not about partying, how great singing Gaita is or current issues are about either Our Lady of Chinquinquirá (November 18), San Benito de Palermo (December 27), and New Year's Eve.
  • The Monkees did an acapella rendition of an old, Renaissance-era Spanish carol, Riu Chiu.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic released a Christmas album called, appropriately enough, It's A Pony Kind of Christmas, with each of the Mane 6 doing a different song, appropriately modified for them, such as Fluttershy singing a very nature themed version of "Silent Night", and Rainbow Dash doing a pop punk rendition of "Jingle Bells", along with a few original songs.


Alternative Title(s): Christmas Carol

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChristmasSongs