Christmas Songs You Won’t Instantly Hate
Travel and shopping anytime during the holidays can be a stressful experience. There are tons of people, it’s hard to find parking, and worst of all, you are subjected to the same old holiday songs over and over again. Since hearing the same 20 songs over and over again can make you feel crazy, we wanted to offer a little music that may enhance your holiday experience for the better. Some of the songs on the list you may have heard of, but hopefully, they’re not overplayed.
- Merry Christmas Baby / White Christmas – Otis Redding
Otis Redding is the only artist that gets two entries into this list. Merry Christmas Baby represents the more upbeat groove that Otis is known for. It’s a great, fun song that compliments a drive or a party. Then there’s White Christmas. It’s hard to use words to describe this song. It’s sexy, smooth, beautiful, and when played at high volumes will leave you in tears. It’s like a mountain, or a forest- massive, powerful and unapologetic for destroying your emotions during the holiday season.
- Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas – The O’Jays
If the smooth vocal styling of the O’Jays doesn’t mellow you out after a long day of travel, you may need to introduce some hot chocolate and a fireplace into the mix. This upbeat R&B tune was re-released as a single in 1973, and still is great to unwind with.
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
It’s really rather unfortunate that there’s a bad word in this song. Otherwise it would probably be far more popular. The studio version featuring witty banter from Shane MacGowan Kirsty MacColl was featured on the 1987 album “If I Should Fall from Grace with God,” and probably the best Christmas song that opens up with a man waking up in a holding cell. While we can’t endorse any of the behavior or lyrics, it is enjoyable to listen to.
- What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder
This upbeat jam from Stevie Wonder is pretty popular, but how can you not crack a smile listening to Stevie? Put this in when you’re looking for a parking space at the airport or in a busy mall. You won’t mind how long it takes to find one! If you’re feeling like a little more Stevie, don’t worry, there is an entire album of songs he recorded in 1967 called Someday at Christmas. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. Here’s a sample from that album called “One Little Christmas Tree.”
- Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
While this may be the strangest pairing of musicians ever, their unique version of the song is simply beautiful. The song was recorded for a Christmas special in 1977. Legend has it that it was recorded after only an hour of rehearsal. Check out the video to see the surreal performance for yourself.
- Thank God it’s Christmas – Queen
This isn’t the rocking Queen you may be used to, but it doesn’t make Freddie Mercury’s vocals any less impressive. The synth-heavy production was released in 1984, and was written by Brian May and Roger Taylor. This would have made a great addition to the band’s live performance during the holiday season, however their final tour was in 1986, so the song never really was given the chance.
- Silent Night/Little Drummer Boy/ Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix.
This was a warm up jam featuring the Band of Gypsies. If you like the style of Hendrix, you will appreciate this tune, if not, this may be the worst thing you ever hear during the holidays! There’s no vocals, it’s all instrumental, and filled with the signature sound that has made Jimi Hendrix a legend.
- Christmas is All Around – Billy Mack (Bill Nighy)
From the Love Actually Soundtrack, this wins for the funniest song on the list, hands down. Sung to the tune of “Love is all Around” by the Troggs, Bill Nighy masterfully recreates a Robert Palmer video with this hilarious song. With re-written lyrics like “So if you really love Christmas, c’mon and let it snow,” this hilarious tune deserves to be in your holiday rotation. Perfect for an embarrassing car ride sing along.
- Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty
Tom Petty’s laid back songs all have a similar sound, but it’s that consistency that makes him such a great match for this list. This one does get some heavy radio play, but as long as you aren’t bombarded by it, it’s a welcome change from the 35 versions of “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock” that you will hear while dealing with hoards of people at the mall.