Let me be honest here. i’m not a fan of Christmas carols. i judge a successful year by how late in the year i hear my first Christmas carol in the mall [and this year was a pretty decent year let me tell you – may have even been December, although that might say more about how often i find myself in malls these days than how early the carols started droning].
At least i was.
Until i put out a call for fun, alternative, not-poke-yourself-in-the-eye-the-business-end-of-a-pogo-stick kind of vibey carols and did a little bit of research on the Google!.
Turns out there might even be hope for this grinch yet.
Cos i have discovered some rocking songs…
And i don’t know that this list is going to be in any sort of order in terms of what is better than what, but my absolute new favourite Christmas song by a long way which i don’t know that i’ve ever heard – or at least noticed – before has to be Carol of the Bells and probably my favourite version of it [there are a lot of good ones] is by August Burns Red:
Takes me back to my pseudo living-room headbanging days. But what an anthem. Then, for some reason – never saw this one coming – but there is an abundance of God rest ye merry gentlemen on this list, so let’s just call it a medley cos then you can get away with that shift of expectations. Really enjoyed the first one by Living Scars and the next one is by Pillar who are one of my favourite heavy rock Christian bands so i had to include them and then the third one by Justine and Kerris Dorsey is accoustic and female led so very different BUT also has strains of my new Christmas song – that’s right Carol of the Bells woven into it and it actually is a beautiful combo so take a listen to the God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen medley:
You know what? i actually can’t leave this one out – same song, very different presentation but Hozier brings something special to God Rest Ye and so yes, you get a fourth:
In my Extreme Grinch Days when i was vocally against all carols, i always had the proviso “Except for Drummer Boy by Boney M” which is a fun song, but i’m beginning to wonder if that is the best.
Especially when you have a Johnny Cash intepretation where he doesn’t even lower himself to pah-rum-pum-pum-pumming personally:
And once you hear this African version with Alex Boye featuring the Genesis choir which is something special:
i’m not sure that ‘All I Want for Christmas’ would be on my top ten or even top fifty Christmas songs if i had to compile a list, but this My Chemical Romance version is something special and gets it on this list:
Jingle Bells is another meh kind of Christmas song, but August Burns Red again and a wordless version of it and THIS is something you might hear us rocking out to at this Anderson house this Christmas:
Speaking of wordless songs, it is my new favourite and so can’t be on this list enough and what would this list be without sneaking in yet another version of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ because that seems to be becoming the flavour of the day, but this instrumental combo of the two is really quite epic as it suggests and you are most welcome:
But in all my searching, despite having found a new favourite Christmas song and some epic and wild versions of it and despite the vibe of the African Drummer Boy song and some really great entries on this list, i think that my ultimate winner version of a Christmas song [so far, but this will be super hard to beat] has to be this For King and Country demolishing [in the very best of ways] of Drummer Boy and the 45 seconds of drumming at the beginning are probably enough to take this award and make this the Christmas song i would most like to see performed live, but the whole video is just something else:
This song by Train is very different and just a whole lot of fun with a cheesy Christmas story video to accompany it and i think it deserves mention on this list as a pick-me-up spirit lifter. Very bubbly and silly and light and poppy. But i like it. Christmas anthem vibe. And a well snuck in ‘Ho Ho Ho’ to the chorus…
With a sneaky little “We’re not going to take it” riff snuck in near the end… this needs to be filed in the bizarre cover and video categories but Twisted Sister Performing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ in Mr and Mrs Joe Normal’s living room is something special:
Also i am a huge fan of Coldplay and so this Christmas song had to make it on to the list, even if it starts out as a bit more of a melancholic number, it’s still a bit of a vibe:
i hope you have enjoyed the list – it has been amazing and life-giving to find some Christmas songs that i not only tolerate but actually enjoy and will be playing shamelessly around our house this season… but let’s end off this time with a little fun as we let the monks and then Kristin Wiig entertain us with their fun and funny interpretations of classic Christmas songs:
Although to be honest it is Dwight from the tv show The Office [US] who sums up my overall Christmas Carol vibe in just about thirty seconds:
With Honourable Mention to Rend Collective’s ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ [fun and vibey], Straight no Chaser ’12 Days of Christmas’ [fun and very silly but with nod to Toto’s Africa], Reliant K’s ‘Let it snow baby, let it reindeer’ album.
How do you feel about this list? Is there an alternative/rocky/metal/fun Christmas song you think should be on there that you are convinced i would like and add to my list? Which of these videos did you enjoy the most? And what [even if it would not be fish-endorsed] is your favourite Christmas song of all time? Please come hang out in the comments…
Although, i did almost post this list with one glaring error. One of my favourite all time Christmas song renditions is this almost pitch-perfect version of ‘O Holy Night’ which you have to listen to right through to the end [complete with breath halfway through the final sentence] to gain your i-survived-bad-Christmas-music qualification… has there ever been a worse version of any Christmas song? The competition is huge, but this is next level. Fill the room with people and pump up the volume before hitting play: