Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published December 6th 2018
Christmas does not have to be dull
Twice this year I've mentioned how I do not like Christmas as a time of year. It's my birthday and I am not of an overly religious bent and I find the whole commercial scene just disgusting.
However, I have also mentioned how I love Christmas songs. Now, already on WeekendNotes we have had lists of Christmas songs, Christmas carols, even the best Christmas comedy songs. So it is my turn to add to the list.
This is a Christmas playlist. 12 songs, all (but one, but you'll see why) from the twenty-first century, all that rock in their own way. We have a few covers, a few traditional songs and a few originals. We have old warhorses, well-known bands, and new kids on the block. A lot of people of my generation (I was born in 1970) deride modern music and all it stands for, but I have always felt that good rock music is timeless, no matter who performs it and when they recorded it.
Thus we come to a Christmas playlist, one to be cranked up to 11 and played to make Christmas day something awesome. This is given in year order (except for the very last track… but it is my playlist), and two songs have already made appearances in other of my recent columns.
Oh, and I was really tempted to put Wizards In Winter in this list, from 2004, by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But I was avoiding instrumentals. Which is a shame, I know, because it is AWESOME!!
A New York Christmas by Rob Thomas (2002)
A laid-back song, with Thomas' distinctive vocal stylings, this is a nice, evocative song of a modern Christmas. I believe it was written in response to the 9-11 tragedy, but even away from that context it is still a decent modern Christmas track.
Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) by The Darkness (2003)
I'm pretty sure this song shouldn't be taken seriously, with it's opening lines of "Feigning joy and surprise…" but who cares? It is a wonderful rock song with some falsetto singing and great guitar playing.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful by Twisted Sister (2006)
Okay, I have already talked about the album this song came from and even linked this song, but I don't care. This is awesome! I would have done a lot more Carols by Candlelight or those carols in the back of trailers as a kid if this was what I had a chance to sing.
Don't Shoot Me Santa by The Killers (2007)
The sentiments expressed in these lyrics might not be the most joyous of the season, but this song is still a great Christmas track. It has that 'Christmas-y' feel about it, even if it is about shooting people and death, and the video is bizarre.
Drink Rum And Eggnog by Angry Snowmans (2009)
I don't remember when I first heard this song, but its sentiments about Christmas being equated with alcohol relates all too well with a lot of my teenaged years (and a bit beyond), and the full-on rock-out after the first minute or so is perfect. A Christmas sing-along if ever there was one!
The Christmas Song by The Raveonettes (2011)
A laid-back and guitar-heavy slow track with the gorgeous harmonies of the Raveonettes. Such a pleasant song. Yes, I know it's on that pop-rock cusp, but I do not care. I really like it.
The Season's Upon Us by Dropkick Murphys (2012)
The Dropkick Murphys have released one of the best ever versions of [I[Amazing Grace[/I] but this Christmas track is a slice of reality in the midst of false Christmas family fantasy. The singer basically abuses his family at Christmas, but still, the joy of the season comes through. Odd, but it's there…
Christmas Christmas by Cheap Trick (2017)
Not a proper video sorry
A proper rockin' song, as you would expect from Cheap Trick. This is so full of fun and life, it is properly infectious. Listen to it twice and I guarantee that "Christmas Christmas time is here…" will become an ear-worm you can't get rid of.
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Polish Club (2017)
Take the old Mariah Carey tune, rock it up a lot, add a sense of joy and – voila! – you have a remake that is better than the original. Even the video clip is gangs of fun, with well-known Australian celebrities (and politicians) adding to the whole lack of seriousness of it. I know a lot of people like the original. I don't. I prefer this version. It is awesome.
Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) by Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul (2017)
This remake of The Ramones classic is almost as good as the original. It is still a fantastic cover version by Bruce Springsteen's right-hand man. It's a pretty straight-forward cover, but who cares? It's a great song played well.
White Christmas by Eric Clapton (2018)
Yes, I have talked about this album recently, but it doesn't matter. This might not quite rock out as well as most, but its blues inflection is fantastic and it is certainly different to most other versions I have heard. Such a great way to end a Christmas night and to bring this playlist to a glorious close.
And number 12 is a classic, my favourite ever Christmas song. It is out of my time period, but I am NOT going to let a list of the best Christmas songs go by without throwing this one in! Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl (1988)
I don't what to say about this song, two people who love each other in their own strange way, trying to survive and cope with Christmas day. It feels real; it is what too many go through at this time of the year. But it is also a song of hope. I love it. You cannot beat this song at Christmas. Ever.
And that is my playlist. 11 songs from the twenty-first century and one all-time classic piece of brilliance. And they all rock in their own way.
What did I miss? What did I get wrong? Remember – 21st century, no instrumentals and they have to rock. Add yours in the comments section below!