Christmas songs are very hit or miss. There are some people who dislike the never-ending cycle of Christmas Carols they hear every year from the moment they are first exposed to a television or shopping centre from mid-November to December's end, but there are others who think these really add to the season. Then there are those who feel that any Christmas song that deals with the time of the year in a humorous manner is disrespectful, while others find it is the only ay they can cope with the never-ending consumerism of this time of the year. And what people think is good or not is also personal (though I recommend you read Geraldine Massey's article here about that).
Then there are the songs that celebrate this time of the year, but in a more modern style. These are the rock Christmas songs, and here are 5 of my favourites. Note, these are not rocked up Christmas Carols (like Springsteen's immortal Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town), but are actual rock and roll songs about Christmas. 1. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry (1958)
Classic rock from the 1950s. This song has been covered numerous times by numerous people, but Chuck Berry's version (the original) stands as the best, simply because of the purity of the sound of early rock and roll, and Chuck Berry's great guitar playing.
2. Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade (1973)
Jumping forward a few years and we hit the height of glam rock, and Slade. While encompassing everything about glam in one 3 minute song, it still manages to put forward a song that captures the joy of the season.
3. (I Want A) Rockin' Christmas by Ol'55 (1976)
Ol'55 were an Australian band that had a run of fun rock tunes done in a style that harkened back to the 1950s and 60s. And Rockin' Christmas captures some of that fun and happiness they had, especially live. 4. Rock'n'Roll Christmas by George Thorogood and The Destroyers (1983)
George Thorogood had something of that old-fashioned rock and roll about him, and, much like Ol'55, this song is a fun song about Christmas that captures the spirit of the season in a fun way.
5. A Christmas Song by Jethro Tull (2003)
Ian Anderson is something of a cynic and this shines through in his 'A Christmas Song' from his Christmas Album. It is cynical, but there is still an element of hope about it. And it is a fine song to boot.
So, five great rock Christmas songs.
But there is one folk song that needs to be included here, possibly the greatest modern Christmas song ever written:
Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl (1987)