Non-traditional holiday music help needed!
December 1, 2010 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm playing a Christmas/Holiday show in a couple of weeks along with a bunch of other performers. I really can't stand Christmas music. Halp!

So, I've been asked by a friend to participate in her annual Christmas revue at a local bar where different performers will get up through the course of the night and play a set (5-6 songs). The problem is this: I really can't stand most Christmas/Holiday music. It drives me up the wall. With that in mind, I'm trying to turn the concept on its ear a little bit and play some non-traditional, holiday-ish tunes. I would prefer that the songs only allude to or briefly mention the holidays, as opposed to being very holiday-centric. I'm having trouble coming up with ideas, though.... I'd like to start with a larger pool of songs than I'll actually play, then pare it down to the songs I can actually play the best. Help me make my list! Here's a couple examples of what I'm going for to get started:

Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis - Tom Waits
River - Joni Mitchell
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
posted by brand-gnu to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Merry Christmas (You Won't Get What You Want) - Johnny Bertram
Lights And Buzz - Jack's Mannequin
Change at Christmas - The Flaming Lips
All That I Want - The Weepies
The Atheist Christmas Carol - Vienna Teng
Snowing In Seattle - Sherwood
posted by null terminated at 8:50 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just Like Christmas - Low
posted by neroli at 8:53 AM on December 1, 2010

What about Baby It's Cold Outside?
posted by Night_owl at 9:10 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

-Fist Me This Christmas
-Grandma got run over by a reindeer
-Heavy Metal Christmas

Also check out XMas in Frisko for some ideas on non-trad holiday music.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:12 AM on December 1, 2010

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues.
posted by leapfrog at 9:21 AM on December 1, 2010

Oops. Should have read the post. And I swore I'd never do that.
So, I'll add Chiron Beta Prime by Jonathan Coulton.
posted by leapfrog at 9:22 AM on December 1, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Family, Robert Earl Keen
Christmas in Prison, John Prine
1913 Massacre by Woody Guthrie, because it's just not Christmas until you hear about the mine owner's thugs killing a bunch of children.
posted by Miko at 10:10 AM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

A Goon Christmas From SomthingAwful
Jesus is a Friend of mine Not really Christmas, but it rocks.
posted by wrnealis at 10:18 AM on December 1, 2010

Response by poster: Y'all are awesome.... thanks so much for the great suggestions!
posted by brand-gnu at 10:24 AM on December 1, 2010

My buddy and I just got asked to do the same thing. We're playing Miko's suggestions, and adding "Christmastime in Washington" by Steve Earle.
posted by elmer benson at 10:40 AM on December 1, 2010

My favorite pop Christmas tunes are all covers of old carols. Preferably that weird category of religious/traditional Christmas carols that are so secure in their religousness and Christmassy nature that they don't even bother to hit you over the head with it.

(It is entirely possible that these were all on one or two of those Rock N Roll Christmas albums with the Keith Haring covers - my mom loves those.)

I like:

Children Go Where I Send Thee

I Saw Three Ships

Good King Wenceslas - fwiw I could not find a remotely cool version of this on YT, which means it's got to be ripe for a punk cover.

The Coventry Carol - ditto; there are some good versions, but they're all very earnest.

Then again, there's always Oi To The World, Christmas Wrapping, and Christmas in Hollis.
posted by Sara C. at 11:41 AM on December 1, 2010

Everything here.

It's a lot to sort through but there are some real gems.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:44 AM on December 1, 2010

We like to pull this out every year around this time.
posted by FormerMermaid at 11:52 AM on December 1, 2010

Father Christmas by the Kinks! Yay!

Feliz Navidad. Any way you choose. (Red vinyl pants optional.)

Got any Jewish people, or people who wish they were Jewish, or people who just like Jewish music?
What We Do On Christmas by Atom and His Package

Better yet, do "Hava Nagila" to the tune of "Feliz Navidad!" I can't find it, but I think the LeeVees do it. (Pretty much anything by the LeeVees works.)

The new Matisyahu song about Hanukkah, "Miracle," is pretty catchy.
posted by Madamina at 12:22 PM on December 1, 2010

Riu Chiu.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:16 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Along with Twisted Sister's album of Christmas songs (and the "12 Days" variation mentioned above), there's also the classic all-star "We Wish You a Metal Xmas." In particular, there's one original song that might suit you, Santa Claus Is Back in Town. I'd imagine it'd go well in a bar crowd.

I see now that they came out with an EP of four more songs last year, so I'll have to go check that out now...
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:27 PM on December 1, 2010

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