Are you sick of the same saccharine-sweet Christmas songs year
after year? Are you actually a bit of a rocker at heart? Many
people spend the Christmas holidays baking, being merry and
generally getting into the Christmas spirit, but if you just get
annoyed over the holidays at the usual Christmas music these
alternative rock Christmas songs may be for you. The Pogues,
Fairytale of New York is most definitely one of our favourite
alternative rock Christmas songs ever - and it might become a
favourite of yours too. Take a look at our list below for some
1)The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Probably one of the grumpiest Christmas songs we've ever heard,
this is most definitely not the most festive of Christmas songs but
it is a classic. In fact, this song was voted the top Christmas
song in the UK by a number of radio stations and online polls. With
heart-warming lines including, "You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap
lousy faggot, Happy Christmas you arse, I pray God it's our last",
this is a Christmas song for all you Scrooges out there!
2)The Killers - Don't Shoot Me Santa Claus
This laidback offering from world-famous alternative rock band
The Killers is an unusual Christmas tale with a backing track that
sounds slightly like an old Elvis song. Santa has a bullet in his
gun and is ready to shoot until he's told by the lead singer that
he's done everything in the last year that Santa asked him to. Not
the happiest of topics, but actually a rather upbeat song!
3)Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas
One of our very favourite rock bands here at
www.christmas-songs.net, Jimmy Eat World, have covered one of the
most classic Christmas songs ever - Last Christmas by Wham! The
melody and the lyrics are the same, but the tune is entirely
different and enhanced by acoustic guitars and lead singer Jim
Adkin's rock vocals.
4)The White Stripes - Candy Cane Children
Alternative brother and sister duo The White Stripes are back
with a bang with this unusual Christmas melody in their usual style
- jarring guitars, the beat of a drum set and Jack's sharp and
quirky vocals. Lyrics include, "Why don't you open me up, huh?" and
"When Christmas finally comes and nobody's got a gun and you think
it might be fun to get a new toy". As you might be able to tell,
this is not your usual Christmas song - and it's the second time a
song on our list has mentioned guns at Christmastime.
5)Bright Eyes - Blue Christmas
A brilliant choice for those of you who like haunting vocals
with your rock music, this is actually quite an upbeat up-tempo
song for Bright Eyes - even though the lyrics are a little
melancholy, which is what you'd expect from them, we think this is
a great song to include on your Christmas driving playlist.
6)The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight
The first punk rock band on the music scene, formed in 1974,
this genius Christmassy offering from The Ramones is a brilliant
alternative to the usual traditional songs to be found on the
radio. Moody, up-tempo and festive all at the same time, stick this
song on to rock around your Christmas tree.
7)The Kinks - Father Christmas
The Kinks, one of the fore-runners of the entire rock era, were
formed way back in 1964. Years of success followed before the
decline in popularity of rock music in the charts and so the Kinks,
along with many other rock bands, disappeared from the public eye.
Luckily, not before releasing this corker of a Christmas single
that is surprisingly festive and up-tempo.
8)Pearl Jam - Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)
Pearl Jam are one of the only alternative rock bands still
existing from the grunge era - Pearl Jam, along with Nirvana and
Alice in Chains really paved the way of the grunge movement in the
early 1990s and beyond. It's another surprisingly up-tempo tune,
which is unusual for Pearl Jam - but perhaps they thought they'd be
a little cheerier as it's a Christmas song! Perfect for sticking on
your Christmas driving playlist.
9)Death Cab for Cutie - Christmas (Baby Please Come
Death Cab for Cutie are an alternative American rock band that
were formed in 1997, and since then, they've released 7 studio
albums and a number of EPs. They are very popular on the
alternative music scene and this Christmassy offering from them is
a firm favourite of ours. With lyrics describing a Christmas
waiting for their loved one to come home with the choir singing
'Deck the halls', this is another melancholy Christmas tune but we
think it's absolutely brilliant.
10)Low - Silent Night
One of the few traditional Christmas covers on our list, this
offering from alternative rock band Low is festive, moody, haunting
and absolutely beautiful. Brilliant for listening to in the car or
as background music at a festive family dinner, this would be a
welcome addition to any Christmas playlist.
11)Manic Street Preachers - Ghost of Christmas
Welsh band the Manic Street Preachers are one of the most
well-known bands on the British alternative rock scene, and this
Christmas offering from them is wonderfully festive. With upbeat
riffs, loud rock vocals, sleigh bells and an incredibly catchy
chorus, this is a great song for introducing any alt rock newbies
to the genre.
12)Yo La Tengo - It's Christmas Time
Popular underground alternative rock band Yo La Tengo, often
referred to as 'the quintessential critic's band' have achieved a
cult following, despite their limited mainstream success. This
genial, laidback Christmas song is a lovely break away from the
other fast-paced songs around at this time of the year. Perfect for
playing whilst chilling out by the fire with a glass of mulled
13)My American Heart - First Noel
My American Heart, previously known as No Way Out, enjoyed lots
of success in America during their time as a signed band before
they split in 2009. This Christmas cover of classic song First Noel
won't be for everyone, but for fans of the genre, it's an excellent
version of the classic with heavy guitars and moody vocals.
14)The Polyphonic Spree - Happy Christmas (War is
Choral alternative rock group the Polyphonic Spree are
definitely poles apart from the usual pop groups and their
alternative style really shows in this cover of charity single
Happy Christmas (War is Over). The melody remains the same, but the
vocals are completely different and are stunningly beautiful.
15)Coldplay - Christmas Lights
Iconic British alternative rock band Coldplay have achieved
worldwide success with their particular brand of soothing pop rock.
This Christmas song from them is definitely in-keeping with their
usual style, with smooth vocals, plenty of piano and soaring
choruses. A perfect song for playing in the car.