A while back, I made a list of great songs for your different Christmas mixes and I mentioned that I would make a list of the best rock songs for your holiday playlist. For a while, I’d forgotten I’d said that. However, I remember NOW. So let’s get into it. We’ll make this short and sweet so there’s not a lot of reading and a whole lot of rocking!
5. Oi! To The World- The Vandals
What I love about this song is even though it’s punk as hell, there are still a lot of holiday elements to it: there’s a fun spoken word opening, there are church bells, and a tale of people coming together in a spirit of harmony and love. Of course, there’s also a non-stop punk bass line and a bunch of weird dudes yelling “Oi!” a lot, which makes it the kind of Christmas song that your mom is bound to hate.
4. Run Run Rudolph- Chuck Berry
Even though this song is over 60 years old, it still holds up as one of the best holiday rockers. The grandfather of rock knows how to keep our toes tapping as our favorite teased reindeer pulls Santa’s sleigh to make Christmas happen.
3. Little Saint Nick- The Beach Boys
For the record, I prefer the version by Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. I’m also the first to say that my list is a little old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy. I get that; for real I do. But sometimes the classics are the classics because they’re, well… classic. Show me a rock group with better harmonies and I’ll put them on the list.
2. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)- The Ramones
Oh man… this song feels like Christmas. It just rocks and slaps and is both a song about being in love while knowing that sometimes the person you’re in love with is also the person who makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes. The greatest American rock band delivers one of the great Christmas tunes.
1. Father Christmas- The Kinks
It seems fitting that this is the best Christmas song in this climate and economy. The Davies brothers not only have a song which fucking wails (love the guitar solo in the middle), but also reminds us that even the poorest of us want to make sure we give the ones we love a nice Christmas, even if it means we have to beat up some Santas and use a machine gun to keep our streets safe.