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The Definitive Guide to Alternative Christmas Songs

We love a good Christmas playlist here at Attitude Clothing, but of course we like to put our alternative twist on the occasion! Alternative Christmas Songs are one of the best ways to kick off the season. There are so many to choose from, but we’ve put together an easy to browse list of our favourites to get you started this Christmas! From pop punk heroes Blink-182 to the legend himself Corey Taylor, there’s something for every alternative music fan right here at Attitude Clothing. Turn up the volume and get into the festive spirit!

1. The Darkness: Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

Released: December 2003

Festive Fact: This song was tipped to reach number one in the official UK singles chart, but was beaten at the last minute by a cover of “Mad World”. Their battle for Christmas number one is considered one of the closest in recent years.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Don’t let the bells end Christmas time, just let them ring in peace.”

2. Corey Taylor – X-M@$

Released: December 2010

Festive Fact: Corey recorded this single for The Teenage Cancer Trust. Though the song makes it sound as though Corey isn’t a fan of Christmas, he took to YouTube to clarify that he enjoys Christmas as it means he gets to see his extended family. He actually just finds the frustration of people who don’t like Christmas hilarious.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Fa la la la la go fuck yourself!”

3. Reuben – Christmas Is Awesome

Released: December 2007

Festive Fact: This single was written as a semi-serious attempt at the Christmas number one spot. While the video was a huge success on YouTube with over 100,000 hits on the first day, an error in the VPL registration of the track led to its tragic disqualification from entry into the UK charts.

Our Favourite Lyric: “We’re sorry about all of that “Nailed to a cross” business”

4. Blink 182 – Won’t Be Home For Christmas

Released: 2001

Festive Fact: Despite its widespread popularity, the single was only charted number one in Canada and stayed there for 5 weeks. No other Blink-182 song ever made it to number one in Canada.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Oh god I hate these Satan’s helpers”

5. My Chemical Romance – All I Want for Christmas Is You

Released: 2004

Festive Fact: The Mariah Carey classic was covered by Gerard Way and the members of My Chemical Romance for the LA based alternative radio show Kevin & Bean on KROQ-FM.

6. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)

Released: 1989

Festive Fact: This single was featured in the film soundtrack for Christmas With The Kranks and was covered by Joey Ramone on his second posthumous album Ya Know?

Our Favourite Lyric: “Snowball fighting, it’s so exciting baby”

7. August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells

Released: 2008

Festive Fact: An openly Christian band, this single was recorded for an album from The X Series, a collection of compilation albums by BEC Recordings which choose artists exclusively signed to Christian rock labels.

8. Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas

Released: 2007

Festive Fact: This song featured on the album A Twisted Christmas, which was the seventh and final studio album by Twisted Sister. The entire album takes classic rock riffs  from bands such as AC/DC, Thin Lizzy & Black Sabbath, and gives them a festive twist.

Our Favourite Lyric: “Twelve silver crosses, Eleven black mascaras, Ten pairs of platforms, Nine tattered t-shirts, Eight pentagrams, Seven leather jackets, Six cans of hairspray, Five skull earrings, Four quarts of Jack, Three studded belts, Two pairs of spandex pants, And a tattoo of Ozzy…”

9. Small Town Titans – You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch

Released: 2017

Festive Fact: Small Town Titans decided to do something different for the holidays, so arranged this dark, bluesy, sinister version of “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch”

Our Favourite Lyric: ALL OF THEM

10. Weezer: We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Released: 2008

Festive Fact: Originally recorded for an Apple iOS mobile game, Weezer’s pop-punk version of a holiday favourite is a short and sweet punked-up alternative that’s a must for any punks Christmas playlist.

11. The Smashing Pumpkins: Christmastime

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Christmastime was released on the alt scene’s premier seasonal charity compilation, A Very Special Christmas 3 and recorded at the same time as The Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth album, Adore

Our Favourite Lyric: And secretly, the gifts you hide, the fun awaits for you inside”

12. No Doubt: Oi To The World

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Ska might be lost to the alternative scene of days gone by, but what better time of year for a throwback than Christmas? Oi To The World was created as the skinhead’s solution to a Christmas Carol and appeared on the B-side to ‘Happy Now?’ from the Tragic Kingdom album.

Our Favourite Lyric: If God came down on Christmas Day, I know exactly what He’d say, He’d say Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins, and Oi to the world and everybody wins!”

13. Def Leppard: We All Need Christmas

Released: 2018

Festive Fact: It’s easy to think that Def Leppard tracks already have some miles behind them, but this festive track was released only in 2018! Good to know they still have it in them.

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘Follow your heart, and let love lead, this Christmas’

14. Chris Cornell With Eleven: Ave Maria

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Featured on the very same compilation album as The Smashing Pumpkins’ Christmastime, Chris Cornell’s cover of the classic carol Ave Maria is a bittersweet reminder of this late alt legend’s enduring talent.

15. Eels: Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

Released: 1998

Festive Fact: B-sides really do hold some seasonal treasures, with this holiday gem being found on the B side to ‘Cancer For The Cure’ on Eels’ Electro-Shock Blues album.

Our Favourite Lyric: There’s a yuletide groove waitin’ for you to move’ 

16. Amy Winehouse: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Released: 2004

Festive Fact: An incredible live recording of one of our favourite seasonal pop songs for the BBC Radio 2 Christmas special, The Gospel According To Christmas

17. The Killers: Don’t Shoot Me Santa

Released: 2011

Festive Fact: One of the edgier titles for one of the six annual Christmas songs The Killers’ produced between 2006-2011, this one was a charity release raising money to help in the fight against AIDS.

Our Favourite Lyric: Oh, Santa, I’ve been killing just for fun Well, the party is over kid Because I, because I got a bullet in my gun’

18. Queen: A Winter’s Tale

Released: 1995

Festive Fact: The psychedelic vibe in this Queen Christmas song is made all the more beautiful when you realise that the record was released posthumously after Freddie Mercury’s death.

19. David Bowie & Bing Crosby: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Released: 1982

Festive Fact: While many mistake this hugely successful festive duet as an original, it’s actually a cover of a track first performed by the Trapp Family Singers in 1951.

20. Beck: The Little Drum Machine Boy

Released: 1997

Festive Fact: Appearing on the Just Say Noel album, this seven-minute dive into robotic funk was released just a few months after the hugely successful Odelay album.

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘That’s the Beeyatch Holiday robot funk’ 

21. Tom Petty: Christmas All Over Again

Released: 1992

Festive Fact: This Tom Petty festive track appeared on the predecessor to A Very Special Christmas 3, the double-platinum compilation A Very Special Christmas 2

Our Favourite Lyric:Now let’s see, I want a new Rickenbacker guitar Two Fender bassmans Chuck Berry songbooks, xylophone’

22. Bon Jovi: Please Come Home For Christmas

Released: 1992

Festive Fact: A cover of the original Charles Brown version, this A Very Special Christmas 2 release actually made it into the top 10 in the UK and Ireland.

23. Grateful Dead: Run Rudolph Run

Released: 1971

Festive Fact: One of many covers of Chuck Berry’s original rock n roll Christmas classic, this version was sung live at Madison Square Garden in New York while the youngest original member of the group ‘Pigpen’ was still alive.

24. The Kinks: Father Christmas

Released: 1977

Festive Fact: Part festive tune, part social commentary, this holiday contribution from The Kinks packs a punch.

Our Favourite Lyric: Father Christmas, give us some money We got no time for your silly toys Father Christmas, please hand it over We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed’

25. Pearl Jam: Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)

Released: 1991

Festive Fact: This very early track from Pearl Jam ended up being rerecorded live for their compilation album Pearl Jam 20 in 2011.

26. The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl): Fairytale Of New York

Released: 1987

Festive Fact: At this point it’s basically mainstream, but its alternative roots absolutely earn Fairytale of New York a place on any alternative Christmas playlist – even if it was recorded in the height of summer!

Our Favourite Lyric: Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it’s our last’

27. Low: Just Like Christmas

Released: 1999

Festive Fact: In a break from their usual slow alt-pop vibe, Low recorded a Christmas EP that crammed in a ton of Christmas spirit as a special gift to their fans.

28. The Fall: Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Released: 1995

Festive Fact: Mark E Smith might be the last person you’d expect to release a Christmas album, and yet The Fall released more than one in their time! 

29. Cheap Trick: I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Released: 2017

Festive Fact: Originally performed by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, this modern festival classic was performed on Saturday Night Live by Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz and Chris Kattan.

Our Favourite Lyric: All I know is that Santa Claus Don’t care about breaking or applying laws’

30. Poly Styrene: Black Christmas 

Released: 2010

Festive Fact: A truly dark Christmas release, Black Christmas was inspired by the killing spree of a man dressed as Santa Claus in LA. On a more festive note, Poly Styrene wrote the song  in collaboration with her daughter, Celeste.

Our Favourite Lyric: I’m dreaming of a black black Christmas Black smoke glows against a midnight sky’

31. Phoenix: Alone On Christmas Day

Released: 2015

Festive Fact: Phoenix requested that they be allowed to cover Beach Boys’ Mike Love’s song for Bill Murray’s A Very Murray Christmas and actually features Bill Murray on the track.

32. AC/DC Mistress For Christmas

Released: 1990

Festive Fact: Angus Young explained that the song was written about Donald Trump and thinks it’s the funniest song on the album The Razors Edge

33. Run-D.M.C: Christmas In Hollis

Released: 1987

Festive Fact: Christmas In Hollis is a track from the very first A Very Special Christmas album – the band actually refused the song when first offered to them!

Our Favourite Lyric: My name’s d.m.c. with the mic in my hand And I’m chilling and coolin just like a snowman’

34. Jimmy Eat World: 12.23.95

Released: 1999

Festive Fact: This Christmas tune featured on the album Clarity which is often hailed as one of the best emo records of all time.

35. Loose Tapestries: Can’t Wait For Christmas

Released: 2016

Festive Fact: Hold out through Noel Fielding’s Christmas themed nonsense for a brilliant rap from the one and only Idris Elba halfway through the track

Our Favourite Lyric: ‘And my wife is a walnut, She’s a Christmas walnut’ 

Whatever you’re listening to this Christmas, you can find all of your must-have gothic Christmas decorations and gothic Christmas gifts here at Attitude Clothing.

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