Recommended Music

Tired of Sickly Sweet Christmas Music? Here Are Some Antidotes (Updated Throughout the Holidays)

Christmas music is everything now. Radio stations have flipped to an all-Christmas format. Restaurants, stores, malls, offices and all manner of public spaces are blanketed with this treacle. Seriously, how many times can you hear Burl Ives bounce through “Holly Jolly Christmas” or suffer another rendition of “Winter Wonderland?”

Gather ’round, my friends for this playlist of seasonal songs that are decidedly untraditional. Visit often; I’ll be updating this list throughout December.


The Melvins, “Carol of the Bells

Grunge grandfathers (and Kurt Cobain’s favourite band) have just released a version that’s guaranteed to give my father a stroke.


Los Campesinos!, “When Christmas Comes”

Another track from the same album.


Trampled by Turtles, “Christmas in Prison”

The title says it all.


My Chemical Romance, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”

An emo take on the ubiquitously obnoxious Mariah Carey song.

All Time Low, “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass”

If you’re trying to get over a breakup right now, try this track from 2011.


The Dropkick Murphys, “This Season Upon Us”

A fairly serious look at family and Christmas.


The Greedies, “A Merry Jingle”

A somewhat forgotten track from 1979 by a band consisting of members of the Sex Pistols and Thin Lizzy.


The Yobs, “Yobs on 45”

The Xmas alter-ego of punk band The Boys scored something of a hit with this one in 1981, right in the middle of the whole “Stars on 45” craze.


TVTV$, “Daddy Drank Our Christmas Money”



Ministry, “It’s Always Christmas Time”

Leave it to Uncle Al to bring on the spirit of the season.


Erlösung, “Christmas Shoes”

The original is one of the most sickeningly sweet seasonal songs of all time. It deserves this black metal treatment.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38021 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Tired of Sickly Sweet Christmas Music? Here Are Some Antidotes (Updated Throughout the Holidays)

  • You need A Christmas with the Vandals on this list. It is fantastic.


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