if you’re anything like me, you’d rather intentionally burst your eardrums than have to listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” one more time while you’re out finishing your shopping. Well, luckily for you, there are plenty of Christmas songs that I can guarantee you’ll never hear in a store, and these 12 are especially great.
Run-DMC – “Christmas In Hollis”
Sampling a song that’ll feature further on in the list, this Christmas rap jam is just a ton of fun to listen to.
John Denver – “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”
It’s as much of a crooner as any of Denver’s songs are, but man does this ever go into some subject matter that make it anything but a typical Christmas carol.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie – “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth”
Two musical icons do some great renditions of classic carols, and the results are unlike any of the usual versions you hear.
The Hillbilly Southern Players – “Dominick The Donkey”
Apparently there’s a song about an Italian Christmas donkey that I was never aware of until a coworker played it for me. Live and learn I guess.
Tom Waits – “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis”
It’s another of Waits’ patented long form stories set to song, and as per usual, it’s smooth but also full of emotion.
Somehow, the songs just get weirder from here…
Shonen Knife – “Space Christmas”
This all-girl band from Japan used to tour with Nirvana and other 90s rock icons, and by far their weirdest but best song was this one about Santa taking kids to outer space.
Cyndi Lauper – “Minnie and Santa”
Cyndi Lauper was never exactly coy about her sexuality (or even subtle), but it’s kind of a surprise even to us to hear her singing about “laying in wait on a bear skin rug” for Santa wearing nothing but a big red bow. Wow.
AC/DC – “Mistress For Christmas”
I mean, the title kind of says it all with this one, doesn’t it? You cheeky devils.
C-3PO and R2-D2 – “Sleigh Ride”
That’s right, there was an entire Star Wars Christmas album recorded in the 70s, and this particular song features our favorite droids singing about going for a ride in a sleigh.
Clarence Carter – “Back Door Santa”
The song that Run-DMC sampled for their Christmas tune, Carter sings about how “I make all the little girls happy while the boys are out to play.” Man, and I thought Cyndi Lauper was blunt.
Snoop Dogg – “Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto”
I mean, again, does the name not say it all here? An absolute rap legend tells a story of Santa hanging with thugs, and it’s as great as it sounds.
Motorhead – “Run Rudolph Run”
Have you ever wanted to hear a heavy metal icon sing about Rudolph hauling ass down the highway? If so, then man, have I got a song for you!