Christmas music has become a staple of how we celebrate the holiday. The problem with this is that we start to hear the same ten songs on repeat, which can get very old very fast. By the time Christmas is here, everyone has become sick of the same renditions of the same songs!
If these songs are already leaving a bad taste in your mouth, then I have a solution. There are countless covers and unique songs, but for those willing to try something new, you won’t be disappointed with this list of top five Punk Christmas songs and covers.
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) by the Ramones
The Ramones are a classic for a reason. This deep cut b-side to I Wanna Live didn’t come close to charting in 1987 when it was originally recorded but received more attention and praise when it was re-released in 1989 on Brain Drain. Joey Ramone’s signature crooning vocals matched with the old-school rock n’ roll style are a perfect formula, and the addition of ringing sleigh bells complements it perfectly.
O Come All Ye Faithful by Bad Religion
Bad Religion’s 2013 EP Christmas Songs baffled fans when it came out. As can be assumed from the name, the band had been outspoken critics of organized religion for years. That being said, lead singer Greg Graffin was raised Catholic and spent years as a choir boy; this experience made him look back fondly on the songs he used to sing in his time with the church. While the band’s signature harmonies fit all of the songs they choose, Graffin’s rough voice lends an undeniable strength to this hymn.
There Ain’t No Sanity Clause by The Damned
The Damned achieved their status as goth punk icons with 1980s The Black Album, which included their very own original Christmas song. Filled with gothic imagery for those still not over Halloween, this song was ahead of its time with its punk edge and holiday themes.
X-Mas Has Been X’ed by NOFX
Bassist and singer of NOFX Mike Burkett have never shied away from criticism of religion. On their 2012 album Self Entitled, they depict a complete downfall of organized religion on the night of Christmas Eve. Their fictionalized account of everyone coming together to celebrate the holiday one last time is just as cynical as one would expect, with the world teetering on a crisis of faith.
The Fairytale of New York by The Pogues
Written out of a bet between singer Shane MacGowan and fellow musician Elvis Costello, The Fairytale of New York depicts a melancholy story of two Irish immigrants in New York City growing to resent one another one Christmas Eve. The duet fits perfectly in line with other Christmas song tropes but subverts them with as much foul language and bitter spite as can be expected from MacGowan.