Underrated Christmas Songs

24 Dec

It is easy to think that you might have OD’d on Christmas music when it has been playing on the  overhead speakers in every shop you’ve been in since November.

But don’t despair!

The following is a list of underrated Christmas songs. They aren’t just on the list because they are obscure. All of these songs are legitimately amazing and I honestly don’t know why they are so obscure.

So browse through and take a listen.

Because music is an important part of any holiday. Right, Buddy?

buddy_the_elf

01) Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree ~ The Magnetic Fields

A jaunty song about Christmas and dealing with people. It is a gentle plea to everyone to maybe fake it a little for the holidays:

Why sit in your dark and lonely room?
Must your every word be sincere?
Here’s a vial of laughing gas perfume
See that people smile when you’re near
If they don’t like you screw them
Don’t leave your fortune to them

Don’t be put off by the German that happens midway. As a german major, I assure you, it’s all good stuff.

02) Pretty Paper ~ Willie Nelson

If you want a Christmas song that will put teardrops in your eyes, this is the song.

03) All I Need Is Love ~ Cee Lo (feat. the Muppets)

And the best Christmas album of the year is from… Cee Lo? Answer: Yes.

04) The Season Is Upon Us ~ The Dropkick Murphys [NSFW]

It’s NSFW for language. It is still a very heartfelt song and it’s the perfect song to play after a little mulled wine.

05) Much Worse Things To Believe In ~ Stephen Colbert & Elvis Costello

Stephen Colbert has an entire Christmas album from his special. This song kind of stands out, though. I also love it because both parts are in my vocal range. (Also check out “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding” which is also on the album.)

06) Christmas TV ~ Slow Club

I first saw this on Chuck. I think now it has become a hipster holiday anthem. Don’t hold that against it.

07) Winter Song ~ Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

Another melancholy song. I can’t have a merry Christmas without these songs in the mix.

08) Fairytale of New York ~ the Pogues (feat. Kristy MacColl) [NSFW]

Super underrated (at least in the States). Probably will stay that way since it is the only Christmas song that includes “f****t” in the lyrics. Still a good song.

09) The Christmas Wish ~ John Denver & the Muppets

The best Christmas song EVER. If one song could sum up Christmas, it would be this one.

10) The Theme from “The Snowman” (“Walking in the Air”) ~ Howard Blake

Between How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and the numerous Rankin & Bass holiday shows- The Snowman has been forgotten. It’s an adaptation of the children’s book. The entire movie is silent except for this one song. (Go watch it right now! Bonus- David Bowied introduces the whole thing. I would have no trouble believing that The Snowman is an actual memory from David Bowie’s childhood.)

11) At The Christmas Ball ~ Bessie Smith 

Buzzfeed has to be credited with this amazing find (as well as the next two songs on the list). Best lyrics are the opening lines: “Christmas comes but once a year/ And to me it brings good cheer/ And to everyone who likes wine and beer!

12) Five Pound Box Of Money ~ Pearl Bailey

This song is precious to me simply because it introduced me to the amazingness that is Pearl Bailey. Just pull her up on iTunes and sample some songs. She is all sass.

13) Christmas Love ~ Rotary Connection

Psychedelic Christmas.

14) Deck Da Club ~ Ying Yang Twins [NSFW]

Pretty amazing. Also in the running for best Christmas Rap song: Ludacrismas, Merry Mutherfuckin Christmas, and Santa Goes Straight To the Ghetto.

15) Christmas Infiltration ~ Troy & Abed (from the TV show Community)

This is from Community’s season 3 Christmas episode “Regional Holiday Music.” The study group tries to resist being drafted into the dreaded glee club for the holiday musical. The whole episode is hilarious (and Troy and Abed might be the most delightful duo on television right now. That’s right. 5 random Troy and Abed clips for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.).

5 Regular Songs That Can Be Folded Into Your Christmas Repertoire

01) Irish Heartbeat 

Van Morrison, Claymore, and many others have versions of the song. My favorite is Billy Connolly’s version. I readily admit this might be because I am in love with Billy Connolly.

02) Skating ~ Vince Guaraldi Trio 

Obviously, this has become a holiday favorite and is played everywhere- but whateves. It made my list.

03) God Only Knows ~ Beach Boys

Love Actually vaulted this one into the holiday section. I will not fight it.

04) Morning Has Broken ~ Cat Stevens

Any excuse to play some Yusuf.

05) Ain’t It Enough ~ Old Crow Medicine Show

~ Merry Christmas, everybody!

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