It’s that time of year when Christmas music starts to creep in everywhere. A lot of rock fans assume that all Christmas music is terrible. They’re not totally wrong, but every now and then a miracle comes along and we get a Christmas classic that is sure to warm the heart of even the Grinchiest rock music lover.
Here are 10 great Rock & Roll Holiday songs you can add into rotation at your house to keep everyone Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (see what we did there??)
U2 – Baby Please Come Home
Originally written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and recorded by Darlene Love, this song has been covered by many artists. U2 released their version in 1987, and it is easily the most well known.
John Lennon – Happy XMas (War Is Over)
This 1971 track is an anti-Vietnam War song and a Christmas song. In the past 45 years it’s become a holiday classic, even if the original message sometimes gets lost.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1978)
Recorded at a Long Island gig in December 1978, The Boss released this song as the B-Side to “My Hometown” in 1985 and it quickly became a holiday staple.
Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
Because the members of Wings appear in the video, many people assume they are also included on the song, but it is indeed a solo Paul McCartney song.
Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run
OK, it’s pretty much a rewrite of “Little Queene”but Run Rudolph Run still stands on its own as a Berry classic. It’s been covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hanson, Billy Idol and The Grateful Dead to name a few.
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
Released in 1984, the song was the brain child of Bob Geldof, to aid famine relief in Ethiopia. The one-time-only supergroup was comprised of Bono, Phil Collins, Boy George, Sting, George Michael and many others.
The Kinks – Father Christmas
This song is about a department store Father Christmas who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys, as toys are impractical. Not exactly heartwarming, but a great Christmas tune none the less.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Christmas All Over Again
This song was originally featured on the second Very Special Christmas CD to benefit Special Olympics. Petty donated the royalties to the song to the organization. Since its release in 1992, the song has raised more than $200,000 to benefit athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Randy Bachman – Taking Care Of Christmas
If you don’t like this song, you may actually be Ebenezer Scrooge reincarnated
John Mellencamp – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
The Very Special Christmas benefit album gives us another classic. Mellencamp’s daughter Teddi is featured on vocals