When looking for some cheerful holiday music, whether in a store or online, most would not think to look at the punk genre for inspiration. However, whether it’s for covers of existing Christmas songs, upbeat new songs, or songs with a slightly skewed outlook on the holiday, punk Christmas songs are in abundance.
Punk Christmas songs may not be as easy to find as more popular holiday songs are, but with punk’s traditional sense of style and humor, these songs will have you smiling throughout the holidays.
Traditional Songs and Carols
The traditional Christmas carols do exist in newer, much faster punk versions. Although some of them are much more obscure, the new spin adds something different to the originals that just cannot be found in their poppier counterparts.
- Bad Religion- “Silent Night” and “Joy To the World” (Please note that “Silent Night” exists only in live versions; therefore the sound quality differs from studio versions)
- Stiff Little Fingers- “White Christmas”
- Matchbook Romance- “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
- Far- “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
- Acceptance- “So This Is Christmas”
- My American Heart- “First Noel”
Taking traditional songs and adding a punk spin to it is nothing new for many punk bands, and Christmas songs are no exception. These songs still manage to maintain the spirit of the holidays, while adding the faster and louder conventions of punk rock.
The cover songs tend to blur the lines between traditional and non-traditional. While their content sticks with the formula set by the originals, the music itself adds a different dimension to the traditional Christmas song. It may not be listening material for more conservative people, but rather for a more diverse crowd.
Original punk Christmas songs are much easier to find than covers of traditional songs. With original songs, the idea of the holidays does tend to take a different spin, from loving Christmas to disliking the very thought of it.
- The Pogues- “Fairytale of New York” (Please note that this song was also later covered by No Use For A Name)
- Blink 182- “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”
- The Lawrence Arms- “Faintly Falling Ashes”
- Nerf Herder- “Santa’s Got A Mullet”
- The Vandals- “Oi to the World”
- Stand Still- “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus”
- Fall Out Boy- “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out”
- New Found Glory- “Ex Miss”
- Something Corporate- “Forget December”
- MxPx- “Punk Christmas”
- The Used- “Alone This Holiday”
- Plain White T’s- “Season of a Lifetime”
- The Ramones- “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight”
- The Damned- “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause”
- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones- “This Time of the Year”
Although some of these songs might require a much more in-depth search to find them, one good source of punk Christmas songs is the 2003 compilation “A Santa Cause: It’s a Punk Rock Christmas.” Some bands have released their own Christmas CD’s as well. The Vandals, Stiff Little Fingers and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones all have their own holiday-themed albums.
These songs may be a bit removed from the spirit of the holidays, but will nonetheless make a memorable Christmas soundtrack. What is lacking in Christmas spirit is made up for with a perhaps slightly warped sense of humor, and some very traditional elements of punk rock music.
Despite the patience that may be required to locate some of these songs, whether the song is a cover of a more traditional one or an original one, punk Christmas songs prove that the holidays really are for everyone, musical preferences excluded.