I don’t care for Christmas music.
I used to hate it altogether, but that hatred has cooled with time. Since I don’t drive very often anymore, I don’t have to try so hard to avoid hearing Christmas songs on the radio. And since I do almost all my shopping online, I don’t have to worry about hearing them in stores or the mall. In fact, my initial deep hatred of Christmas music has waned enough for me to make my very own list of Christmas songs! At this time of year, there are plenty of Christmas song lists, including the top 10 Christmas songs written by Jews, plus the annual question, “Can Jews love Christmas songs?”
But this isn’t that kind of list. This is a very special list, as you’ll see, because I personally have very strange tastes. So welcome to my top eight nerdy Christmas songs! (P.S. A few have explicit lyrics.) Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.
“Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by The Darkness
If you don’t remember their one hit, the amazing “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” then we are no longer friends. This might be the greatest, most ridiculous rock song ever written.
“Merry Christmas Baby” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
While I don’t think it’s necessary to defend a song from the Boss, this song is definitely special. Why, you might ask? Because after hearing it on the radio repeatedly in high school, it led me and my close friend to constantly yell, “Merry Christmas, baby!” to each other, no matter the month.
“Christmas Time for the Jews” by Saturday Night Live
What do you get when you combine a Motown sound, claymation and the loneliness that is being a Jew on Christmas? The catchy, hilarious and wonderful “Christmas Time for the Jews.” This one just makes me happy. Also, after years of watching it, I just now noticed that the rabbi in the image below is circumcising those squirrels.
“The Little Drummer Boy” by Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee, the late English actor, singer and author, who is best known for his roles as Count Dracula, Saruman and Count Dooku, also loved heavy metal. And he rocked, hard! Just listen to his version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” It’s incredible. If you enjoy it, I recommend both of his Christmas music EPs, “A Heavy Metal Christmas” and “A Heavy Metal Christmas Too.”
“Things I Want” by Tenacious D and Sum 41
In the least surprising news imaginable, I love Tenacious D. Just listen to “Tribute” and then come back here. I’ll wait. Wasn’t that amazing? Now, imagine they wrote a Christmas song. Oh, wait, they did! Sadly, they did it with Sum 41, which I could live without. So just pretend they’re not actually in the song.
“A Change at Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)” by The Flaming Lips
Not every one of these choices has to be snarky and ironic. This one is just a beautiful song about what could be and the promise of the future, set to clips from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“F**k Christmas” by Eric Idle
Remember when I said not every one of these songs has to be snarky and ironic? Well, I’m sorry. Here is Eric Idle of Monty Python singing about all the reasons Christmas can be the worst.
“That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” by Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who writes songs in varying styles. This song just reminds me of watching a gentle snowstorm out a window while drinking something warm.
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
While there might be eight nights of Hanukkah, there are nine candles on the menorah. So to represent the shamash on this menorah of music, here’s a bonus track from the Boss!