What are your favorite pop Christmas carols?

132722__run_lLet’s face it: Whether you’re trudging through the mall to shop for presents or fleeing to the drugstore to pick up the prescription that helps you cope with holiday stress, you’re going to be bombarded with Christmas music for the next month. Wouldn’t it be great if you could at least raise the hipness quotient of the piped-in carols, so that you’re not listening to the Muzak versions of ”Sleigh Ride” or ”Joy to the World” for the zillionth time? Help your fellow PopWatchers by building a sap-free iPod playlist of the best rock-era Christmas carols.

Let’s restrict the list to original tunes composed or performed by pop singers, rockers, and rappers; no covers of traditional tunes, and no novelty songs, no matter how much you like Bruce Springsteen’s cover of ”Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or Elmo and Patsy’s ”Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” I’ll start you off with some of my favorites — several of which, it turns out, are compiled on the album Rock N’ Roll Christmas:

”Father Christmas,” The Kinks
”Christmas in Hollis,” Run-DMC (above)
”Christmas Wrappin,” The Waitresses
”Happy Xmas (War is Over),” John Lennon
”2000 Miles,” The Pretenders
”Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” U2
”Merry Christmas Baby,” Chuck Berry
”Step Into Christmas,” Elton John
”Fairytale of New York,” the Pogues
”Christmas,” The Who

Which other holiday hits belong on this list?

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  • Mike in Moncton

    “Something About Christmas Time”, Bryan Adams

  • Grateful Fan

    Glad to see the Pogues get listed. Raise your hand if you actually know who they are. *waits patiently* Not qutie kid-friendly family song, but quite good nonetheless..Great appearance by the late Kristy MacColl
    It was Christmas Eve babe
    In the drunk tank
    An old man said to me, won’t see another one
    And then he sang a song
    The Rare Old Mountain Dew
    I turned my face away
    And dreamed about you
    http://www.pogues.com/Releases/Lyrics/LPs/IfIShould/Fairytale.html

  • bandito

    How about “Thanks for Christmas” – XTC

  • hh

    Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”– amazing!

  • Marisa Fuaro

    Hey, isn’t the U2 song a cover version?
    I love the ones on the list. I also love “Christmas Time (Oh Yeah)” by Barenaked Ladies and “River,” by Joni Mitchell. “River” might not really be a Christmas song, but it’s got the right mood.

  • Brandon

    Nice inclusion of “Christmas” by the Who. That’s already on my Christmas playlist. I’m a big fan of “Maybe this Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith, “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon, “I hate Christmas Parties” by Relient K and the entire “James Brown’s Funky Christmas” CD – but “Go Power at Christmastime” and “Santa Clause Go Straight to the Ghetto” are the best off that album.

  • Thad

    I just can’t get enough of the Luther Vandross Christmas cd. It has some tradional covers but also good orginal cuts
    Every Year, Every Christmas
    With A Christmas Heart
    Mistletoe Jam
    I Listen to The Bells
    It’s fast, its slow and its fun!

  • Megan

    Christmas by Blues Traveler

  • mon

    I love “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey and i think this is the name of it “Feed the World” by all those 80s all-stars…oh and for cheese factor “Last Christmas I gave you my heart”

  • Tonya

    Power of Love – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
    Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
    Wonderful Christmastime – Wings
    Last Christmas – Wham
    Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade

  • Ali

    “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney

  • Spud

    Add
    Queen – “Thank God It’s Christmas”
    Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
    and an overlooked gem from the “Scrooged” soundtrack
    Robbie Robertson – “Christmas Must Be Tonight”

  • gabe

    I Like Mariah’s All I want for X-Mas is You

  • EP Sato

    Man, y’all haven’t heard X Mas albums until you’ve listened to Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe’s album “Asalto Navideno”. The front cover of the album has them dressed as Santa and an Elf as they break into someone’s house. Worth it for the song “La Murga”, a salsa classic.

  • Christopher

    “Frosty The Snowman”, by the Cocteau Twins
    “25th December”, by Everything But The Girl
    “December Will Be Magic Again”, by Kate Bush
    “Make it Home” by Juliana Hatfield (and that ‘Snuffy’ guy who does all the music for the Bedford Falls t.v. shows)
    “Merry Christmas From The Family”, By Jill Sobule
    “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls
    pssst, Grateful, that’s “the rare ol’ mountain tune”

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