Another Christmas Day is almost upon us, but this year there is no reason to subject yourself to Bing Crosby’s archaic carolling when you can liven up your family gathering with Yuletide cheer from some of punk’s best!
Does the thought of Christmas Day make your cringe? Is it being forced to spend time with obnoxious relatives you see once a year that fills you full of dread? Or is it the thought of some old aunty putting on her favourite Michael Bublé CD with his sickly sweet crooning?
Well, how about slipping on your own playlist and punk-up the family carol sing-a-long? So, go top-up your eggnog and watch as granny really gets into the Christmas spirit and learns the lyrics to these punk Christmas ditties!!
Now, before you get all hot under the mohawk this list isn’t a ‘Top 20’ and it isn’t in any particular order – we’ve simply decided to help you get the party started with a few punky Christmas track suggestions!
Is your favourite track in here? No? Well, you can add it to our Christmas Spotify Playlist right here…
The Damned – ‘There Ain’t No Sanity Clause’
The Damned released There Ain’t No Sanity Clause just in time for Christmas 1980. They got the title from a quote from the Marx Brothers‘ 1935 movie A Night at the Opera. In the movie, Groucho Marx attempts to explain the intricacies of a business contract to Chico Marx. When Groucho mentions the “sanity clause”, Chico responds, “You can’t fool me. There ain’t no santy clause!” The song was a tongue-in-cheek jab at the lucrative UK Christmas singles market.
Peter and the Test Tube Babies – I’m Getting Pissed For Christmas
English punk wise-guys Peter and the Test Tube Babies are famous for their humorous tongue-in-cheek lyrics. They have been considered part of the Punk Pathetique, a subgenre of British punk rock, popping up around the early ’80s. Their Christmas anthem I’m Getting Pissed For Christmas covers all bases. Put this one on late in the day and watch the room liven up with a new type of sing-a-long.
The Pogues feat. Kirsty McColl – Fairytale of New York
In a show of political correctness gone mad BBC Radio 1 will not play the original version of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl this Christmas, because “its audience may be offended by the lyrics “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot,”
First released in 1987 the BBC banned it in 2007 but that decision was quickly turned around after fans complained. However this time the BBC isn’t backing down saying its listeners were particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.
In true Celtic ‘punk’ style Shane MacGowan said the ban by the BBC was “Fucking ridiculous.” in a 2012 interview he said: “The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate.”
Anyway, as the Sex Pistols found out, being banned by the BBC always helps you sell a ton more records!
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Santa Baby
If you want to get the party moving how about a song from the worlds best cover band, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. Their rendition of Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby is brilliant and will wake up any old rellies sleeping off too much lunch. You can’t have ‘Me First’ on the track list and not have fun.
All Time Low – Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass
Get our your Chromecast and pop this one on the closest tv screen and watch your family’s reaction! All Time Low know how to make it memorable, and both the track and its video are exactly that. The title Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass, comes from the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The song was included on their fourth album Dirty Work with this cheeky Christmas track released in December 2010.
Stiff Little Fingers – White Christmas
White Christmas came out as a b-side track to Stiff Little Fingers biggest selling hit At The Edge. It scored them a top 20 ranking in February 1980 with the Christmas cover recorded in 1979 at the Music Palais in Stockholm. Popular with SLF fans, this live Christmas track was originally a massive hit for Bing Crosby in 1942, has been covered countless times and no doubt will continued to be covered by bands for decades to come.
Blink 182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
The song’s narrative follows a man “snapping” on Christmas Eve and attacking a group of carolers. It became the longest-running number one single in Canada for 2001. MSN Canada called the song “a high-energy punk war on Christmas”
The Ravers – Punk Rock Christmas
The Ravers, (It’s Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas, is often wrongly attributed to The Sex Pistols. Punk Rock Christmas first became popular in Christmas ’77 and has remained a Christmas as well as Punk favourite ever since. Shortly after this release, The Ravers changed their name to The Nails and basically disappeared into obscurity.
The Yobs – 12 Days Of Christmas
Having released an album and two singles on NEMS, The Boys decided to swap the ‘B’ and ‘Y’ in Boys and became The Yobs for their 1977 Christmas single “Run Rudolph Run”.
In 1978 The Boys were in dispute with their record company and bootlegged themselves as The Yobs for their Christmas 1978 offering of “Silent Night”.
If The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl‘s Fairytale of New York lyrics are too much for your ‘politically correct’ ears then DON’T whatever you do play The Yobs version of Twelve Days of Christmas below… No! Don’t do it! NOOOOOOO!
Bad Religion – O Come All Ye Faithful
The Bad Religion Christmas Songs album of 2013 probably isn’t ever going to be the album they will be remembered for. The record covered eight Christmas songs and finished it all off with their very own American Jesus. It may not have been a raging success, but if you have to listen to the carollers favourite, O Come All Ye Faithful by anyone, it may as well be Bad Religion. A carol surprisingly well suited to punk.
We Set Signals – All I Want For Christmas
And now for something hot off Santa’s latest releases playlist. Meet Aussie metalcore pop-punkers We Set Signals. Taking modern punk by the baubles they belt out a hardcore version of All I Want For Christmas that even Mariah would be into. Any band that can cover this overdone Christmas track and nail it in a whole new way deserves a place on the Punktuation Christmas playlist. Fun for all the family. The video is a cracker!
Reel Big Fish – Skank For Christmas
If you want to dance off your Christmas dinner put this Ska track on full throttle. Reel Big Fish have become one of the worlds most beloved Ska bands and Skank For Christmas is a good example of why. From their ‘internet release only’ holiday EP Happy Skalidays,
RBF inject pure party into the mix, so if you run out of polite conversation with distant family you only see once a year then pop this on and you’ll always be remembered as the fun one in the family.
Fall Out Boy – Yule Shoot Your Eyes Out
Christmas isn’t all partridges and pear trees for everyone and this Fall Out Boy track is for those who are dreading the festive season. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out is probably the saddest song on the list. It’s for those who feel like they are on the outside of the festive season looking in.
FOB’s Pete Wentz once said of the song: “holidays like Christmas tend to magnify how you are feeling in your head… if you feel lonely, it feels bigger and darker than on other days. With lyrics like “don’t come home for Christmas- you’re the last thing I want to see underneath the tree” this one goes out to all those loathing the impending season.
A Day To Remember – Right Where You Want Me to Be
Right Where You Want Me to Be was released as a special stand-alone holiday single for Christmas in 2009. It was later included on their 2010 EP release Attack of the Killer B-Sides. Here’s another not so merry pop-punk Christmas track, those who don’t overly love the season will relate to. Themed around putting past shitty times aside to come home for Christmas. ADTR are a must for any modern punk playlist.
MXPx – Late Great Snowball Fight of 2006
In some parts of this big planet, snowball fights are very much a part of Christmas. MXPX and their Late Great Showball Fight of 2006 will no doubt sit in that sweet spot for many who grew up as a part of the neighbourhood warfare of their very own ‘late great snowball fight’. Another punk band dropping an entire Christmas Album, Punk Rawk Christmas is full of fun seasonal tracks to pop on your playlist.
Henry Rollins and William Shatner – Jingle Bells
Nothing says Christmas cheer like William Shatner and Henry Rollins coming together for a punk version of Jingle Bells? If this doesn’t fill you with the spirit of Christmas then nothing will. An icon of punk, Rollins, and just simply an icon, Shatner, created the most unique version of this Christmas favourite that you will ever here. You have to hear it at least once in your lifetime.
Rise Against – Making Christmas (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
That ‘is it a Christmas or a Halloween movie?’ debate has gone of for way too long. For the sake of this list, we will say it’s a Christmas movie! In any case Tim Burton is a legend and so are Chicago punks Rise Against, therefore this cover of Making Christmas is the perfect choice for a punk Christmas songs list.
This brilliant track appears on the movies 15th-anniversary release album Nightmare Revisited, a cover album of songs and score from the 1993 Disney animated film. If you are a fan of this cult movie you need to check it out.
Dropkick Murphys – The Season’s Upon Us
The perfect dysfunctional family Christmas song from the masters of Celtic punk, the Dropkick Murphys have captured an up-close and personal Christmas story that many across the world will relate to. The Season’s Upon Us is another honest, seasonal track with no candy cane coating.
The Vandals – Oi To The World
Almost every year since the album’s release the Vandals have played a traditional “Winter Formal” concert in Anaheim, at which they perform Oi to the World! in its entirety. Other than at this special show song from the album are rarely performed at gigs, with the exception of “Oi to the World”, which, due to demand, has become a regular part of their setlist.
The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) was originally a B-side to The Ramones 1987 single I Wanna Live. The original four-track demo may not be the fan favourite you hear on the airwaves and find on your popular punk playlist, but it definitely captures the emotion behind the possible origins of the track.