Anti-Christmas Carols

December 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Concerts | Leave a comment

Jessica Gentile at has posted The Ten Most Depressing Christmas Songs Ever Recorded. Go over there to get a closer look and to take a listen, but here are the ten she highlights:

  1. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale New York”
  2. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, “Cold White Christmas”
  3. Okkervil River, “Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas”
  4. Sufjan Stevens, “Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)”
  5. Aimee Mann, “I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas”
  6. Tom Waits, “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”
  7. The Boy Least Likely To, “Blue Spruce Needles”
  8. John Denver, “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”
  9. Prince, “Another Lonely Christmas”
  10. King Diamond, “No Presents for Christmas” (I don’t know if this is classified as hard rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, acid rock, or what, but any juxtaposition of cacophonous, angry music and Christmas is worth a listen in my book.)

I had only ever heard the Tom Waits song before. I am most impressed by The Boy Least Likely To, and most distressed by The Pogues. I guess that was another time.

You probably notice that most of the bands and singers on this list aren’t the widely commercially successful musicians that radio stations stock their playlists with. (I suppose if you’re that successful, you have little to whine about at Christmastime.) There are a few big names out there, though (besides Prince and John Denver), who have some fairly depressing Christmas or winter songs. The comments following the linked article can lead you to some more.

My favorite winter song , which is both depressing and hopeful, is Counting Crows’ “Long December”: “There’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.”

Perhaps a better list is this one from Creative Loafing, which includes Joni Mitchell’s “River,” “Brick” by the Ben Folds Five, Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It through December,” and John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.

Which just goes to show you, no matter how your holiday season plays out, there’s a soundtrack out there for you.

So who do you think has the most depressing Christmas song out there?

Posted by Andrew Hollandbeck

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