For some of us, the over saccharine nature of popular conceptions of Christmas may get just a little too much. And what we need is some shouting and loud guitars and maybe a bit more shouting. Fortunately, DrunkenWerewolf is here with our very own collection of Christmas punk songs. From raucous covers to reinterpretations of old stories to loud celebrations, here's everything you need to have you very own punk rock Christmas.
1// Stiff Little Fingers – White Christmas
"Can everybody get off the stage please because the people behind you can't see." The first of our cover versions (get used to it; punks love their covers apparently), this goes some way to capturing the energy of SLF's live shows in recorded form. An instant Christmas classic, it sets the benchmark for other Christmas covers.
2 // The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Ebenezer's Carol
Possibly the only steampunk band that put as much stress on the second syllable of the descriptor as the “steam” part, the lengthily monikered group purport to tell us the true story behind Ebenezer Scrooge's supposed change of heart. I won't give it away here, but suffice it to say that things may not have been quite how Dickens claimed.
3// Angry Snowmans – Ebenezer Uber Alles
According to the band's official biography, Angry Snowmans are made up of disgruntled elves trying to bring the truth about Santa's oppressive employment practises into the light. They do this by retheming classic punk songs in a festive manner. As you do. This reworking of the Dead Kennedys classic "California Uber Alles" is itself another a reworking of A Christmas Carol, this time from the perspective of Scrooge himself.
4// The Ravers – (It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas
This charming holiday ditty arrived in 1977, giving it the honour of being possibly the first Christmas punk song ever to be released. There were rumours that this was the Sex Pistols cashing in, but that turned out not to be true. Shortly after this release The Ravers changed their name to The Nails and fame duly failed utterly to follow.
5// The Vandals – Oi! to the World
Take a long standing Californian punk band. Take some rabble rousing but entirely vague lyrics about 'unity'. Add a jaunty tune with lots of catchy riffs. And round it off with some random oiing. Voilà! Instant punk Christmas classic.
6// Hard Skin – Ding Dong Merrily, Oi! Oi!
More oi, this time from the always jolly Hard Skin. While canon does not generally agree with their theory that "Santa was a skinhead”, one can only admire their enthusiasm.
7// The Dickies – Silent Night
Another candidate from the less serious side of punk, The Dickies bring their own inimitable style to this cover of the traditional Christmas carol. While their much loved nasal style shines through, this track breaks from Dickies' tradition by not mutilating the tune beyond any recognition. It still can't help but sound like the most snotty caroller ever however.
8// Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)
That's some seriously good crooning at the start. The Ramones get into the Christmas spirit with this ode to peace and reconciliation. Heartfelt and genuine, there's a reason why this is one of the few songs in this list that gets any mainstream radio airplay.
9// The Thlyds – I Mugged Santa Claus
The Thlyds, on the other hand, definitely would like to fight tonight. And every other night if they get their way. Possibly the most obnoxious song ever to feature sleigh bells, it manages to rhyme "Frosty the Snowman" with "no man" which deserves a round of applause. It's juvenile, offensive, obscene and utterly hilarious.
10// The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time of Year
To round off the list, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones tell us exactly why they love Christmas so much. There's no cynicism or sarcasm here, you can tell they mean every word. Which is rather refreshing, compared to many punk rock Christmas songs. For punks, perhaps openly loving Christmas is the real alternative.