Christmas is still a month away, and I’m already tired of holiday music. All of it — the spiritual (“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”), the classic (“Jingle Bells”), the contemporary (“Do They Know It’s Christmas?”) and especially the stupid (“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” which should be run over by a Mack truck and burned in a big pile of polyester holiday sweaters).
If you feel the same way as I do — or, hey, even if you don’t, because what else are you doing right now? — check out these alternative Christmas tunes. Some are old, some are fairly new and at least one can only be heard on YouTube, but they’re all guaranteed to bring a smile to any set of eggnog-soaked lips.
BOB DYLAN, “Must Be Santa Claus”: I begin this list with Bob, because, well, he’s Bob. The former born-again Christian celebrates Christmas with the musical stylings of his Jewish heritage, and the results are a real hoot – especially in the video, where his Bobness dances the Hora with fellow party revelers, wearing Santa hats.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC, “The Night Santa Went Crazy”: Find out what happens when Santa “realized he was gettin’ a raw deal.” Hint: It doesn’t turn out well for the reindeer.
BEN FOLDS, “Bizarre Christmas Incident”: Ever wondered how a rotund guy in a thick coat manages to get down a skinny chimney? This song tells the tale of a night when he didn’t and got his “fat arse stuck.” (Warning: Explicit lyrics.)
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “I Want an Alien for Christmas”: Who doesn’t?
FLAMING LIPS, “Christmas at the Zoo”: Once all the presents are opened and the turkey has been eaten, what do you do on Christmas day? Why, you go to the zoo and set all the animals free. Duh.
BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, “Jingle Bells Cha-Cha”: ‘Nuff said.
LEMMY KILMISTER, “Run Rudolph Run”: Chuck Berry’s classic performed heavy-metal style, from the king of metal himself. Helping out are Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.
TV FUNHOUSE, “Tingles the Christmas Tension”: A classic sketch from the ’90s created with a ’50s retro feel for “Saturday Night Live.” “And you kids may wonder sometimes when you play/ Why your parents can’t take it around Christmas day/ It’s all down to Tingles and his merry bag of dreams/ That turn whispers into screams.”
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or: