Christmastime can be a joy or a drag—sometimes both. Thankfully, our scene has provided plenty of festive musical fare to boost your Yuletide spirit and help combat those Christmas blues.
However you celebrate the season, here are 12 tinsel-tinged tunes to deck your halls with the right amount of pop-punk (and other) cheer!
MxPx – “Christmas Day”
MxPx’s “Christmas Day” was the first of the “Left Coast punk” band’s annual holiday songs, setting off a string of seasonal singles sent to the tireless trio’s fan club members. (Most of the group’s Christmas tunes were later compiled on their Punk Rawk Christmas collection.) The bridge section of “Christmas Day” is perhaps the most wistfully sublime middle eight ever penned by the boys from Bremerton, Washington.
Jimmy Eat World – “Last Christmas”
Jimmy Eat World’s jaunty cover of Wham’s ’80s holiday classic, “Last Christmas,” has seen release on sundry singles and EPs from the Arizona-based band. It first cropped up on a limited 7-inch following their benchmark Bleed American album, backed with an atmospheric, topsy-turvy take on the Prodigy’s breakbeat hit, “Firestarter.” For a more emo, original Jimmy Eat World holiday tune, see Clarity‘s “12.23.95.”
My Chemical Romance – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Although numerous bands have tackled Mariah Carey’s Muzaked-to-death “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Against The Current, Bright And Early, Divided By Friday, States—just to name a few), none manage it with quite the same charm and gravitas as Gerard Way’s downcast Cosa Nostra. The My Chemical Romance frontman’s scream-sing plea to “make [his] wish come true” is eons more believable than Carey’s department store ditty.
Fall Out Boy – “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out”
On “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out,” Fall Out Boy took their beloved penchant for merging millennial cultural milestones with savvy wordplay and youthful heartbreak to ruefully recite a failed relationship’s Christmas fallout. Its title a twist on Santa Claus’ well-known weaponry warning from A Christmas Story, the clever epithet is bleakly juxtaposed with Patrick Stump’s sorrowful, seasonal send-off: “Merry Christmas, I could care less.”
New Found Glory – “Nothing For Christmas”
New Found Glory’s “Nothing For Christmas” kicks off Fearless Records’ Punk Goes Christmas compilation, but it first appeared on the band’s own A Very New Found Glory Christmas EP. Seemingly one of the few pop-punk Christmas tunes with a naturally merry narrative, NFG singer Jordan Pundik serenades his sweetheart with words of syrupy satisfaction: “Christmas is coming, so don’t buy me anything/I got what I wanted, I got what I needed, it’s you.”
Set It Off – “This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground)”
Another song from Punk Goes Christmas, Set It Off’s “This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground)” is probably the creepiest lark of the lot. Sounding earnestly akin to something from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, the ominous canticle laments the “awful time of year” and imparts to all rosy-cheeked anklebiters that “Saint Nick is gone for now.”
Weezer – “Christmas Celebration”
Did you take our scene Christmas song quiz? If you got Weezer’s “Christmas Celebration” as a result, you may not be the fondest of the holiday’s commercialization or mythical trappings. This is the ultimate Yuletide yarn for those who agree that “the pageantry is such a bore” and likewise question Santa’s rotund physique. (“That man is so obese that he can’t get out the door.”) The flipside is “The Christmas Song,” Weezer’s ultimate emo-pop, cry-yourself-to-sleep-under-the-tree anthem.
All Time Low – “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass”
Another seasonal tune steeped in holiday heartbreak, All Time Low’s “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass” catalogs a romantic breakdown in this flippant Christmastime castigation. ATL frontman Alex Gaskarth gives a cathartic replay of your loved one leaving you alone on Christmas.
Blink-182 – “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”
Blink-182’s “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” perfectly encapsulates the seasonal angst and gift-giving agony felt by those smothered by well-wishers and family members each holiday season. A truly timeless pop-punk Christmas classic, it concludes in quintessential early-Blink suggestiveness when the song’s narrator finds himself incarcerated on Christmas Eve: “Even though the jail didn’t have a tree/Christmas came a night early/’Cause a guy named Bubba unwrapped my package.”
The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”
Reaching a bit further back, the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight”) was first issued on their 11th studio album, Brain Drain. It soon became the requisite reconciliatory soundtrack for Christmastime couples on the outs: “I loved you from the start/’Cause Christmas ain’t the time for breaking each other’s heart.”
The Holidaze – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
You can’t go wrong with a classic holiday song performed by members of All Time Low, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte and 5 Seconds Of Summer. The Christmastime collaboration was helmed by super-producer John Feldmann (Goldfinger, Papa Roach, Blink-182) and revealed by ATL’s Gaskarth last year. The one-time, all-star band was dubbed “the Holidaze,” and the tune’s initial release was a charity-minded effort to benefit the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. This is peak scene Christmas, folks!
Seaside Holiday – “Christmas Time Is Here”
After all that pop-punk (and other!) holiday partying, sometimes you just need to come down with a more traditional Christmas jam. Seaside Holiday’s “Christmas Time Is Here” fits the bill perfectly, the Ohio-based band’s chilled-out version of the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas carol evoking idyllic winter nights filled with mirth and merriment.