Are there any arguments more divisive than the appropriateness of Christmas music during any given time or place? Sure, there’s the whole “pineapple on pizza” debate, but does that really get your blood boiling like being assaulted with holiday merriment?
There are a number of reasons why anyone might be ill-disposed toward seasonal jingles. Maybe they incite flashbacks to nightmarish retail shifts or a particularly unhappy winter. Perhaps they just grate on your nerves—and that’s justified, too.
Whatever your grounds may be for keeping a set of earbuds on hand this time of year, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel the spirit of the holidays in your own way. Read on to discover 10 totally cool alternative covers of Christmas classics that won’t make your ears bleed.
“Little Drummer Boy” – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (Trapp Family Singers cover)
When Joan Jett breathed new life into this Katherine Kennicott Davis-penned classic in 1981, we doubt she knew it would hold up 40 years later. We’re not so surprised. At its core, the original song is pretty catchy and cool—it just needed that added rock element. Of course, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts delivered, transforming it into something simplistic but gritty.
“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – Weezer (Arthur Warrell cover)
If any song is going to make you tear your hair out, this repetitive, demanding carol will likely be it. Incredibly, Weezer‘s take makes it not only bearable but rather enjoyable. It helps that they kept the cover short, trimming the redundant lyrics, but we’re particularly taken by the rock backing.
“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – Misfits (Thurl Ravenscroft cover)
Admittedly, the Misfits could put their name on anything, and we’d probably be all over it. Something about a punk spin on the signature ghoul of Christmas really sparks our little black hearts, though. Between the punchy drums and sinister vocals, this cover sure hits hard for even the Grinchiest among us.
“Someday At Christmas” – Pearl Jam (Stevie Wonder cover)
We can’t say we ever imagined a young Stevie Wonder Christmas song to take on a sexy feel, but leave it to Pearl Jam… The rendition is surprisingly bubbly for the grunge outfit, though not with the same intensity we’ve come to expect from holiday music. It would make a great playlist addition for anyone who just wants to vibe this season.
“Santa Baby” – VersaEmerge (Eartha Kitt cover)
We love a Christmas classic with a sinister twist. VersaEmerge really channeled their inner Disney villains for this one. The result is a haunting siren song that seems to call Santa into the void. If you’re into dark melodies that you can comfortably play year-round, despite seasonal imagery, this is it.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” – My Chemical Romance (Mariah Carey cover)
While Mariah Carey is undoubtedly a beast of a vocalist, this Hot 100-topping Christmas anthem can get old fast. Unsurprisingly, My Chemical Romance were able to successfully refresh it with a unique, hard-hitting take. If this doesn’t make you appreciate the season just a little, we don’t know what will.
Read more: QUIZ: What scene Christmas song are you?
“Last Christmas” – Jimmy Eat World (Wham! cover)
There’s no denying that Wham!‘s hit had an underlying air of melancholy, but Jimmy Eat World really amped up the feelings. The cover transforms the song into an emo breakup ballad that’s backdropped by the holiday rather than centered on it. If you want a fresh perspective on this holiday staple, look no further.
“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Goldfinger (Gene Autry cover)
Ska punk doesn’t have much of a leg in most Christmas playlists, but Goldfinger prove why that shouldn’t be the case. Their ultra-high-energy take on “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” turns it into a danceable jam. Just imagine how much more lit holiday parties would be if they were similarly soundtracked.
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” – August Burns Red (Andy Williams cover)
August Burns Red deliver such a divergent interpretation of this smooth Christmas staple that it’s probably better left as an instrumental take. As much as we’d love to hear Jake Luhrs fry-scream about the beauty of the season, the balance they’ve struck is remarkable. Give it a listen and we promise you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the song.
“Frosty The Snowman” – Bowling For Soup (Gene Autry cover)
Barring the unsettling narrative described, this song is undeniably fun even from the jump. Bowling For Soup really take it to the next level, adding pop-punk riffs for an extra boost of energy. We’re not sure how they managed to make the song more prime to get stuck in one’s head, but they sure did it.
What are your favorite alternative holiday covers? Sound off in the comments below!