The Opposite of Chipmunks: Cloying Holiday Songs and Their Antidotes

Has the holly jolly omnipresence of Christmas music been threatening your sanity? Before you let Rudolf drive your sleigh over the edge, just adjust your dials. I’ve put together a playlist of holiday song antidotes to help get the relentless ring of jingle bells out of your ears. ¹

  • All I want for Christmas Is You: What do I get? The Buzzcocks
  • The Happy Elf: Working for the Man, P. J. Harvey
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: Man That You Fear, Marilyn Manson
  • Here Comes Santa Claus: Psycho Killer, Talking Heads
  • Frosty The Snowman: Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta, Geto Boys
  • The Little Drummer Boy: Don’t Bang the Drum, The Waterboys
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lapdance, N*E*R*D (No one Ever Really Dies)
  • White Christmas: Black Celebration, Depeche Mode
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Only Happy When It Rains, Garbage
  • A Child This Day Is Born: Birth, School, Work, Death, The Godfathers
  • Holly Jolly Christmas: Helter Skelter, The Beatles
  • Oh Holy Night : Head Like a Hole, Nine Inch Nails
  • Sleigh Ride: Garbage Truck, Sex Bob-omb
  • Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire: Burning Down the House, Talking Heads
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth: Bloodletting, Concrete Blonde
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree: The Downward Spiral, Nine Inch Nails
  • Christmas Shoes: These Boots Were Made For Walkin’, Nancy Sinatra
  • It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas: Atrocity Exhibition, Joy Division
  • Home For The Holidays: Institutionalized, Suicidal Tendencies
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, The Smiths
  • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: Don’t Push Me, 50 Cent
  • The Chipmunk Song: That’s When I Reach for My Revolver, Moby

How about you? Any songs in particular spurring you to spike your eggnog or jam candy canes into your ears? And what songs might you use to counteract?

¹ I did a bit of Christmas shopping yesterday, mostly looking for things like pajamas for the kids. I can’t even count how many times I heard Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You.” All I wanted for Christmas shopping was a break from the treacly music. It was such a relief to get back to my car and put on my iPod. When Joy Division came up on shuffle, I knew I’d found an antidote to the ravages of holiday cheer.²

² For the record, I don’t actually hate holiday music. Some of it I actually like. I just can hear too much of it, especially when the songs are so saccharine that they make me throw up a little.³

³ Oh, fine, I do hate some holiday music.⁴

⁴ Would this be a good time to promote Neil’s Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert? I may even participate again. You’ve been warned.

27 thoughts on “The Opposite of Chipmunks: Cloying Holiday Songs and Their Antidotes

  1. I don’t hate holiday, particularly Christmas, songs per se — I just hate it that certain organisations (e.g., the MTR here in Hong Kong) start playing those songs WEEKS before the actual holiday. Also snow-themed songs just don’t work for me — especially in Hong Kong where it does not snow at all!!!!!! ;(

    1. I don’t actually hate holiday songs either, YTSL. But like you, I have been hearing them for too long. In one instance, I was shopping in a fabric store before Halloween, (Halloween, for freak’s sake!) and they had Christmas music on. And then some of the songs get played sooo often. I do not need to hear “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” 10 times a day!

  2. I’ve been playing my Christmas songs non-stop on my iPod deck since last week. I LOVE IT. And I love the tacky stuff I hear when I go to the Corte Inglés, and I love hearing the Spanish carols when I’m out and about, and I LOVE IT ALL.

    You’re just bitter and twisted… :P

    1. “You’re just bitter and twisted… :P”
      I do try to be! And that can go on my tombstone as well: “Bitter, twisted and hilariously brilliant.”

      I love listening to Christmas music at home, and have quite a collection. I even sing! But some of the songs that I hear when I go out to stores make me cringe. When I went shopping on Monday, I went into maybe 8 stores, and it felt like the sappy Mariah Carey song came on in at least half of them. (And I didn’t even know what the song was. I had to ask the Google.) The cloying song keeps getting stuck in my head, even 2 days later! Gahhh!

      1. I first heard that Mariah Carey song on Love Actually, a totally sappy Christmas film that I can’t help watching over and over, if only for Bill Nighy’s fab performance. I can’t help it, I’m a total sucker for all that sentimental Christmas stuff. Perhaps because most of my Christmases when growing up were nightmarish and awful… so I make this MY own holiday and a big “f*ck you” to those who ruined my childhood, and a gentle “oh come off it!” to grinches who still can’t feel the joy because they are looking in all the wrong places.

        It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas!

        1. Ah, az, I’m glad you’ve claimed Christmas for yourself. (But sorry that you had so many bad Christmases as a kid.)

          Me, I have loads of wonderful memories of Christmas with my family, and I get a lot of joy from family holiday traditions. There are also plenty of things I get all sentimental and squishy about relating to Christmas.

          But I’m afraid that I still can’t stand the Mariah Carey song.

  3. Since I am not Christian and I am on the Xmas wagon simply for the merrymaking, I change the radio channel when the heavily Christian ones about the baby being born or the virgin mother come on. [SORRY Baby Jesus! i do celebrate your birthday WITH A CAKE AND CANDLES. So I think you can forgive me there] 12 Days of Christmas also drives me nuts. BUT it becomes great fun when you are singing it with a group of drunk people.

  4. When I opened this I got distracted and then when I got back to it I forgot where I had ended up and assumed I was reading The Awl. And then as I scrolled down I couldn’t figure out why your icon was on the Awl and was very confused for a moment. Anyway– that’s a compliment!

    I particularly like how you didn’t go for literal opposites but more for.. twisted responses, I guess. Oh I don’t know, I just think this is great and that you should make this mix and post it somewhere.

  5. Oooh, I like bshep’s idea! You could put a brief snippet of the cloying song and then let it get interrupted by or drowned out by its antidote!

  6. I can’t get enough Christmas music (and KayTar and I especially love All I Want for Christmas is You), but I draw the line at Christmas Shoes…or Happy Birthday, Jesus. AGH!

    1. Well, I still like you, Kyla, even though you like that song. (And KayTar can get away with it due to her extreme cuteness. Maybe if I heard you two singing it together, I could tolerate it.) I am glad to see that you still have your own tolerance limits, though! (If you’d said you liked the Christmas Shoes, I might had to disown you.)

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