Dec 202015

And so this is Christmas…or, should I say, the Christmas season. For the last 2 years, Townsman Al has requested that we run a 16-song tournament via the old Rock Town Hall poll. For the last 2 years I’ve been tormented that the poll has been fucked up and stuck on some stupid question regarding Steve Miller Band and The Doobie Brothers. The poll is just one of a handful of features that I hope we (and by “we” I mean The Back Office) get to tune up before technology moves us any further into the future and people start telepathically communicating 18-character affirmations to a network of loosely connected music fans who somehow all seem to enjoy having Joe Jackson tunes streamed through their smartphones.

But enough of my yapping… Al wants to know if Rock Town Hall has ever…once and for all,,,picked the Best Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Song Ever. I don’t think we have.

Each year we retell the Best Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Story Ever. We revisit the Best Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Hairdo. We’ve determined the Best Solo Beatles Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Song Ever (sorry, George). And we’ve collected not one, not two, but almost three volumes of A Rock Town Hall Christmas, thanks in large part to the efforts of the legendary northvancoveman (who will be SUMMONED). We’ve even collected some of the Crappiest Christmas Music We’ll Ever Hear.

Rather than me continue to gripe about the broken-down RTH poll feature and continue suspicions that I have joined the War Against Christmas, how about we keep it simple and make a case for any one of the songs compiled from our past rock ‘n roll Christmas song compilations or another song that did not come up in the past, perhaps because you were not yet a member of Rock Town Hall. Al has compiled some contenders…after the jump. If we’re ever going to settle…once and for all…The Best Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Song we need your vote/rationale. Don’t be a smartypants and simply list out a half dozen obscure numbers you are not willing to get behind. Choose one of the following or suggest a winner of your own devise. Thanks.


  18 Responses to “Once and For All…What’s the Best Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Song?”

  1. H. Munster

    I’m not too crazy about the above selection. In fact, the one by Darlene Love is the only one of them that I really like. If “River” by Joni Mitchell is Christmasy enough to count, it gets my vote.

  2. tonyola

    Elvis and “Merry Christmas, Baby”.

  3. As much as I love Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” its more a traditional-style Christmas Carol than anything representing rock ‘ n roll. For that reason I give “Father Christmas” the edge. It’s got a rocking attitude, and it’s the best Kinks song post Muswell Hillbillies.

  4. When you are summoned you have to show up. Those are the rules, aren’t they? Otherwise, what separates us from the animals. Mod, the best Christmas song ever, and I will be entirely unoriginal here, is “Fairytale of New York”. The next best is every song from the “A Christmas Gift to You”.


  5. Oh, shit. “”River”.


  6. This is an historic occasion! It’s not originality the world needs, but the correct answer…once and for all. That Pogues song has rock ‘n roll spirit and originality. You are our most esteemed commentator on this subject. I am certain that Townspeople will be energized by your selection.

  7. He has spoken! That makes 2 votes for “River”!

  8. Northvancoveman disappears for years and then reappears only to weigh in with the wrong answer? That’s a shame. (seriously, good to hear from you again).

    Until this year, my answer would have been Father Christmas, but Darlene Love has worn me down.

  9. Hey guys, I don’t know about historic, but good to hear from all of you!

  10. BigSteve

    Fairy Tale of New York is a fine song, but its title doesn’t announce that it’s a Christmas song. I don’t want to disqualify it from a list of great Christmas songs, but it’s one thing that keeps it from being number 1. You want a song that normal people (i.e., not us) will recognize if they’re putting a quarter in the jukebox.

    For me Darlene Love’s song is the best, followed by Elvis’ Blue Christmas and Charles Brown’s Please Come Home for Christmas. Christmas is all about loneliness and lost love, right?

  11. First, I gotta give mega-props to whoever put together that list of songs. I can’t imagine a better Christmas CD than that list. ☺

    To add a little detail to Mr. Mod’s intro, I compiled that list without trying to overthink it. I did try and not be obscure (with the possible exception of personal fave Bobby Lloyd Hicks). I tried to keep it rocking. I tried to have variety. And I did limit it to songs I liked.

    I want to vote for John Lennon. But it some ways that’s not really a Christmas song. And it’s too wrapped up in the myth of Lennon and in the timing of his death.

    I don’t particularly want to vote for Macca but, damn, that’s a catchy song.

    Chuck Berry surely deserves a vote. That’s Christmas and Rock & Roll with a lot of capital letters.

    And who is Scrooge enough not to love young MJ singing about seeing mommy smooching under the mistletoe?

    But, then, can you be more soulful than Otis for a Christmas song?

    And don’t we want to reward Bob Seger for actually doing something so good?

    And The Waitresses for making rap palatable for white people years before Run-DMC hooked up with Steven Tyler?

    Or The Kinks for showing they were the “original punks” (trademark pending) with Father Christmas?

    Or the subsequent punks, The Pogues, blending their rasp with the sweetness of the sorely missed and greatly underappreciated Kirsty MacColl in Fairytale Of New York?

    And I like I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day but I hold that responsible for the fact that Roy Wood, secure with the retirement annuity provided by that song, has produced nothing for 30 years so I can’t vote for it.

    And I could go on and make a case for the others…

    …but the greatest of these is Love. Darlene Love. I can’t divorce this song from 30 or so years of performances on David Letterman which proved, year after year, that nothing succeeds like excess. A great voice and a great song. The bittersweet side of Christmas triumphing. My vote is for Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

  12. Mr. Mod, given your powers in summoning northvancoveman back to the fold, can we begin to compile a list of other erstwhile townsfolk to summon?

  13. ladymisskirroyale

    To throw another song onto the turntable for your consideration:

    Low’s “Just Like Christmas”
    A Spector sound but sweet lyrics that should appeal to you of the touring musician sort. This is one of my favorite songs of the season.

  14. I can support “River” — another song that I like not on the list is The Prentenders’ “2000 Miles” but I’ll go with “River”

  15. It is important to keep normal people in mind at this time of year! I feel like a bad person for saying this, but I don’t like that Darlene Love song very much. I find it too aggressively spirited. I do love the other 2 you mention.

  16. I have tried to SUMMON alexmagic a couple of times, including through direct e-mails. I’ve gotten no reply. I hope he’s all right. How about we also try SUMMONING his partner in crime, Oats? You have been SUMMONED, Oats!

    Happiness Stan…SUMMONED!

    That Australian guy named Mike who moved to England (or was it the other way around)…SUMMONED!

    The Great 48…SUMMONED!

    (I think I now know the theme of this week’s Saturday Night Shut-In!)

  17. 2000 Man

    Merry Christmas, everyone! Christmas songs…man…I wish I could say I get something out of them, but I pretty much just don’t like them. They veer too close to the space occupied by Novelty Songs for me. I kind of like the Pretenders 2000 Miles, probably because it’s really not a Christmas song.

    Picking from the list I have to take The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping. Partly because I don’t hear it that often, and partly because I’m from NE Ohio, and we’re all homers here. So I’m going with the band from Akron. Plus, it’s the kind of ear worm that will stick in my head for hours.

  18. Apropos of my comment on Roy Wood’s Christmas annuity, here’s an article about such retirement plans. Nothing about I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day but several others on our list are mentioned.

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