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Christmas songs for those who dislike Christmas songs

“Weird Al” Yankovic performs perhaps the best Christmas song ever – “Christmas at Ground Zero.” (Courtesy of IMDB)
Mariah set your teeth on edge? Slap some ears on these yuletide tunes instead!

Working retail in high school and college killed any affection I may have felt for Christmas music. The songs would begin to pump through stores immediately after Thanksgiving and last through New Year’s last gasp. Now, whenever I hear “Feliz Navidad” (just when you think it’s over ... it’s not), Wham!’s “Last Christmas” or any song featuring a slow, boozy, walk-of-shame sax cover of the old standbys, I tend to get a little irritable.

But behold! My Christmas miracle for you! These five Christmas songs are ones you can listen to without feeling the need to clench your jaw and go back into the storeroom and kick boxes! In fact, some of these are entertaining enough to listen to all year:

1. “Christmas at Ground Zero,” “Weird Al” Yankovic (1986). From the album “Polka Party!” I was born in 1973 and came of age in the ’80s, a time when Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union were cranking back up and were referenced everywhere: Remember Steve Guttenberg in “The Day After”? Weird Al is one of my all-time favorites, and this song is played in my house all year.

2. “Santa Claws is Coming to Town,” Alice Cooper (2008). It’s no secret I love Alice Cooper – ever since my parents had “Welcome to My Nightmare” on fairly regular rotation when I was little. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” has always been one of those low-key, creepy Christmas songs, and with Alice, backed by John 5, Vinny Appice and Billy Sheehan, giving us his take on 2008’s “We Wish You a Metal Christmas ... And Headbanging New Year!,” it’s downright menacing.

3. Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck,” Da Yoopers (1994). Written by Randy Brooks and included in the album, “One Can Short of a Six-Pack.” I want this to be a sequel to Elmo & Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” but I’m pretty sure she died ...

4. “I Got a Cold for Christmas,” The Three Stooges (1960). The Three Stooges were never really known for their singing ability – this song included. But! Change out “cold” for “COVID-19,” and this tune could have been written today.

Merry Christmas!


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