HOME POP CULTUREMUSIC & BOOKS 30 Unconventional Christmas Carols for Unconventional Holidays
Unconventional Christmas Carols

30 Unconventional Christmas Carols for Unconventional Holidays

by Elyse V

Even though things may look a little different this year, we can still have a Merry Covid Christmas. That is true. However, having said that, it’s also OK to acknowledge that these are not “normal” holidays. So in recognition of these unconventional holidays, we bring you 30 unconventional Christmas carols.

These unconventional Christmas carols are a mixed bag of musical styles – sure to be something for everyone. We intentionally didn’t include unconventional remakes of classics. Press play (or click the link) and have a listen. You may want to keep the speakers a little low though if you’re not alone. No words are off limits with unconventional Christmas carols (even those of the four-letter variety).

Oh and these are presented in alphabetical order and not on any rating scale. You can decide the best and worst for yourself.

AC/DC – Mistress for Christmas

AC/DC’s rocking sound but with a Christmas theme. I am curious to hear the female response to this one. I wonder what or who is on her wish list?

Akim and the Teddy Vann Production Company – Santa Claus Is a Black Man

Christmas song by record producer and songwriter Teddy Vann, performed by his adorable daughter Akim Vann.

Badly Drawn Boy – Donna & Blitzen

A beautiful, sentimental piano ballad about a fragile love with a hint of Christmas.

Beck – The Little Drum Machine Boy

Beck plays with the traditional Christmas carol, “Little Drummer Boy,” but modernizes it with a drum machine and a healthy dose of Hannukah.

Blink-182 – Won’t Be Home for Christmas

It’s sort of a Blink-182 version of the Christmas song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” but nothing like it at the same time.

Bob and Doug MacKenzie – 12 Days of Christmas

We’re Canadian and this remains a forever classic for us and if you don’t agree, take of, eh?

Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa

A fun, polka-style Christmas song based on a German drinking song.

Brenda Lee – I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus

A little country ditty for the holidays.

Coldplay – Christmas Lights

A somber song about the end of a relationship during the holidays. Described by the band as “a mid-tempo number” in the key of G major.

Cyndi Lauper – Minnie and Santa

A vintage-sounding fun track about Minnie who believed in Santa and ends up being whisked away to the North Pole by him.

Darlene Love – It’s a Marshmallow World

A popular song that compares a snowfall to marshmallows covering the ground and also as whipped cream. How can you not like it?

Dent May – I’ll Be Stoned for Christmas

A chill original Christmas song that many can relate to and relate to it legally now in most places so sing it out in the open – loud and proud.

Dragonette – Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)

A catchy tune about a well-deserved f*ck you to a boy over the holidays.

Dropkick Murphys – The Season’s Upon Us

Dropkick Murphys sing of a typical family Christmas without any of the sugary BS.

Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

A little bit of optimism with a cool beat that we all need.

Guster – Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus?

Waiting for Santa with a vintagey, chill pub-ish sing-a-long feel.

Kate Nash – I Hate You This Christmas

A bit of an angry song from the perspective of a girl who walked in on her boyfriend and best friend over the holidays. It’s Kate Nash so it’s fantastic.

Kelly Clarkson & Brett Eldredge – Under the Mistletoe

This song is everything – perfect lyrics and vocals to the perfect holiday beat. Put this instant classic on all your holiday playlists, but only if you want to be happy.

Lady Gaga (ft. Space Cowboy) – Christmas Tree

A Christmas song with dance-pop and synthpop influences. It uses the classics “Deck the Halls” and “The Little Drummer Boy” but the song takes a different direction.

Nick D’ & The Believers – Christmas In the City

A cool Christmas song with great harmonies and groovy vibe.

No Doubt – Oi to The World

Baby Gwen Stefani and No Doubt in all their ska Christmas glory.

Regina Spektor – My Dear Acquaintance

So maybe this one is more for New Year’s Eve, but I say it still counts as a holiday song. Plus it’s Regina Spektor.

Run-DMC – Christmas in Hollis

This hugely popular song was the 2nd rap single to feature a Christmas theme but the only one set in Hollis, Queens, New York. This song should be on every Xmas song list.

Sia – Ho Ho Ho

Think Christmas for a group of boozing misfits with nothing to lose to an upbeat tempo with a hint of Chandelier. It’s Sia so just enjoy her brilliance.

Sixpence None the Richer – Christmas Island

A sweet, sort of vintagely sounding, Christmas song about spending the holidays on Christmas Island (in Austalia).


Snoop Doggy Dogg – Santa Claus Goes Straight to The Ghetto

Snoop capturing the mood of Christmas like only Snoop can.

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

It’s just another Santa extracting justice on a kid that killed his bullies Christmas song. I mean how many of those have you heard? None as good as this one though.

The Pogues – Fairytale of New York

Shane McGowan is one of our greatest living songwriters. His lyrics are raw and real and fans can relate to his songs, like Fairytale of New York. Unfortunately, in 1987 (when this song was written), that realness manifested itself with the line “you cheap lousy f****t” being sung by the female in the song . In a 2018 interview, Shane addressed the homophobic slur in the lyrics: “The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person. She is a woman of a certain generation at a certain time in history and she is down on her luck and desperate. Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend!

Some argue that, in Irish, the word means a lazy person. Regardless of the intentions, it’s obviously an offensive term and, therefore, problematic. Going forward, those singing it should swap the line with “you’re cheap and you’re haggard”. But putting that one horrible word aside, this song is still one of the greatest Christmas songs ever composed (and has a great video with Matt Dillon) and nothing can change that. It’s about pain, hate and regret and the cold, bitter loneliness of the season for many. It speaks to all the people who are not at a good place and hear the jingling of bells and see the twinkling of lights and think f*ck this sh*t.

The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song

A great Christmas song with a vintage pop sound and very cool vibe.

The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

Perfect Christmas song about two people who fall in love because they both forgot to buy cranberries on Christmas. They had been trying to get together all year but couldn’t. The cranberries brought them together giving this great tune a very happy e-e-nding.

Well there you have it. Our unconventional Christmas carol list for the very unconventional 2020 holiday season. There were so many more we could have added but these were the ones that most spoke to us. Do you have any other unconventional Christmas carols to add? Let us know in the comments.

Happy holidays!

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