Ten sad, strange and sexy Christmas songs
A still from the Killers' "Don't Shoot Me Santa" video.
It's less than a week until the fat man in the red suit shimmies down the chimney, and we've already heard "White Christmas," "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and every other traditional song you can think of at least a thousand times since Thanksgiving. But there are a few songs out there, well-written original holiday songs that you probably haven't heard on the radio either because they're strange, sad or too sexy. Here's ten songs that fit that description, some of which would make even Jolly Ol' Saint Nick blush.
10. "Not Tonight Santa" by Girls Aloud
This girl group, the biggest British singing reality show export before the days of Susan Boyle, sings about a less conventional Santa Claus -- one who is deserving more of a restraining order than a serving of milk and cookies. Like a good holiday pop song, however, Kris Kringle's obsession with the girls is dressed up with a nice synth backing track and a jumping beat -- so nice even Grandma would want to sing along.
9. "Fa La La" by Justin Bieber with Boyz II Men
Last year's Under The Mistletoe contained this gem of a Christmas song that was fresh enough to get Boyz II Men to offer up guest vocals (so not fresh at all). Bieber's verse is pretty lackluster, but the men from Boyz II Men school the young'un on what it takes to serenade a lady.
8. "Father Christmas" by The Kinks
We don't need to tell you how magical Christmastime can be: snow, lights, the smell of the tree, cookies baking in the oven. But for the Kinks, Christmastime is missing all of the elements of a wonderful life. In "Father Christmas," the poor guy gets mugged by a gang of other kids (think of that fight scene in A Christmas Story only much sadder) and one of them only wants his father to be employed for Christmas. But, hey, it can't be all milk-and-cookies for everybody, now can it?
7. "Another Lonely Christmas" by Prince
Prince really knows how to write a slow jam. Unlike "Purple Rain" or "Adore," however, this one, the b-side to the "I Would Die 4 U" single, is just plain sad. In it, the Purple One recounts his memories of a deceased lover, how they used to swim naked in her father's pool and how she hated the number nine. So sad that even the Grinch's heart would break in half.
6. "Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)" by Dragonette
Another sad one, this time for the 21st Century Christmas experience. Dragonette's Martina Sorbara coos her way through a post-breakup electro-rock jam. Her target: the ex who mistakenly sent her a "merry xmas" text message on Christmas day. We've all been there. Her response: "Thanks a lot, but f*** you." If only we could have the same gusto, being thrown on Santa's naughty list would be oh so worth it.
5. "Don't Shoot Me Santa" by The Killers
The Killers play coy with Santa in one of their seven World AIDS Day charity songs (they have released one every year since 2006's "A Great Big Sled"). This one pegs Saint Nick as anything but jolly -- he might as well be the Grinch in disguise. In it, Mr. Claus kidnaps a pleading Brandon Flowers, threatens him and possibly leaves him for dead in the Mojave Desert. This is what Christmas sounds like in Las Vegas.
4. "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt
Somehow this one makes it on to radio playlists every year, but it shouldn't! It's one of the dirtiest out there. You may sing it as it comes on at the grocery store, in the mall, or at the ice rink, but have you really ever thought about some of those lyrics, particularly that refrain, "Hurry down my chimney tonight?" Monroe was just asking for Santa to stuff her stocking.
3. "Back Door Santa" by Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter is as dirty as Kris Kringle is round. The guy's other songs include "Strokin'," about sex, and "Making Love (At The End Of The Dark Street)," also about sex. Here, Carter makes Santa about sex, too... and having sex with Santa never sounded like so much fun. What makes the track even better is that it's from 1968, making it clear Santa has more than four decades of stamina hidden underneath that red suit.
2. "Dick In A Box" by The Lonely Island feat. Justin Timberlake
Oooh weeee, this original Christmas song was at the top of every woman's Christmas list upon premiering on Saturday Night Live in December 2006. The track features Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake serenading -- and seducing -- the women of SNL with their, umm, "special" Christmas gifts. The song is nothing without the video, which hilariously casts Samberg and Timberlake as '90s crooners that give K-Ci and JoJo a run for their money... and gold chains.
1. "Christmas Tree" by Lady Gaga feat. Space Cowboy
Before Lady Gaga went all serious, seeking credibility over raunch, she boinked Santa Claus (or one of his elves) underneath a Christmas tree. Then, feeling inspired, she and one of her early producers, Space Cowboy (that's him on the second verse), wrote this song to commemorate the occasion. It may be a nice little ditty that combines elements of several classic holiday songs, but when you're done listening to it, you'll feel so dirty you'll want to roast your chestnuts over an open fire.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.