Rock and Roll Christmas songs have been around since Alan Freed first coined the term ‘rock ‘n roll’. As a former radio announcer, I’ve heard tons of rock and roll Christmas songs. Now I bring to you what I consider to the top ten of all time.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #1 -John Lennon and Yoko Ono Happy Xmas/War Is Over
Without a doubt, this is the greatest rock and roll Christmas song ever. John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono remind people that the idea of world peace and an end to war is a Christmas message.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #2 -The Kinks Father Christmas
The genius of Ray Davies’ lyrics meets a great guitar riff. While you may wince at the idea of a song where group of kids mug a Santa Claus outside a department store, listen to these kids as they explain their poverty and why they need cash and not toys.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #3- Greg Lake I Believe in Father Christmas
Progressive rocker Greg Lake went solo from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer to record this song back in 1975. You won’t hear wailing guitars, but you will hear Lake’s voice blend perfectly with Christmas chimes as he laments the commercialism of Christmas.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #4 -Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas?
If this song doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re more heartless than Scrooge himself. This Bob Geldof tune sung by a choir of 80’s music icons like Bono, Boy George, and Paul Young hits home the true meaning of Christmas-peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #5 -Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra recorded this song in honor of cello player who insisted on playing amidst the rubble in war torn Bosnia as a sign of hope. It’s actually a combination of two songs: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Carol of the Bells. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful, and it rocks.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #6 -Chuck Berry Run Rudolph Run (Run Run Rudolph)
Run Rudolph Run has been re-recorded by countless rock and roll stars over the years, but it’s the 1958 Chuck Berry version that dominates the airwaves in December, especially on oldies stations.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #7 -Bruce Springsteen Santa Claus is Coming To Town
Bruce Springsteen turns a children’s holiday song into a rock and roll Christmas standard. Enough said!
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #8 -The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping
This one hit wonder of the1980’s will always be remembered during the holiday season with one of the catchiest and lyrically cleverest rock and roll Christmas songs ever.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #9 -The Beach Boys Little Saint Nick
The Beach Boys had some of the best harmonies of any rock and roll band in history. Little Saint Nick, penned by Mike Love and Brian Wilson, has a melody similar to Little Deuce Coupe and makes for a run rock and roll Christmas song.
Top Ten Rock and Roll Christmas Songs #10 – Jon Anderson 3 Ships
This is the title track from Yes front man Jon Anderson’s 1986 Christmas album3 Ships. Anderson’s pitch perfect angelic voice seems almost tailor made for this traditional English Christmas song.