Top 10 ridiculously awesome Christmas songs you won't hear on the radio (with video)

3. "My Christmas List," Simple Plan, No Pads, No Helmets ... Just Balls (2002). A hidden track off the Canadian alt-rockers' debut album, "My Christmas List" honors the kid in all of us who just wants to see a big pile of gifts underneath the Christmas tree. And you know what? It's OK to wish for some goodies this holiday — just give Santa the same orders Simple Plan does: "Just bring me things that I don't need."


4. "Nutmeg," John Legend, A Colbert Christmas (2008). I've never been a fan of nutmeg-laced holiday beverages, but when Legend croons that he wants to egg my nog, I'm a little more inclined to give them a try. Legend sang this little ditty on Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central Christmas special last year, and it guarantees to change the way you see nutmeg — and Legend — forever.





The Colbert Report


Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c




A Colbert Christmas: John Legend




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5. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," Maroon 5, Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (2007). It's not easy covering a song written and performed by John Lennon, but Adam Levine's vocal range complements the song beautifully. The band's somber — though definitely not lifeless — interpretation is a reminder that the "Happy Xmas" Lennon envisioned won't be the one taking place this year.


6. "My Only Wish (This Year)," Britney Spears, Platinum Christmas (2000). In case you're sick of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Spears' spin on longing for love at Christmas should hit the spot. The sweet song promises that after being a good girl, "All I want is one thing. Tell me my true love is near." While the request is probably a little more than Santa can handle (unless you're a character in a Lifetime original movie), I get what you're sayin', girl, and I appreciate the romantic, girlish Christmas anthem.


7. "Blue Christmas," Johnny Cash, Country Christmas (1991). The man in black knows a thing or two about singing the blues, and his rendition of this classic is heartbreaking. It's not that I don't believe other musicians who have sung this song, but Cash (pictured below with June Carter) is the most convincing at just how lonesome he'll be (without June?) at Christmas.


[image-1]8. "Happy Holidays, You Bastard," Blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001). It's only 42 seconds long, but I highly recommend blasting this track from your car stereo the second you feel overwhelmed this season. Whether you're mad at your overbearing family, that bitch who stole the last Nintendo Wii right out from under you, or your procrastinating self, nothing beats the simplicity of Blink's merry melody: "It's Christmas Eve, and I've only wrapped two fuckin' presents, and I hate, hate, hate your guts."


9. "Must Be Santa," Raffi, Raffi's Christmas Album (1983). It's funny how Christmas can really bring out the kid in you. While you normally won't find me listening to children's folk music, when a Christmas tree graces my living room, I can't function without a listen to Raffi's Christmas tunes (preferably on vinyl). This track in particular is one of my favorites, because it invites audience participation. So, don't be shy, and sing along. It'll be our little secret, you kooky kiddo.


10. "The Lonely Jew On Christmas," Kyle Broflofski, Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (1999). I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas. So for any Jews that feel gypped by my list, this Bud's for you. Nine-year-old South Park resident Kyle feels the sting of being left out of all the season's reindeer games. While his message is sincere, the song is a riot. Even Eric Cartman would agree.

I truly love Christmas. I'm one of those cookie-baking, car-wreath sportin', Martha Stewart Living-magazine totin' freaks that can't get enough of this holiday. My favorite aspect is, of course, the music that defines the spirit of Christmas. But man cannot live on the holiday offerings of Magic 94.9 FM radio alone, because alas, the station tends to play the same songs year after year. I've compiled a list of 10 songs that I think everyone ought to hear this holiday season — some are original masterpieces by contemporary artists, and others are covers of classics that do our favorite Christmas carols justice. Enjoy, and if you feel so inclined, add input on some of your favorite holiday jams in the comments section below.

1. "Don't Shoot Me Santa," The Killers, Don't Shoot Me Santa (2007). I've had a very good year, which means I've been a little naughty along the way. The Killers recorded the ultimate song for those of us on Santa's naughty list to benefit the Global Fund's (RED). It's slightly on the twisted side, with lead singer Brandon Flowers (pictured above) confessing, "Oh, Santa, I've been killing just for fun." Santa, who knows if you've been bad or good, replies to Flowers, "Well, the party's over kid, because I've got a bullet in my gun." The video has a hilarious narrative, and highlights one of the true messages of Christmas — friendship, even in the face of an ax-wielding Santa Claus.

2. "Christmas Time Again," Extreme, A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992). This was one of my favorite Christmas songs as a kid. While it clearly displays Extreme's affinity for rock, the ballad is full of beautiful harmonies and lyrics suggesting that Christmastime "comes and goes, so let's pretend that it'll last all year." What a rockin' idea.

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