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Does Die Hard belong at Christmas? What about Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC? | Photo:
Does Die Hard belong at Christmas? What about Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC? | Photo:
Jan Hamerský -

10... Also Christmas Classics

"Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues? "War Is Over" by Lennon and Yoko Ono? OK, what else? What's next on the playlist when you've heard "Jingle Bells" and "White Christmas" for the umpteenth time? Here are ten of the most unorthodox carols. There's something for everyone, from the alternative to the zoomers.

1. 100 gecs – sympathy 4 the grinch

"Sympathy for the Devil"? The Stones! So Laura Les and Dylan Brady have found another spoilsport whose tricks are sure to get the worst out of the kids. They didn't have to look long. They are, after all, of a generation for whom the evergreen classic is the one starring Jim Carrey, and which revolves around "total sell-out," meaning the theft of Christmas presents.

2. AC/DC – Mistress for Christmas

The only thing surprising about the Australian hard rock machine with five crosses around their necks is that they have something right for the holidays. Otherwise, it's a classic romp about rolling around in a den with a matzo bun.

3. Jethro Tull – Ring Out Solstice Bells

Who would celebrate the solstice instead of Christmas? A Celtic hard rock band. Scotsman Ian Anderson may have, in his own words, written a pagan carol acceptable for radio. He must have been thinking of the footage, because a comprehensive treatment of medieval winter solstice celebrations is a long way from cymbals and chimes.

4. James Chance – Christmas with Satan

The only thing you have to watch out for is keeping the Christmas atmosphere. So that the jazz hammers don't just crack and you start to sound depressed, that's the only pitfall of a Christmas hit if you get a jazzman to help you out. A daunting example for all: an American keyboardist and saxophonist who fuses jazz with avant-garde no wave and punk.

5. Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis

Is Die Hard a Christmas classic? A similar argument could also be made about the musical setting of the opening credits, in which Run DMC is quite possibly bullshitting that the slipper with the ball inside is really from Santa. Either way, it's hard to imagine a midnight siesta without both.

6. King Diamond – No Presents for Christmas

Metal has always had a grudge against Christianity, but I guess only the Danish royal hypocritically does not wish a nice holiday and leans into the very basics, the belief in Jesus. He also confessed to dreaming of a white Sabbath.

7. Lada Gaga feat. Space Cowboy – Christmas Tree

From the musician who accepted the MTV award in a really beefed-up costume, one can hope for a lot, including an unconventional adaptation of the Christmas hit. Deck the Halls got it. In her rendition, it involves far more perverse pleasures than decorating your apartment with holly and singing carols.

8. Shoshen Knife – Space Christmas

When it comes to non-standard Christmas songs, you can't leave out Japan and the band whose biggest fan was Kurt Cobain. In fact, sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano and Michie Nakatani wished for a spaceship under the Christmas tree to fly to Pluto for marshmallows and ice cream.

9. The Kinks – Father Christmas

They may be fourth only to the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. But they were the first and probably the only ones who dared to tell Santa to stop spoiling the upper class kids, give daddy a decent job and give them money, otherwise he will get a nasty beating.

10. Beck – Little Drummer Boy

Katherine Kennicott Davis's 1941 Christmas classic has been attracting more rioters ever since Bowie shocked the world (for the umpteenth time) by singing it with the late Bing Crosby in '77. Tori Amos, for example, has come up with her own version. But we're much more interested in Beck's seven-minute cascade of disastrous rap and WTF moments.

What about you? What's your go-to classic that helps you beat the ubiquitous Christmas sentiment? I look forward to hearing your tips in the comments.

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Jan Hamerský
Born in 1988. When he was fifteen and deciding what to do next, writing was the obvious choice. At nineteen, he changed his mind. It seemed to him that it is history that writes stories. Then he found out that history is written by winners—he joined the losers. He majored in h…