Holiday grunge

[I thought this would be a good time to reprise—in part—an earlier post on classic holiday songs that have been given a contemporary makeover.]

This season I’m getting into the spirit of things by listening to wilder and edgier versions of favorite Yuletide carols!

I don’t mean the death metal renditions, which are intended for satire (I hope). I’m talking about the real thing: rocked-out Xmas and Hanukkah songs that sound raunchy but reverent, distorted but devout. This may even become a new rock genre: Holiday Grunge.

Alternative bands such as Weezer have done full-volume blasts of traditional holiday hymns (like “Noel” and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"). But many modern Christian Rock artists—with cool names like Kutless, Seventh Day Slumber, and Newsboys—do a more convincing job on songs like “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Jingle Bell Rock” respectively.

It's enough to make Santa a head-banger.

And then there’s “Little Drummer Boy” (video above)—a bare-bones, angst-laden, percussion-driven track by The Almost.

You say you want more metal in your merriment? Ok. Here's "Hanukkah Hanukkah" by Anvil.

And, against my better judgment, here's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Firehouse.

A business lesson? Adapt!

Merry Kringle.

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  1. I actually like a lot of these versions. But after the holiday season is over (or twenty-four hours after Christmas!) nobody wants to hear any of them until the following December. That's a small window if you're trying to make money off this music.

    1. True. But a song like "Jingle Bell Rock" can amass so many plays in different formats from Thanksgiving to Christmas it can make millions for its composers over many years. (Unfortunately, in the case of "Jingle Bell Rock" those millions apparently didn't go to the right composers, as I've mentioned before.)

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