Sex and Spacemen: The Weirdest Christmas Songs We Could Find

I want to believe.
I want to believe.
Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray

Just the other day, Rocks Off sat at the computer, blank-faced and still, the cursor blinking uninterrupted. See, normally at this time of year, we come up with a list of depressing Christmas songs. This year, though, there was a problem. Last year's songs were so intensely, crazily sad, we couldn't find any to top them. Plus, it's been kind of a rough year, and Rocks Off's heart just wasn't in the search. What to do? It made us sad to buck what was becoming a Christmas tradition; so sad, in fact, that all we could do was turn on some wonderfully bizarre Christmas music in order to cheer ourselves up.

And now you get this list. It's a Christmas miracle! (Buckle up, this shit is gonna get pretty weird.)

Chris de Burgh - A Spaceman Came Traveling

So, the Bible says that the shepherds were out watching their sheep when they were awe-struck by a bright, shining star and a chorus of Heavenly angels. Well, the Bible, it seems, was off just a little bit. It wasn't the friggin' Christmas star, Gris, it was a flying saucer, and those voices? A chorus of aliens. Yes, the guy who wrote "Lady In Red" penned a prog-rock opus about the true story of Christmas, in which an alien drops in on baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in order to wish them all the best. "On behalf of my planet, we wish the child a long and peaceful life!" the alien probably said, which would make him feel pretty awkward about thirty-three years later. The thing is, though... this song is weird as hell, but it's really good. It's got a great melody, it's catchy, and it's well-produced and performed. Ah, the seventies.

Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope

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Sonic Youth performs a feedback-drenched version of a song originally by Martin Mull - yes, the douchey boss from Mr. Mom - and wishes David Geffen a Merry Christmas towards the end. Of course they do. Why wouldn't they?

Lou Monte - Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey

You know how sometimes a well-intentioned person will record a song that tries to cater to a certain demographic or ethnic group, but the stereotypes are so broad and dopey that it winds up being horribly offensive? This is one of those times.

Evolution Control Committee - The Christmas Wrong

Simple, yet effective: perform some precise editing switcheroos on Nat King Cole's beloved "Christmas Song" and see if anyone notices. Weird.

Steve Mauldin - O Holy Night

For years, this was simply a demo someone had found and passed around. It wound up online, where it became a massive hit for the fact that it starts off relatively normal, suddenly gets very strange around the 1:15 mark, and then, somehow, gets even crazier as the singer completely flips out in hyperdramatic vocal hysterics. Well, the guy who originally recorded it decided to come forward, and he explains the story behind the song here, but be warned: the origin of the song isn't half as entertaining as we were hoping. Do yourself a favor, just listen to the song and pretend like we never found out a normal guy with a sense of humor was responsible.

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