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
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.
Suspect Phil - Pantleg the Elf
This song was created for an original Christmas music contest held by the wonderful Ron and Fez Show on SiriusXM in 2008. They played the top 20 on Christmas Day and this one came in at number 12. Whether or not it should have placed higher depends on how much you like 80's-era hip-hop and incoherent elf gang rivalries.
Fred Schneider of the B-52's and a very, very cheap synthesizer perform what was possibly intended to be a sexy little Christmas number. "Come on, baby... jingle those bellllls" he purrs seductively, channeling what seems to be a supremely aroused Charles Nelson Reilly. The song may very well be purposefully bad - we like to imagine even Fred Schneider could come up with better rhymes than these - but whatever the intentions are, the end result couldn't be more camp if it was sharing a tent with John Waters on the set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's nothing, however, compared to what you will see in just a few entries. Yeah, we're excited, too.
The Frogs - Here Comes Santa's Pussy
If you were enjoying what was up until now a relatively family-friendly list, this is your departure point. So long, and merry Christmas! For everyone who stayed, we hope you enjoy what is, to us, pure gold. The Frogs' catalog is a treasure trove of semi-improvised weirdness, and this song is certainly no exception. We can't really do it justice by description. Just listen. If you're at work, go ahead and put those headphones in.
The Queen of Vagina - Father Christmas Fuck My Pussy
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"Merry Christmas to Santa's scrotum," the description begins. A woman with a Carribean-by-way-of-England accent gyrates robotically while singing explicit sexual demands to jolly old St. Nick. We're generous with the word "singing;" at no point does the self-appointed Queen approach a note, a feeling, or any kind of meter or structure. And why the sweet holiday hell is she sampling "My Country 'Tis of Thee?" We don't know, man. We just... we just hope she's okay.
Tonetta - The Last Ho! Ho! Ho!
To the most likely quite narrow contingent of Rocks Off readers who will dig this: Merry Christmas! To everyone else: hey, we warned you this shit was gonna get weird.