Christmas Past: 10 Christmas Songs That Are Really About Drugs

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

While we celebrate the holidays, Rocks Off is resurrecting a few of our best Christmas-themed blogs from the past few years. (Wait... resurrecting is Easter. Never mind.) This blog originally appeared October 26, 2011.

Halloween is right around the corner, so you know what that means: Time to start making a list and checking it twice. Bourbon, gin, scotch, vodka, Xanax, painkillers...

Walgreen's and CVS have already stocked their shelves with wrapping paper, plastic wreaths and Christmas candles, and this year's crop of holiday albums like Scott Weiland's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is slowly filtering into circulation. Study after study has shown that stress and depression skyrocket during the most wonderful time of the year, and you can fill up an iPod with seasonal music detailing how people choose to "treat" these ailments in no time.

Rocks Off is always looking to do our part for peace on Earth and goodwill towards men (and women), so we made a playlist guaranteed to turn your "White Christmas" into such a delightful winter wonderland you may not even remember the holidays happened at all. If you need us, we'll be watching Bad Santa on a continuous loop from now until Jan. 2.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": Ever wonder how Rudolph got the sudden self-confidence to go from runt of the reindeer litter to leader of the pack? Ask...

"Frosty the Snowman": One of the 20th century's most beloved holiday characters is also a stone-cold street hustler who will go thumpity-thump-thump upside your head if you don't give him his money. Frosty also don't give a fuck about the police: "He led them down the streets of town right to a traffic cop/ And he only paused a moment when he heard him holler 'Stop!'" Exactly what was in that corncob pipe?

"Baby It's Cold Outside": This seemingly light-hearted seasonal duet, recorded by everyone from Dean Martin & Doris Day to Willie Nelson & Norah Jones, has a sinister subtext, mainly due to the man's refusal to let the woman leave and then her line, "Say, what's in this drink?" Perhaps Cracked magazine put it best: "Because really, if the weather won't keep her in the house, date rape drugs are the next best step."

"Pretty Paper": Written by Willie Nelson, so you know what kind of "presents" he's wrapping.

Cheech & Chong, "Santa & His Old Lady": Mrs. Claus makes "the best brownies in town." Or course she does.

"We Three Kings": Frankincense and myrrh are both resins extracted from different trees, and have been used for centuries in religious rituals, as digestive aids, and pain relief for ailments such as arthritis. Sound like another kind of "incense" you may have heard of?

Snoop Dogg feat. Dat Nigga Daz, Bad A$$, Tray Dee & Nate Dogg, "Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto": Saith Snoop: "Now on the first day of Christmas my homeboy gave to me/ A sack of the Krazy Glue and told me to smoke it up slowly."

Jimmy Buffett, "Christmas In the Caribbean": At one point, the mayor of Margaritaville mentions seeing "Santa riding on a dolphin," so he must have been tripping on something. Worse, his supplier is late: "Got everything but snow."

"Dig That Crazy Santa Claus": This whole song, originally recorded by both Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers and Ralph Marterie & His Orchestra in 1954 and then Brian Setzer a few years back, is like a thumbnail guide to Christmas for hopheads. Santa Claus is "really gone" and "drags his sack through a chimney stack," which makes "all the little hepcats jump for joy." Features a cameo by our ruddy-faced pal Rudolph.

Cletus T. Judd, "Christmas In Rehab": Close enough.


Elmo & Patsy, "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer": "She'd been drinking too much egg nog..."

Traditional, "The Wassail Song": "Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too..."

Charles Brown, "Merry Christmas Baby": "I haven't had a drink this morning, but I'm all lit up like a Christmas tree..."

Run-DMC, "Christmas In Hollis": "In the fireplace is the Yule log, beneath the mistletoe as we drink egg nog..."

Billy Squier, "Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You": "Here beside the fire we share the glow of moonlight and brandy, sweet talk and candy..."

Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, "Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas": "No tree, no stockings, no presents, just bottles of Christmas cheer..."

Robert Earl Keen, "Merry Christmas From the Family": "Mom got drunk and dad got drunk at our Christmas party..."

Weird Al Yankovic, "The Night Santa Went Crazy": "From his beard to his boots he was covered with ammo, like a big fat drunk disgruntled Yuletide Rambo..."

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.