Merry Christmas From Rocks Off
Rocks Off polled our staff for their favorite Christmas songs to create a playlist for you to enjoy while you open presents, drink egg nog, or however else you celebrate. Enjoy.
Editor's Pick: U2, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)":
Ahh, the gift that keeps on giving...
Neph Basedow: Pedro the Lion, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
Since I'm having trouble choosing just one song from John Williams' Home Alone soundtrack (yes, in all seriousness), I'd have to say Pedro the Lion's cover of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is the next best thing to getting "scammed by a kindergartener." It's easily the most unobtrusive holiday song, with minimal piano and sleigh bell accompaniment to Pedro front man David Bazan's lulling voice.
At the Brubaker household, decades-old, tired Christmas CDs are prevalent - lounge jazz covers of carols and hymns, Diana Krall, string arrangements, etc. In teenage years, my brother and I used to hijack the stereo, dropping on a Tooth & Nail Happy Christmas compilation to repel the boredom - but this didn't go over that well with our parents, and we've since grown out of them.
Nowadays, I'll stick to dropping on Sufjan Steven's array of Christmas EP's, which my mom simply refers to as "strange." This boppy, bouncing tune conveys that quintessential Christmas joy, the infectious sort that would bring a smile to even the face of the staunchest Scrooge or Grinch.
Craig Hlavaty: Hayes Carll, "Grateful For Christmas"
I heard this song right around the time in late 2008 when I discovered his Trouble In Mind and became obsessed with his lyrics. This holiday tune echoed so much of my own Christmas experiences at home, just like most of Carll's musical themes. The dead grandpa, the crazy grandma, the father taking the reins and leading the prayer for the first time...
Jef With One F: No Doubt, "Oi to the World"
When it comes to exactly what song sums up the true spirit of Christmas for me, I gotta go with "Oi to the World." And yes, I like the No Doubt cover better than the Vandals original version. Sue me. Seriously, what other Christmas song has nunchuks in it? None.
Plus, the video has Gwen Stefani bouncing around back when she was still doing the half California-ska, half-Indian look. What I like the best though is simply that it's a song about setting aside violence and hatred for one day in the name of the holiday season. True we should all try harder to do that the other days of the year as well, but sometimes you settle for what you can get.