Christmas Songs That Don't Suck: Part I

You know the drill. Halloween wraps up, holidays come around, you step into a store and KAPOW. Whapped in the face and knocked about the ears by a whole mess of lousy sounds. You've just been assaulted by "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" for what you hope is (but you know isn't) the last time in your life. Maybe you're bitter. Maybe you're resigned.

Maybe you think all holidaytime music, particularly of the Christmas variety, is abominable. Not so! You've gotta dig -- and watch out for those chipmunks! -- but there's good stuff out there. Every Friday in December leading up to the holiday, the Up on the Sun is gonna bring you some quality jams for that quality time. Original tunes, good versions of songs for which lots of bad versions exist... that sorta thing.

Take a listen, let us know what tunes turn your ear this time of year, and check back next week for more!

Bob Dylan, "Must Be Santa"

This is the kind of party every holiday needs! Fun, festive and a little dangerous. Dylan does this '61 Mitch Miller tune right, borrowing from the Brave Combo's version, too.

Maria Taylor, "White Christmas"

Yeah, technically recorded as part of Bright Eyes holiday album from a few years back, but the Bright Eyes presence is minimal; Azure Ray chanteuse Maria Taylor takes hold of this classic and makes it her own.

Prince, "Another Lonely Christmas"

Do other holiday songs reference banana daiquiris in the context of mourning a lost love? Other holiday songs do not. Thank you, Mr. Nelson.

The Flaming Lips, "Christmas at the Zoo"

Wayne Coyne & Co. propose giving the gift of liberation, but the animals prefer to free themselves. Remember: just because you want to give a gift doesn't mean it's what your sweetheart wants.

Next week: more jams, including Low and Run DMC!

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Christopher Hassiotis