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Christmas Songs That Don't Suck: Part IV

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Folks, it's just a few days more until that jolly old elf slides down your chimneys, so we at Up On the Sun have been loading you up with a ton o' tunes to get you through the season. For instance: Are you in a grinchy mood? Check out our recent run-through of eight classic un-Christmas songs.

But if you're feeling the season, there are options. Sure, you could track down winking, knowing, tongue-in-cheek versions of classics, but y'know, when it comes to Christmas music, irony has no place. What every good Christmas tune needs is a good bit of nostalgia, but it needs sincerity and comfort, like a sweater or pair of socks your grandmother gifts you. It's better to err on the side of corny.

We're here to guide you in the right direction. If you're tired of the tyranny of the usual, delve into past installments of our Christmas Songs that Don't Suck (Part I, Part II, Part III). Or just scroll on down for the jumbo-sized fourth and final entry, starting off with some international music. Merry Christmas, Phoenix!

Caetano Veloso, "In the Hot Sun of a Christmas Day"

The buttery-voiced Brazilian offers up a melancholy tune while backing flutes reference holiday classics.

, "Zan Vevede"

The Benin-born singer gives "O Holy Night" a minimalist, mostly a cappella rendition. Surprisingly moving.

Toots & the Maytals, "Christmas Feeling Ska"

A cheery, nostalgic number from Jamaica's most soulful singer bounces along in a happy but not saccharine mood.

Carlene Davis & Trinity, "Santa Claus (Do You Ever Come to the Ghetto)"

Another Jamaican number asks the big questions about equitable treatment during a season supposedly for giving.

Rockin' Sidney, "Party This Christmas"

Zydeco music can be kinda grating, but Rockin' Sidney outta New Orleans reminds us all that the holidays are a time to get together and have a good time with folks you love.

Marvin Sease, "Merry Christmas"

Best known for his fairly raunchy tunes, Marvin "Candy Licker" Sease (who passed away this past February) tones it down a bit here but still opens by inviting us all to "come on, let's get busy."

Wye Oak, "Christmas Will Be Just Another Day"

Offering up a rendition of Brenda Lee's great song, Wye Oak have one of the strongest entries in the AV Club's holiday-song cover series.


Wye Oak covers "Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day" by Brenda Lee

Akim & Teddy Vann, "Santa Claus is a Black Man"

A little weird and a lot fun, this song features producer Teddy Vann and his daughter Akim giving "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" their own twist.

Albert King, "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'"

It's hard work traveling the planet and delivering presents, ALL IN ONE NIGHT. Can't Santa get a little something as a reward?

Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter, "Silent Night"

While it's not exactly the best rendition of this classic song, we couldn't ignore our local boy Waylon, could we? (Though we'd like to ignore his outfit.)

Random AKA MegaRan, "A Very Random Christmas"

As we wrap up, here's a treat for you, a sampling of local nerd-rapper MegaRan's entire holiday album, which he just released last month. The 12-track album includes six songs and instrumental versions, all of which sample from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Oh, and then there's this:

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