Everyone has a Christmas album.
A Christmas album is almost guaranteed to be big seller, so just about every musician you’ve ever heard of has released a holiday album or single or several.
There’s a “Star Wars”-themed holiday album. Rosie O’Donnell once released a Christmas record. The “Brady Bunch” did one once. There’s an entire album of Christmas music from Joe Pesci. (Yes, the “Goodfellas” actor.) RuPaul has three. Neil Diamond, who is Jewish, has released four.
They can’t all be winners.
Combing the annals of Christmas music history, I unearthed some serious holiday strangeness. Bizarre collaborations. Weird mash-ups.
And some very eccentric Santa Claus songs. (Drunk Santas. Horny Santas. Santas with AIDS.)
I compiled the weirdest here for your listening displeasure.
Enjoy. (Or, y’know, don’t.)
Joe Pesci, “If It Doesn’t Snow for Christmas”
Pesci made an entire album of holiday songs by Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, his wise-cracking lawyer character from “My Cousin Vinny.” Pesci, formerly a lounge singer, is a talented guy, but this album (and this song in particular) is just freaking weird.
Spinal Tap, “Christmas With the Devil”
I know they’re supposed to be absurd, but this defilement of all things jolly goes beyond your usual Spinal Tap ridiculousness.
Albert King, “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ ”
AC/DC, “Mistress For Christmas”
That’s a weird entry on a letter to Santa.
Christmas in the Stars, “What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)”
The “Star Wars holiday” album is all kinds of odd, but this one takes the cake.
Clarence Carter, “Back Door Santa”
Naughty, naughty Santa.
John Denver, “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”
A sentimental and sad song delivered terribly.
CeeLo Green & The Muppets, “All I Need Is Love”
It’s like CeeLo had an idea: Take one of his poppy R&B beats and turn it into a Christmas song. But it needed something more, and that was a sample of “Mahna Mahna” and random lyrics sung by Kermit, Fozzie and Pepe.
Sufjan Stevens, “Christmas Unicorn”
Stevens has a lot of Christmas music, and this ranks at the bottom. It’s a song mocking Christmas for losing its religious significance (it even says “apostasy!”) shrouded in “clever” wordplay.
Ray Stevens, “Santa Claus Is Watching You”
It’s basically warning you not to cheat because, you know, Santa will find out.
Max Headroom, “Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re a Lovely Guy)”
Remember Max Headroom? The pseudo-AI TV host from the ’80s turns lounge singer with this bizarre tribute to Santa.
Devo, “Merry Something to You”
You wanted a Devo Christmas song, and this is what you get. It’s mostly gibberish.
Tiny Tim, “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year”
Tiny Tim was plenty bizarre, but this might have been his pinnacle.
Duck the Halls, “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy”
The “Duck Dynasty” people did a Christmas album. I don’t know either.
Band Aid, “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
Almost 1,800 years ago, Christianity was declared Ethiopia’s official religion. Yeah, pretty sure they know.
Cyndi Lauper, “Christmas Conga”
Who thought this was a good idea? It wasn’t.
Lady Gaga and Space Cowboy, “Christmas Tree”
Yet another inappropriately sexual Christmas song: “The only place you wanna be/Is underneath my Christmas tree/Light me up put me on top, let’s falalalalalalala.” And those aren’t even the most direct lyrics.