Ah, Christmas. Where all the old songs come out again. The problem is most of them should just have stayed buried - they were simple cash-in attempts at the time, and they still are now with little redeeming features (and too many jingling bells as backing support).
So what ones can I stand?
"Fairytale of New York", of course, a modern classic
"Christmas Sucks" by Peter Murphy and Tom Waits - a couple of misanthropes declare how the holiday season is all the more reason to die. Hilarious.
"Wassailing Song" by Blur. It's a traditional wassail (Gloucester Wassail, I believe) done traditionally. A very obscure track, they released it as a special at a charity event, so not a cash in.
Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" - nicks the tune from Prokofiev, complains about what a fairy-tale Christmas is, with an accurate desription of the weather ("But instead it just kept on raining")
Jona Lewie's "Stop the Cavalry" - soldier sick of fighting just wants to go home to see his girlfriend
And one reversal of my early rant - I have to admit a liking for "Sleigh Ride" by The Ronettes - yes, it's a cash in with loads of jingling bells, but it's a well-made cash in with loads of jingling bells that never actually mentions Christmas.