Music Article

Rocking Your Stocking

10 great holiday songs -- ''White Christmas,'' ''Run Rudolph Run,'' and ''2000 Miles'' are some of the songs that made our list

Rock & roll Christmas songs are as old as rock itself. These 10 great holiday numbers balance the season's heady sentimentality with a taste of true grit.

''Merry Christmas Baby'' Charles Brown (1946).
An R&B standard: ''I haven't had a drink this morning/But I'm all lit up like a Christmas tree.''

'''Zat You, Santa Claus'' Louis Armstrong and the Commanders (1953).
Satchmo, transformed into a Santa-searching kid.

''White Christmas'' The Drifters (1954).
Doo-wop decadence.

''Run Rudolph Run'' Chuck Berry (1958).
''Johnny B. Goode'' meets ''Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.''

''Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'' John Lennon & Yoko Ono with the Harlem Community Choir (1971).
Wishful and overwrought, but heart-tugging all the same.

''Christmas Wrapping'' The Waitresses (1981).
A bouncy, ultimately touching rap about big-city love.

''2000 Miles'' The Pretenders (1983).
A rippling lonely-at-Christmas hymn, conveying genuine feeling without hokey sleighbells.

''Another Lonely Christmas'' Prince (1984).
Synthesizer hysterics, Grand Guignol vocals, baroque emotions.

''Santa Claus Is Coming to Town'' Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1985).
Brawling holiday rocker.

''Christmas in Hollis'' Run-D.M.C. (1987).
Middle-class holiday contentment — rap-style.

Originally posted Dec 07, 1990 Published in issue #43 Dec 07, 1990 Order article reprints

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