It’s that special, joyful time of year once again: GuitarWorld.com readers’ poll season!
This year, we’ve decided to spread some musical holiday cheer in the form of our first-ever “Best Holiday Rock Song” readers’ poll.
It’s a chance for all those classic-rock holiday favorites (think of the Kinks’ “Father Christmas” and/or Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas”) to go head to head against each other, not to mention several much more recent—and possibly harder-rocking entries—in a festive, friendly showdown.
With the help of several members of the Guitar World staff, we’ve selected 32 of our favorite holiday rock songs—and we’re asking you to vote for your favorites. You can see the complete 32-song bracket near the bottom of this story.
Songs include Keith Richards’ version of “Run Rudolph Run,” John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” Billy Squier’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You,” AC/DC’s “Mistress for Christmas,” Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song,” Queen’s “Thank God It’s Christmas,” Spinal Tap’s “Christmas with the Devil,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” Pretenders’ “2000 Miles,” the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Christmas All Over Again,” Korn’s “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” and many more.
We’ll be a sharing a new matchup every day, right into late December, including weekends. so get your voting fingers ready!
Enjoy our first Best Holiday Rock Song readers’ poll, which is sponsored by Boss!
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” John Lennon
This is, by far, the best holiday song to emerge from the four solo Beatles. Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” (1979) is cute, but come on. The closest George Harrison got to a holiday song was 1974’s “Ding Dong Ding Dong,” which features Ringo Starr on drums. And speaking of Starr, he’s the only former Beatle to release an entire Christmas album, 1999’s I Wanna Be Santa Claus.
“Thank God It’s Christmas,” Queen
Queen’s lone Christmas song features the trademark harmonies you’d expect, with Freddie Mercury belting out a crisp lead vocal.
Behold the Latest Bracket!
How the Bracket Was Compiled
Here’s how the bracket was—very unscientifically—compiled.
We drew the songs’ names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball cap, which is called a casquette in Quebec) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these songs are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome.
Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you’ll just need to decide which song has (or has had) the most to offer within its genre.
As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we’ll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning. Merci!