Christmas is my second favorite holiday after Halloween. Where Halloween allows you to indulge in all things morbid and spooky, Christmas allows you to wallow in all things colorful, cheerful, and gaudy. Yet with Halloween being my first love, I feel the need to temper my Yuletide warmth with a few ghoulish chills--and what better way to do that than through music?
Here are five musical suggestions I have to keep the horror in even the happiest of holidays, complete with YouTube videos for each. Read on....
5. The Gremlins Theme, by Jerry Goldsmith
Gremlins is one of my favorite Christmas movies (click here to see my list top Christmas movies), so it's only natural to include the theme composed by veteran movie composer Goldsmith as part of my Christmas music recommendations. Not only does it capture the wild, madcap nature of Gremlins, but it's also festive enough in its own right that you could play it as background music at your office holiday party and no one would notice.
4. "It's The Most Horrible Time of The Year", by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
Oh, may the Old Ones bless the H.P. Lovecraft Historical society. They produced A Very Scary Solstice, an album of Christmas music that features lyrics tailored to fit snugly within Lovecraft's warped, bleak universe. My favorites on this album are the ones where the darkest of lyrics are set to the most cheerful of melodies; this one is my favorite, with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fish-Men" ranking a close second.
3. "Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun For Christmas", by Wall of Voodoo
There are plenty of Christmas songs out there that involve fire arms in the wrong hands, but none of them are as deliciously deranged as this ditty by Wall of Voodoo. It's like a gory, 50s era public safety film about gun safety that you can dance to on Christmas eve.
2. "Christmas At Ground Zero", by Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al may be known for goofy parodies of popular rock songs, but he sure does love gallows humor. This is one of his most merrily morbid songs, about World War III starting on Christmas eve. Adding to the fatalistic festivities is the official video, which blends together atomic bomb footage with vintage Christmas movie clips.
1. "Red Water", by Type O Negative
This is the only song on this list that doesn't feature an ounce of satirical humor--a rarity for off-center holiday songs--which is why this is one of my favorite Yuletide-themed tunes. Type O Negative was a fantastic band and this song is one of their best, about a man coping with severe personal losses and the tortured memories that come with them during the holiday season by seeking solace in the titular crimson liquid. Goddamn ye merry gentlemen, indeed.