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Best Rockin' Christmas Songs For Your iPod

Updated on October 14, 2009

I’ve just realized how incredibly difficult it is to make a top 10 Christmas song list. So, I’ve decided to make 3 separate lists: Rockin’ Christmas Songs (that would be this one), Traditional Christmas Songs, and Soul Christmas Songs.

The other lists will be up soon, but for now, let’s get on with the Rockin’ Christmas music. Now, these are my own personal favorites – and, as I’ve just said, I’m making 2 other lists, so if you don’t see your favorite here, it might be on one of them. The songs are in no particular order, I've also listed my favorite versions.

While these songs can't all be found on the same album, they can all be found on iTunes for cheap, so go buy you some Christmas cheer, y'all!

© Rankin and Bass
© Rankin and Bass

Holly Jolly Christmas

(Burl Ives)

Yep, from the old Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer classic. And yep, that's Burl the snowman over there to the right. I used to sing this song over and over again as a kid. Well, only the "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas" line, cos I didn't know the rest of it. Come to think of it, I still don't. This song always makes me feel like getting up and dancing. Fortunately, it's not a very long song, and I come to my senses by the time it's over.

Blue Christmas


There are other versions of this song, but no one comes close to the King. That video below is great, you have to watch it. Someone very cleverly dubbed the album version over the video. The synching is almost perfect - you just have to imagine he had back-up singers that night!

Video: Blue Christmas (Elvis Presley)

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

(Brenda Lee)

This is probably my favorite rockin' Christmas song, though, admittedly, I only know a few words of it. I just like the melody. And, of course, Brenda Lee. I wish I could have found an old video of this, but I couldn't. If you're not familiar with the song, go out and get a copy tomorrow - this is one of the best sellers of all time for a reason!

Hard Candy Christmas

(Dolly Parton)

Ok, this is country, and it's slow and depressing (like I said, country) but it's such a classic song and it's too modern for my other lists, so it goes on this one. Dolly has one of the most unique voices in the world, and she really phrases well, so give this song a listen if you're home alone on Christmas and depressed out of your mind!

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

(Bobby Sherman)

I always liked this one, but for some reason I don't think it was on any of the albums we had when I was a kid. There are tons of versions, of course, but this is my fave.

Incidentally, if you're wondering whatever happened to ol' Bobby, he's an EMT who trains police officers in California. Well, that's wha the internet tells me, anyway. To be honest, I didn't have a clue who he was before I started looking for this song!

Cool Yule

(Bette Midler)

This one I just heard for the first time today, and I loved it. Therefore, it goes on the list. You have to love Bette Midler. And you have to love a Jewish woman who sings Christmas music with that much Santa spirit! There was a live version from The View, but this one is better. So there you go, have a watch.

Video: Cool Yule (Bette Midler)

Ave Maria

(Connie Francis)

Ok, this isn't very rockin', either, but Connie Francis is from the rockin' era, and the girl could sing, and this is one of the best Christmas songs ever, so it goes on the list. Her voice is so clear, and so strong, it's brilliant.

Most singers cannot pull this off unless they've been classically trained; the breathing screws them up. But she does an excellent job, you really want this one if you don't already have it.

Run, Rudolph, Run

(Chuck Berry)

I am always amazed that more people don't know this song. It's a classic, people!! Chuck Berry? Santa? Take the freeway down? Hmmm. I can hear the words in my head, this must be one of the few Christmas songs I actually know the words to!

That ought to tell you something, you need this song. Hurry up, go buy it. I'll wait. For a few minutes, anyway..

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer © Rankin and Bass
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer © Rankin and Bass

Jingle Bell Rock

(Bobby Helms & The Anita Kerr Singers)

I also like the Brenda Lee version of this song, too, but Bobby sounds like da man when he's singing, so I gave this one to him. As you can see, he's a bit Grand Ole Opryesque, but we don't mind, right? I'm a little surprised so many old country numbers making it onto my rockin' list, but hey.. what can you do? I guess their music runs on Duracell or something.

Santa Claus is Coming In a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train

(The Tractors)

Speaking of country, there is no disguising this one. But it's boogie woogie, and that means everyone should like it, cos boogie woogie was around before country. Anyway, I remember seeing this video back when I was stll in high school. I think. Maybe I was already in college. But I loved the groove, and I love the phrasing of the singer. Listen to it and see if you don't boogie your bootie!


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