Top 10 Irish Rock N Roll Christmas Songs

Christmas is upon us, and with it the return of Christmas songs taking over our airwaves. While we can agree there are a lot of very poor attempts, there are some gems out there too! In no particular order, here is our definitive list of the top 10 Rock N Roll Christmas songs. From old to new, world famous to somewhat obscure, it's an eclectic list. Enjoy! And be sure to let us know your comments good or bad. And afterwards, check out our special Christmas tours featuring a festive drink and a 20% discount.


1. Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon

John Lennon's classic needs no introduction. While it is a Christmas song, this was more of a platform for John & Yoko to highlight their protest against the Vietnam War. The song was accompanied by giant billboards like the one you can see in the thumbnail in 12 major cities around the world.


2. Walking in the Air - Ryan Sheridan

When Ryan Sheridan was asked to perform a Christmas song for Tony Fenton's radio show, he wanted to perform something out of the ordinary that reminded him of his childhood. For many of us, "Walking in the Air" conjures up memories of watching The Snowman, yearning for some decent snow so we could build our own snowman! Not very likely in Ireland. In this version, Ryan captures the essence of the original, while adding his own bluegrass inspired twist.


3. Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade

Slade's worldwide hit is one of the most recognisable Rock N Roll Christmas songs ever. Did you know that the song actually began its life as a psychedelic song "Buy Me a Rocking Chair" written by vocalist Noddy Holder in 1967? It also features a harmonium owned by John Lennon and is the fastest ever selling record in Britain, going on somewhat unsurprisingly to become Slade's best selling single ever.


4. A Merry Jingle - The Greedies

In 1978, Phil Lynott had the inspired idea to recruit Steve Jones and Paul Cooke of the Sex Pistols, the brilliant Gary Moore and Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy, guitar hero Chris Spedding and Dio bassist Jimmy Bain to form a supergroup called "The Greedies" or "The Greedy Bastards". They played some gigs together, before recording their only single "A Merry Jingle". What I wouldn't give to have been able to see them perform!


5. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms

This old school Rock N Roll Christmas song has been covered by an immense number of artists from Billy Idol to Cascada and everyone in between. But the original by Bob Helms released in 1957 is the classic and definitive version. It was considered the first mainstream Rock N Roll Christmas song, another reason we couldn't keep it off our list! The B-side of the single is Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol, which sounds like an interesting song itself...


6. Christmas Past - Mick Flannery & Lisa Hannigan

Mick Flannery & Lisa Hannigan are two exceptional Irish artists who have produced some fantastic music over the last decade or so. They're no strangers to the museum either, both having recorded in our studio and performed in the Button Factory venue. In fact, Lisa Hannigan was in the venue as recently as last week! This Christmas song Christmas Past is a bit of a departure from a lot of the others on this list, with a haunting melancholic feel to it.


7. Do They Know It’s Christmas - Band Aid

Another song in no need of introduction is Bob Geldof and Midge Yure's iconic Do They Know It's Christmas? which was recorded in aid of famine relief in Ethiopia in 1984. The original recording (and the best if you ask me) features no less than 37 artists. Among those were not only Bob Geldof, but other members of The Boomtown Rats and members of U2. The song has been re-recorded three times since, but the original remains the definitive version.


8. The Darkness - Chrsitmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)

The Darkness brought Rock N Roll back to the mainstream in the 00's with their infectious riffs, harmonising guitars and falsetto vocals. Heavily influenced by Thin Lizzy, especially in their guitar playing style, guitarist Dan Hawkins can often be seen sporting a Thin Lizzy t-shirt. The band always manage not to take themselves too seriously, and this Rock N Roll Christmas song is no different. When interviewed, lead singer Justin Hawkins said: "we managed to get bellend into a Christmas song without it getting banned!"


9. In Dulci Jubilo - Mike Oldfield

In Dulci Jubilo is the first and only instrumental track in the list. In Dulci Jubilo is a traditional German Christmas carol, but Mike Oldfield's version features some great guitarwork and a somewhat bizarre video... It will have you humming it in your head all day, just try not to!


10. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl

Last but not least in the Top 10 Irish Rock N Roll Christmas Songs list, I couldn't leave out the classic Fairytale of New York. Love it or hate it, it tops nearly all Christmas song charts and has sold over 1.2 million copies. It's hard to imagine, with Kirsty MacColl producing such an iconic performance, but she was not intended to be the original female singer on the track. We have lots of interesting Pogues memorabilia at the museum including outfits worn on stage by Shane McGowan and Phil Chevron.

A Rock N Roll Christmas

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the list. Check out our Rock N Roll Christmas, for a 20% discount and a festive drink to go along with your tour!

Top 10 Irish Rock N Roll Christmas Songs

Christmas is upon us, and with it the return of Christmas songs taking over our airwaves. While we can agree there are a lot of very poor attempts, there are some gems out there too! In no particular order, here is our definitive list of the top 10 Rock N Roll Christmas songs. From old to new, world famous to somewhat obscure, it's an eclectic list. Enjoy! And be sure to let us know your comments good or bad. And afterwards, check out our special Christmas tours featuring a festive drink and a 20% discount.


1. Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon

John Lennon's classic needs no introduction. While it is a Christmas song, this was more of a platform for John & Yoko to highlight their protest against the Vietnam War. The song was accompanied by giant billboards like the one you can see in the thumbnail in 12 major cities around the world.


2. Walking in the Air - Ryan Sheridan

When Ryan Sheridan was asked to perform a Christmas song for Tony Fenton's radio show, he wanted to perform something out of the ordinary that reminded him of his childhood. For many of us, "Walking in the Air" conjures up memories of watching The Snowman, yearning for some decent snow so we could build our own snowman! Not very likely in Ireland. In this version, Ryan captures the essence of the original, while adding his own bluegrass inspired twist.


3. Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade

Slade's worldwide hit is one of the most recognisable Rock N Roll Christmas songs ever. Did you know that the song actually began its life as a psychedelic song "Buy Me a Rocking Chair" written by vocalist Noddy Holder in 1967? It also features a harmonium owned by John Lennon and is the fastest ever selling record in Britain, going on somewhat unsurprisingly to become Slade's best selling single ever.


4. A Merry Jingle - The Greedies

In 1978, Phil Lynott had the inspired idea to recruit Steve Jones and Paul Cooke of the Sex Pistols, the brilliant Gary Moore and Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy, guitar hero Chris Spedding and Dio bassist Jimmy Bain to form a supergroup called "The Greedies" or "The Greedy Bastards". They played some gigs together, before recording their only single "A Merry Jingle". What I wouldn't give to have been able to see them perform!


5. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms

This old school Rock N Roll Christmas song has been covered by an immense number of artists from Billy Idol to Cascada and everyone in between. But the original by Bob Helms released in 1957 is the classic and definitive version. It was considered the first mainstream Rock N Roll Christmas song, another reason we couldn't keep it off our list! The B-side of the single is Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol, which sounds like an interesting song itself...


6. Christmas Past - Mick Flannery & Lisa Hannigan

Mick Flannery & Lisa Hannigan are two exceptional Irish artists who have produced some fantastic music over the last decade or so. They're no strangers to the museum either, both having recorded in our studio and performed in the Button Factory venue. In fact, Lisa Hannigan was in the venue as recently as last week! This Christmas song Christmas Past is a bit of a departure from a lot of the others on this list, with a haunting melancholic feel to it.


7. Do They Know It’s Christmas - Band Aid

Another song in no need of introduction is Bob Geldof and Midge Yure's iconic Do They Know It's Christmas? which was recorded in aid of famine relief in Ethiopia in 1984. The original recording (and the best if you ask me) features no less than 37 artists. Among those were not only Bob Geldof, but other members of The Boomtown Rats and members of U2. The song has been re-recorded three times since, but the original remains the definitive version.


8. The Darkness - Chrsitmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)

The Darkness brought Rock N Roll back to the mainstream in the 00's with their infectious riffs, harmonising guitars and falsetto vocals. Heavily influenced by Thin Lizzy, especially in their guitar playing style, guitarist Dan Hawkins can often be seen sporting a Thin Lizzy t-shirt. The band always manage not to take themselves too seriously, and this Rock N Roll Christmas song is no different. When interviewed, lead singer Justin Hawkins said: "we managed to get bellend into a Christmas song without it getting banned!"


9. In Dulci Jubilo - Mike Oldfield

In Dulci Jubilo is the first and only instrumental track in the list. In Dulci Jubilo is a traditional German Christmas carol, but Mike Oldfield's version features some great guitarwork and a somewhat bizarre video... It will have you humming it in your head all day, just try not to!


10. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl

Last but not least in the Top 10 Irish Rock N Roll Christmas Songs list, I couldn't leave out the classic Fairytale of New York. Love it or hate it, it tops nearly all Christmas song charts and has sold over 1.2 million copies. It's hard to imagine, with Kirsty MacColl producing such an iconic performance, but she was not intended to be the original female singer on the track. We have lots of interesting Pogues memorabilia at the museum including outfits worn on stage by Shane McGowan and Phil Chevron.

A Rock N Roll Christmas

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the list. Check out our Rock N Roll Christmas, for a 20% discount and a festive drink to go along with your tour! Enter discount code XMAS20 below.

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