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The 10 Best Non-Christmas Christmas Songs: Refreshing Alternatives

Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorYou will find plenty of festive cheer in our articles with playlists packed with Christmas songs (Disney, traditional and alternative). But what if you want to mix things up a bit and choose something completely different, something like the best non Christmas Christmas songs? You wouldn’t associate David Bowie with Christmas, right? And in fact there’s no actual connection there, which makes this selection of non Christmas music very alternative. ~ Paola Bassanese

Non Christmas Songs for Christmas


During the Christmas season we are bombarded with traditional Christmas music in department shops, shopping malls, TV and radio… the list goes on.

We want to celebrate music in general – and here is an opportunity to listen to something different either while you’re sitting down for a gargantuan meal or when you are simply relaxing (dare I say working or studying?) during the holidays.

You probably want to listen to the most unusual Christmas songs – songs that require a bit of dedicated attention, perhaps. These songs don’t mention Christmas anywhere – but they can provide a warm, soothing, cozy-as-a-Christmas-sweater feeling.

Here’s a list of 10 alternative non-Christmas songs, enjoy!

`Woman´ (John Lennon, 1980)

As we all know, there’s more to John Lennon than just his Christmas song Happy Xmas (War is Over).

From his immense back catalogue I chose Woman – a mellow, romantic and I would say celebratory song.

There’s even snowy fields in the video, very Christmassy!

`O Sacrum Convivium´ (Choir of New College, Oxford)

As convivium means banquet, I think it’s quite fitting for festive celebrations involving food…

You can probably put on the whole CD and play in the background as you’re having your Christmas meal. It features choral music from the 16th century onwards.

`Z’s Theme´ (Antz Soundtrack, 1998)

There’s some real gems in the Antz soundtrack (I talk about the movie Antz in my article on movies like Coraline). Z’s Theme is very classy – it has great orchestral music and I can picture listening to it while having roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate.

There’s a bit of fairytale in there. All the other tracks are very good too, I would pick The Picnic Table as another favourite – very anthemic, with different types of accents in the music borrowing from various classical styles.

`Loving the Alien´ (David Bowie, 1984)

An anthemic song that talks about “believing the strangest things, loving the alien”.

What has that got to do with Christmas?

Nothing at all!

Bowie fans may think of endless other songs to pick so why this one? I personally think it has a lovely lullaby melody – it’s unobtrusive yet the lyrics have a somewhat social/political/religious content.

`What’s a Girl to Do´ (Bats for Lashes, 2006)

Nice and gentle, like a calmer version of Björk.

Sure, I could have chosen so many other artists so why Bats for Lashes? Well, I saw an interview with lead singer Nathasha Khan where she spoke of her love of Kate Bush (Oh, didn’t I mention I adore Kate Bush?). 

What’s a Girl to Do is another soothing, delicate song which I think will make you feel nice and cozy.

`Snowflake´ (Kate Bush, 2011)

Before you shout “Christmas album!”, I wanted to include Snowflake from Kate Bush‘s 50 Words for Snow in the mix. And it’s not a Christmas album, as music critic Alex Petridis said.

This song is very atmospheric and features plenty of beautiful music moments.

`Games without Frontiers´ (Peter Gabriel, 1980)

I chose Peter Gabriel because he duetted with Kate Bush.

Games without Frontiers may not be a Christmas song, but to me it conjures up images of children playing. As I was growing up Games without Frontiers was my favourite programme on TV.

`Fool that I Am´ (Adele, 2009)

Adele sang this beautiful cover of Etta James‘ 1961 classic Fool that I Am.

Again, there’s no Christmas imagery anywhere in sight, but we have established that this is exactly what we want!

It’s all about listening to good music.

`Walk the Line´ (Johnny Cash, 1956)

Packed with festive fun – what’s not to like?

Walk the Line is definitely not a Christmas song, but it will put a spring in your step!

`What a Wonderful World´ (Louis Armstrong, 1967)

The perfect ending to this little journey through non-Christmas music.


Tales of the Unexpected

What do you think of these choices?

Do you want to go up in arms and say that these song choices are too random?

Let me know in the comments.

Or do you want to say that you could never imagine how these random songs could work so well as a Christmas holidays soundtrack?

Again, don’t be shy and let me know in the comments!

I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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