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Viking's Choice Holiday Special

Let's make the yuletide weird, y'all.
Illustration by Daniel Warren Johnson, Lars Gotrich
Let's make the yuletide weird, y'all.

Updated December 24, 2021 at 10:50 AM ET

Viking's Choice, my weekly playlist / newsletter / curation vehicle, has always been about smashing together sounds that don't immediately make sense together — bubbly pop songs sidle up to filthy headbangers and dreamy ambient. So why not turn that wall of spaghetti sound into tinsel and twinkly strands of light?

Expect the unexpected as holiday classics — your Gene Autrys and Darlene Loves — play alongside saccharine, silly, somber, saucy and stunning originals and covers by artists across drone, indie rock, reggae, punk, R&B, hip-hop, pop, metal and whatever else makes for a jingle bell time. Let's make the yuletide weird, y'all.

The live Listening Party took place on Dec. 23, but you can stream a version of the eight-hour marathon (via Spotify or Apple Music) and see every song played below, including incidental music and tracks not found on streaming services.

Full Track List


Saint Etienne, "I Was Born on Christmas Day"
Vashti Bunyan, "Coldest Night of the Year"
The Spook School, "Someone to Spend Christmas With"
Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers, "Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn"
Ronnie James Dio, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
DMX, "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer"
Dave Easley, "Jesus Maria"
Prefab Sprout, "Nightingales"
James Brown, "Go Power At Christmas Time"
Amy Grant, "Emmanuel"
Man Or Astro-Man?, "Frosty the Snowman"
Lee "Scratch" Perry, "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year"
Beatrice Deer, "Quviasuvvik Nalliutimmimat"

Hour 2

George Winston, "The Holly and The Ivy"
Fuubutsushi, "Fresh Salt"
Blondie & Fab 5 Freddy, "Yuletide Throwdown"
Curry Don, "Santa A Come"
Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit"
The Seeger Sisters, "Mary Had a Baby"
The Innocence Mission, "Snow"
John Cale, "Child's Christmas In Wales"
The Poets Of Rhythm, "Santa's Got a Bag of Soul"
Majestica, "This Christmas"
Los Ponchitos, "Bienvenida Navidad"
Charlie Stewart, "Santa Claus Ain't A Hippie"
Loren Connors, "Christmas Day"
Brian Whitman, "Holy night"
Scott Walker, "Winter Night"
Phoebe Bridgers, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Yumi Zouma, "December"

Hour 3

Willie Colón, "Aires De Navidad"
Sean Thomson, "We Three Kings"
Beverly Glenn-Copeland, "Winter Astral"
The Westerlies, "Still, Still, Still"
Josh Kimbrough, "Once in Royal David's City"
Jesus de Jerez, "Los Santos Reyes"
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
Tom Walker, "For Those Who Can't Be Here"
The Emotions, "What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?"
Mariah Carey (feat. Khalid & Kirk Franklin), "Fall in Love at Christmas"
Jeremiah Lockwood, "Al Hanisim"
Saffie, "The Solstice Carole"
The Snaildartha6, "A Snail is Born"
Little Bobby Rey, "Rockin' J-Bells"

Hour 4

Said Fantasy, "Do You Hear What I Hear"
The Dream Scene, "O Holy Nite"
Boris, "Last Christmas"
Windy & Carl, "Snowing"
The Instruments, "Last Holiday"
The Swedish Sunshine Singers, "Julens klockor"
Phantasmic, "Come On Ring Those Bells"
Cookin Soul, "Let it Snowwwww"
Melt-Banana, "White Christmas"
Half-handed Ckoud, "Plant a Little Fir Tree"
Danielson, "Visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
Rosie Galaxy and the Galaxy Girls, "You're on the Naughty List"
Plinth, "Bracken"
The Music Department of the Hudson Public Schools, "What Child is This / Amen"
Bill Mallonee & Muriah Rose, "Look at All the Stars (Father Song)"

Hour 5

Rush Coil, "Little Drummer Boy"
Jacob Miller & Inner Circle (feat. Ray I), "Silver Bells"
Nakkia Gold (with DDG), "Trap Santa"
Goldblade & Poly Styrene, "City Of Christmas Ghosts"
Sugar Minott, "Christmas Time"
Chamber Choir of Europe, "O magnum mysterium" (Morten Lauridsen)
Taro, "The Little Place"
Jonwayne, "Xmas Diva"
Winterquilt, "w i n t e r c h i l l y"
*NSYNC, "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"
Charly Bliss & PUP, "It's Christmas And I Fucking Miss You"
TLC, "Sleigh Ride"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "It's Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries"
Gene Autry, "Up On The House Top"
Big Star, "Jesus Christ"
Christopher Lee, "The Little Drummer Boy"

Hour 6

Shane Parish, "Bring a Torch"
John Fahey, "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing / O Come All Ye Faithful"
Spooner Oldham, Oteil Burbridge, Billy Crain, Tammy Rogers, Marco Giovino, "Angels We Have Heard on High"
Slam Stewart, "Santa's Secret"
Qualities, "It's Christmas Time"
Ill Considered, "Silent Night"
Chuck Brown, "Merry Christmas Baby"
Rare Essence, "Give Love On Christmas Day"
Big Freedia, "Jingle Bell Rock"
Simms & Robinson, "White Christmas"
Hasil Adkins, "Santa Claus Boogie"
The Muffs, "Nothing for Me"
Energema, "The Scrooge's Ghosts"
The Concretes, "Lady December"
Bad Bad Hats, "Sally Sweet Tooth"
Low, "Just Like Christmas"
Amy Grant, "Grown-Up Christmas List"

Hour 7

Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin, "Gloria"
Laura Cannell & Kate Ellis, "FARE THEE WELL TOGETHER"
Voices of Ascension, "O virga ac diadema" (Hildegard von Bingen)
Popol Vuh, "Maria (Ave Maria)"
Counterpoint & VSO Brass Quintet, "Christmas Cantata: Adagio" (Daniel Pinkham)
Positive No, "Noel, Noel"
CJ Boyd, "Ode to Joy"
Vacation Bible School, "Snow Flurries"
Dex Romweber Duo, "Dark Christmas"
Paul Revere & The Raiders, "Rain, Sleet, Snow"
He 5, "Here Comes Santa Claus"
Eux Autres, "Another Christmas at Home"
Say Sue Me, "Christmas, It's Not a Biggie"
Darlene Love, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Soul Saints Orchestra, "Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul"

Hour 8

El Ten Eleven, "New Year's Eve"
King Diamond, "No Presents for Christmas"
Defprince!, "No more clothes, I want a toy"
Mars Williams, "The Heavenly Home Bashing Of The Bells"
Love Spirals Downwards, "Welcome Christmas"
Paul McCartney, "Wonderful Christmastime"
Travelers of Tyme, "Most Wonderful Time"
The Living Room "1derful"
Gastr del Sol, "The Bells of St. Mary"
The Waitresses, "Christmas Wrapping"
Sally Shapiro, "Christmas Escape"
Jocelyn Pelichet, "Mon beau sapin"
The Classic Brown, "Christmas Sweaters"
Mariah Carey, "All I Want for Christmas Is You"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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