3 Eternal Classic Rock Holiday Songs

Classic rock music can take many forms. In one moment, it can be about the party. In another, the thrust can be about love and lust. Or about summertime and rocking out until the sun comes up. But in yet another instant, the genre can encompass those times with family and friends. Yes, classic rock music is even great during the holidays.

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But while the end of the year festivities are still months away, we can celebrate them here as the summer begins to open up and the sun comes out. Indeed, here below are three eternal classic rock holiday songs to remember and hold onto once the winter arrives.

[RELATED: Behind the Meaning and the History of “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews]

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney from McCartney II (1980)

This inspired track was released officially in November 1979 after McCartney’s post-Beatles band Wings had released its last album Back to the Egg earlier that same year. This holiday track marked the former mop top’s first solo single in some eight years. And while simple (and even a bit repetitive), “Wonderful Christmastime” is charming and lovely. It’s also a hit, despite its at times-rudimentary sylings. But that’s what makes it so fun, it’s a song everyone can get behind, young and old. And to celebrate Christmas with McCartney is just chef’s kiss. On the song, the former Beatle sings,

The mood is right
The spirit’s up
We’re here tonight
And that’s enough

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The party’s on
The feeling’s here
That only comes
This time of year

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John & Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band (1971)

This standalone single was released for two reasons. It is both a celebration of the season and provides a message of peace. Today, the song is one played every Christmas and while its sentiment may be the proverbial sugarcoating, its message was one of anti-war protest. Specially, upon its original release, of the Vietnam War. Written by John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, the song is one of the sweetest tracks penned by the former Beatle. And on it, Lennon, backed by the Harlem Community Choir, sings,

And so this is Christmas (War is over)
For weak and for strong (If you want it)
The rich and the poor ones (War is over)
The road is so long (Now)
And so happy Christmas (War is over)
For black and for white (If you want it)
For yellow and red ones (War is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (Now)

“Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry (1958)

Written by Chuck Berry, this song bridges early 1950s rock and roll with holiday fun. Indeed, this track is the most fun of the trio on this list. Written about the famous red-nosed reindeer Rudolph, Berry released this song as a standalone single in 1958 as the B-side to his single “Merry Christmas Baby.” On the racing, energetic and effervescent track, which has been included in dozens of movies and television shows since (perhaps most notably Home Alone), Berry sings,

Out of all the reindeers you know you are the mastermind
Run, run Rudolph, Randolph ain’t too far behind
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s gotta make it to town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph ’cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

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