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Underrated Xmas Songs Knockmix


Bing Crosby with "Christmas in Killarney"

Christmas is a homecoming of sorts. People flock to the places they grew up and the places they feel most comfortable. Killarney is a small town in Ireland, and in this song Bing Crosby claims that Santa Claus is “one of the boys from home.” De-bunking that whole North Pole thing, Christmas in Killarney is a forgotten Christmas song that we think should be on heavy radio rotation this holiday season.


Mavis Staples with "Christmas Vacation"

As the title track from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most people will hear this and be like “Oh yeah, I love that song!” Which has us asking, “Why doesn’t this song get more love?” It’s an underrated Christmas song, for sure. Unfortunately, this song cannot be found on Spotify.


Donny Hathaway with "This Christmas"

Christmas songs have a tendency to get a little slow and somber…not this one. It’s upbeat and joyful, but still feels classic. It also proves our theory that Donny Hathaway could sing anything and it would sound good. (Dictionary? Menu at Chili’s? Parking ticket?)


Jack’s Mannequin with "The Lights and Buzz"

In this song, Andrew McMahon (the brainchild behind Jack’s Mannequin) talks about the way Christmas on the West Coast feels, especially to someone hailing from a colder climate. “It’s Christmas in California / And it’s hard to ignore that it feels like Summer all the time”. Down here in San Diego, we get it: today’s high was 80 degrees.


TLC with "Sleigh Ride"

This song brings about all the head-bopping you’d expect from the group that brought you bangers like “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs.” Note to self: add silly string and overalls to this year’s wish list. This is truly one of the most underrated Christmas songs of all time.


Newsong with "The Christmas Shoes"

A PSA from Knockaround: As sweet as the sentiment in this song might be, if your mom is sick in bed on Christmas Eve (Heaven forbid), we suggest that you do not leave to go buy her new shoes. You should stay by her side. Nevertheless, the chorus in this song is so catchy it’s almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head.


James Brown with "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto"

When you’re the Godfather of Soul, you probably feel a little authority to set Santa’s priority. After soaking in hours of sappy Christmas music at every holiday shopping stop you make, James Brown will surely come as a breath of fresh air. “Santa Claus, tell ‘em James Brown sent you!”


Maura Sullivan with "Christmas Eve in Washington"

A lot of people view Washington, DC as a “swamp”, filled with corrupt politicians that can’t seem to get anything done. Maura Sullivan paints a different picture, invoking a quiet and peaceful Winter night in “America’s hometown.” A little naive? Maybe. But if there’s one day to have hope for a better year in the Nation’s Capitol, it’s Christmas Eve.


John Denver with "Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)"

John Denver has some important words of wisdom for all of you dads out there. At the very least, keep things in check until after you’ve helped “mama” stuff the stockings and take a few bites out of the carrots the kids left out for the reindeer. Then, by all means, crack open some beevos.


Teddy Pendergrass with "Christmas Party"

Honestly, before we started putting together this holiday-centric Knockmix, none of us at Knockaround had ever heard this song. Teddy Pendergrass (or “TP” as he was sometimes called) could undoubtedly put together a fun party, no matter the occasion…just check out his Wikipedia page. We love the line at the end: “TP’ll make you rock the house! No diggity. No doubt.” Unfortunately, this song cannot be found on Spotify.

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