Normally I don’t like secular Christmas songs. “Jingle Bell Rock” sucks. Songs like that just don’t take the holiday seriously, and are lame because they’re just dumb rock songs and don’t particularly have anything to do with Christmas. Real Christmas carols have a unique feeling to them.
There are exceptions, of course, to this rule. Generally, the exceptions go like this: if you’re an artist I like, then it’s okay if you have a stupid secular Christmas song! I’ve already mentioned that I love Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Another song I really like comes from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Christmas All Over Again.” It’s such a fun song, and I realize that my love of it contradicts my earlier statement because it’s totally just a dumb rock song with Christmas lyrics and some sleighbells. But the sleighbells really compliment Tom’s style, which has always been influenced by the Byrds and gets even janglier with the ruckus coming out of the bells. The grandiosity of Jeff Lynne’s production is also appropriate – this song has the “bigness” that a Christmas song ought to have. There are some very fancy Traveling Wilburys-style vocal harmonies that sound much more thought out than the stuff that some bands crap out in a couple of hours and call “Christmas songs.”
The lyrics are funny. He talks about not wanting to kiss relatives, but he does it in that same rebellious Florida redneck tone that snarled like this back in the 1970s. Well, maybe it’s a little toned down, but it’s still cool. At the end of the song, he asks Santa for some cool instruments.