Classic Rockers' Favorite Christmas Songs

Traditional Christmas music meets classic rock

Most of the classic rock artists who have recorded Christmas albums have included some original tunes, but they have also turned to some of the traditional favorites, usually with their own unique interpretations. Here are some of the holiday tunes that are most popular among classic rock artists at Christmastime.

01
of 11

"Silent Night"

Legacy Records 

One of the most popular songs of the season is one of the favorites of classic rockers.

  • Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies from the 1969 EP Merry Christmas And Happy New Year
  • Steve Lukather from Santamental
  • The Ventures from Christmas Joy
  • Joe Satriani from Merry Axemas
  • Elvin Bishop from A Rock 'N' Roll Christmas
  • Keith Emerson from A Classic Rock Christmas
  • Jorma Kaukonen from Christmas
  • Chicago from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa
02
of 11

"Jingle Bells"

Favored Nations Entertainment

It just wouldn't be Christmas, classic rock or otherwise, without a laugh-filled dash through the snow.

  • Brian Setzer Orchestra from Christmas Rocks: The Best-Of Collection
  • Canned Heat from Christmas Album
  • Booker T. & The MGs from In The Christmas Spirit
  • Steve Lukather from Santamental
  • The Ventures from Christmas Joy
03
of 11

"We Three Kings"

Capitol Records

This traditional song is a particular favorite of artists from various genres.

  • Jethro Tull from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
  • Blackmore's Night from Winter Carols
  • The Ventures from Christmas Joy
  • Beach Boys from Christmas With The Beach Boys
  • Booker T. And The MGs from In The Christmas Spirit
04
of 11

"The Christmas Song"

 Stax Records

Chestnuts roasting, Jack Frost nipping ... yeah, that one. ASCAP says it's the most performed holiday song.

  • Chicago from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa
  • Steve Lukather from Merry Axemas, Vol. 2 More Guitars For Christmas
  • Booker T. & The MGs from In The Christmas Spirit
  • The Ventures from Christmas Joy
05
of 11

"Joy To The World"

Cleopatra Records 

This upbeat holiday tune lends itself well to a variety of classic rock sub-genres.

  • Steve Morse from Southern Rock Christmas
  • The Ventures from Christmas Joy
  • Steve Lukather from Santamental
06
of 11

"O Holy Night"

 Surfdog Records

It's one of the most often heard traditional carols, and it gets some interesting treatment from these artists.

  • Richie Sambora from Merry Axemas A Guitar Christmas
  • Blackmore's Night from Winter Carols
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra from Boogie Woogie Christmas
  • .38 Special from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night
07
of 11

"Little Drummer Boy"

 Rhino Records

You're not likely to hear arrangements like these in stores or on the radio.

  • Jimi Hendrix from Merry Christmas And Happy New Year
  • Alex Lifeson from Merry Axemas - A Guitar Christmas
  • .38 Special from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night
  • Chicago from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa
  • Elvin Bishop from The Alligator Records Christmas Collection
08
of 11

"Please Come Home For Christmas"

 Electra Records

Something about the sentiment makes this a popular pick for rockers.

  • Edgar Winter from Harlem Nocturne
  • Pat Benatar from Synchronistic Wanderings
  • Eagles from Selected Works 1972-1999
09
of 11

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

 Fuel 2000 Records

Good King Wenceslas would probably approve of these arrangements.

  • Blackmore's Night from Winter Carols
  • Chicago from Chicago Christmas: What's It Going To Be Santa
  • Jethro Tull from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
  • .38 Special from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night
10
of 11

"Greensleeves"

Sanctuary Records

This classical-based favorite has captured the fancy of a diverse mix of classic rock artists.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd from Christmas Time Again
  • Jethro Tull from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
  • Steve Lukather from Santamental
11
of 11

"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

Universal Records 

In its own way, this John Lennon song has become something of a modern-day traditional holiday tune.

  • John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band from Lennon Legend
  • Moody Blues from December
  • Tommy Shaw, Steve Lukather, Marco Mendoza, Kenny Aronoff from We Wish You A Metal Xmas...And A Headbanging New Year
  • Jimmy Buffett from Christmas Island
  • Carly Simon from Christmas Is Almost Here