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On Repeat: Classic Rock Christmas tracks to spark holiday spirit

Tis’ the season to rock

“Step Into Christmas” upholds the usual whimsy and charm of an Elton John hit, while inspiring a carefree embrace of Christmas time.
“Step Into Christmas” upholds the usual whimsy and charm of an Elton John hit, while inspiring a carefree embrace of Christmas time.

Following the return to Grounds from Thanksgiving break, a rapid and intense two weeks of essays, projects and exams ensue. This tumultuous period of time — while necessary — is often grueling, leaving students exhausted for the beginning of the holiday season. 

A jolt of classic rock Christmas tunes is the perfect fix to pull one out of the treachery of exam season and into holiday cheer. These five classic rock tracks are powerful enough to reignite the hype for the holidays. 

“Thank God It’s Christmas” by Queen 

Queen echoes the thoughts of every student finishing the home stretch of exam season and completing the semester — “Thank God It’s Christmas.” The smooth and subtly festive power ballad describes the relief of the arrival of Christmas after a particularly tiring year.

Lead vocalist Freddie Mercury’s vocals shine in the delivery of these bittersweet lyrics. His powerful rolling vocals describe both the relief and relaxation of the holiday season while simultaneously acknowledging its impermanence. 

“Oh, my love, we live in troubled days / Oh, my friend, we have the strangest ways / All my friends on this one day of days,” Mercury sings. “Thank God it’s Christmas.” These lyrics exemplify the highs and lows of the lovely buildup but often abrupt end to the holiday season. However, it is the ethereal and lulling delivery that solidifies this track as a self-soothing season essential.

“Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’” by Billy Squier 

“Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’” is a testament to the power of love in combination with the holidays. Eighties rocker Billy Squier delivers this sweet and festive track that inevitably inspires warmth and joy. 

Squier sings, “Christmas is the time to say ‘I love you’ / Share the joys of laughter and good cheer / Christmas is the time to say ‘I love you’ / And a feeling that will last all through the year.”

This chorus is repeated a few times in the song, accompanied by a choral background that drives home the Christmas feeling of community, shared love and togetherness. 

“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses

Just in case Christmas cheer is still elusive, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses covers the Grinch and Scrooge-like side of the holidays from the first line, “Bah! Humbug!” The Waitresses immediately retract, “No, that’s too strong / ‘Cause it is my favorite holiday / But all this year’s been a busy blur / Don’t think I have the energy.” 

While the strenuously demanding schedule of the holiday season is certainly relatable, the song learns from its own apathy and embraces the holiday season as what it is — friends and family trying to celebrate each other. 

The lyrics serve as an anthology of a love story occurring over the course of a year from Christmas to Christmas. The realistic, sarcastic and irony-clad track shares a different take on the usual rampant positivity of the holidays, while still delivering an uplifting and sweet end. The chorus shifts to reflect this growth, from “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas / But I think I’ll miss this one this year” to “Couldn’t miss this one this year.”

“Step Into Christmas” by Elton John

This final swinging track offers a different path to immerse oneself in festivities. This upbeat ditty approaches the end of another year with an air of celebration. John begins “Welcome to my Christmas song / I’d like to thank you for the year.” He continues, singing instructions to “eat, drink and be merry.”

The fast-paced song encourages listeners to embrace the holiday cheer, lamenting that Christmas can last forever in the joy it brings. “Step into Christmas / Let's join together / We can watch the snow fall forever and ever.”

“Step Into Christmas” upholds the usual whimsy and charm of an Elton John hit, while inspiring a carefree embrace of Christmas time. The track gives the listener permission to celebrate oneself while reflecting on the end of another year. 

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