If you find yourself in any indoor public space this month, you’ll most likely be subjected to the usual barrage of Christmas and holiday music, from “Carol of the Bells” to “O Holy Night.” We admit that we love Christmas music, and aren’t at all bothered by singing about religious figures at the tops of our lungs when the mood hits, be it supermarket or sidewalk. However, it’s not just Christmas songs that are wonderful this time of year — there are tons of pagan holiday tunes to enchant and entertain. Click through to listen to a few of our favorites, and let us know your own favorite pagan holiday songs in the comments!
“Baby, it’s Cold Outside” — Doris Day & Dean Martin
Ignoring the fact that at some points it kind of feels like a song about a romanticized date rape (it’s not, you guys), this is one of our favorite cold weather tunes of all time, all giggles and innuendo and fireside romance. Of all the many versions of this song, this 1959 Doris Day and Dean Martin duet is the best. Unless you count Kurt and Blaine.
“The Boar’s Head” — The Chieftains
There’s nothing better than a holiday song about sacrificing a boar and presenting it at a feast. Though originally a 15th century Christmas carol, it sounds pretty pagan to us, starting out “the boar’s head in hand bear I/ bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.” Sure, there’s stuff about the Lord, but it’s all in Latin, so that doesn’t count.
“The Christians and the Pagans” — Dar Williams
A must for anyone who spends the holidays with family members who might not quite agree on everything. Supposedly, Williams wrote this song in an attempt to attract some Wiccan fans, but it didn’t work — all she got were Unitarians.
“Let it Snow” — Frank Sinatra
It just wouldn’t be the holidays without the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra to make all those frozen snowflakes feel like a nice, warm blanket.
“Jingle Bells” — Ella Fitzgerald
Little known fact: though everyone and their mother puts some version of this song on their Christmas playlist, it was originally written and performed for Thanksgiving in 1850. Also, “jingle bells” is an imperative phrase, not a noun. Give a grammar lesson on that and you’re sure to have a happy holiday.
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” — Whirling Dervishes
Sure, this is goofy, but who doesn’t love ludicrously lush descriptors during the holidays? It’ll give you all something extra special to yell at each other three cognacs from now.
“Wizards of Winter” — The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This song will help you celebrate every pagan’s favorite part of the holiday season — all the pretty, pretty lights.
“Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” — David Bowie & Bing Crosby
No matter what your religious leanings, it’s impossible not to love this classic duet from two of the all-time greats.
“Winter Wonderland” — Nat King Cole & Dean Martin
This song, an ode to the beauty of nature, could pretty much be a Wiccan holiday song. Just saying. Either way, it’s one of the prettiest ones around, and almost always comes unbidden to our minds at first snow.
“Frosty the Snowman” — Jackson 5
To be honest, we usually prefer the Johnny Mathis version (old habits, you know), but we’re having a Jackson 5 moment. Plus, can we really beat Michael singing a song about a children’s game bizarrely coming to life? We think it’s just about the perfect mixture of sweet and totally weird.