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A Very Merry SheWired Holiday Playlist

A Very Merry SheWired Holiday Playlist

We picked our favorite classic, modern, and lesbian holiday songs. Take a listen to tunes guaranteed to make your yuletide gay.

Holiday music – it’s as inescapable at this time of year as twinkling lights, decadent baked goods, and packed shopping malls. But no matter one’s religious or a-religious affiliation, listening to holiday songs is almost compulsory whether you’re trimming the tree or painting the trim in your new house once December rolls around.

Instead of listening the same old jolly tunes for another year, we picked a yuletide playlist that will bring lesbian listeners comfort and joy this season. We rounded up all the best contemporary and classic carols, and of course, threw in the gayest holiday songs ever. After all, 'tis the season.

New festive numbers by indie pop goddess Zooey Deschanel’s band, She & Him, rare Florence and The Machine carols, Sarah McLachlan’s beautiful “Wintersong,” and Naya Rivera’s sexy Glee version of “Santa Baby” are all waiting for you. Plus, audio gifts from out artists Tracy Chapman, Tegan and Sara, Lady Gaga and the Indigo Girls, and classics from old friends Judy Garland, Joni Mitchell and Dolly Parton.

With so many artists out there singing the same old songs, we went through and picked a smattering of our favorites including traditional and original tunes. SheWired’s Very Merry Playlist is perfect for wrapping presents, baking and cooking, or enjoying a holiday drink with friends and family.

Just press play and before you know it, it’ll be feeling a lot like Christmas!


She and Him, "Sleigh Ride"

Though we do our best not to have any hipster-targeted preferences, Zooey Deschanel is just effing adorable, and this song reminds us of our 8th grade play, “How The Toys Saved Christmas” from Sagamore Junior High School. So there.

Rihanna, "I Just Don't Feel Like Christmas Without You"

The exotic beauty brings a new R&B offering to the holidays with her lament of lost love on Christmas. We can't help but wish Santa would leave us a sparkly Rihanna, wrapped in a bow, under the tree.

Florence and The Machine, “Last Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas”

When Florence and the Machine played BBC Radio 1’s holiday party a few years ago, the audience was privy to several holiday carol covers. The live recordings have since made their way onto radio, much to the benefit of those who can hear, because Christmas songs have never sounded so alive.

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Mercedes (Amber Riley) and the Glee cast, “All I Want For Christmas”

One of the highlights of Glee's recent Christmas special was the show's best belter, Amber Riley's Mercedes, delivering a killer rendition of Mariah Carey's contemporary classic Christmas tune. Beyond Riley's amazing vocals, the video features a cute little moment between girlfriends Santana and Brittany.

Annie Lennox, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

The iconic Annie Lennox takes a traditional song and infuses it with elements of paganism with it's tribal drumbeat and pan flute.  From her A Christmas Cornucopia, released in 2010, the recording and video are equally arresting, but what else would you expect from Annie?

Contemporary Classics

Sarah McLachlan, "Wintersong"

Only one of the most beautiful voices (and women!) in the world, doing what she does best: crooning from behind the piano. It makes you want a pour a cup of coco and cuddle up to the sound of her voice like a soft blanket. The perfect song for wrapping presents or relaxing after a hectic holiday family gathering.

No Doubt, "Oi to the World"

It's retro Christmas with No Doubt's 1997 cover of The Vandals ska-punk paean to peace on earth. “If God came down on Christmas Day / I know exactly what he'd say / He'd say "Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins / But Oi to the world and everybody wins,” sings the adorable Gwen Stefani, which just makes us happy!

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Dar Williams: The Christians and the Pagans

Leave it to an east coast based folk singing Wesleyan graduate to write a song to join the Christians and the pagans in perfect harmony. Here’s a video of Dar with her whimsical holiday song but the lyrics are so good that here's a link to the original recording to hear them a little better.

Alicia Keys, “Little Drummer Girl”

Count on a unparalleled female piano singer songwriter to put a feminist twist on a holiday classic. There's no better list for Alicia Keys' famous retooling of "The Little Drummer Boy" classic to land on than SheWired's.

Natalie Merchant, "Children Go Where I Send Them"

The former 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman injects this traditional spiritual with her signature Merchant sound. Also known as "The Holy Baby" or "Born in Bethlehem" Merchant's gospel-esque / jazzy version just begs for a sing-a-long.

The Pretenders, "2,000 Miles"

Chrissie Hynde's and The Pretenders "2,000 Miles" is a modern classic holiday song that aches with longing. A killer song no matter what time of the year it is -- we just had to include it.

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Fave Holiday Music from Women of the LGBT Community, or from those who Play Gay!

Tracy Chapman, 'O' Holy Night'

For nearly a decade A Very Special Christmas Album churned out holiday hits with contemporary artists singing traditional hymns in often non-traditional arrangements. Tracy Chapman delivered a beautifull pared down rendition of ‘O' Holy Night,’ off of A Very Special Christmas Album 3.

Santana (Naya Rivera) and Glee cast, "Santa Baby"

Rivera, looking and sounding smokin’ hot as ever, teased the boys, as Brittany is noticeably absent in the clip. The deleted scene from the third season Christmas special has McKinley's High's lesbian Cheerio Santana tackling the sexiest holiday song, made famous by Ertha Kitt and covered by just about everyone including Madonna.

Tegan and Sara, "The Chipmunk Song"

The twin lesbians depart from their usual indie rock sound for a (high) pitch-perfect Chipmunk parody. Tegan and Sara took on covering the cartoon classic with glee. They even got their own Mom to deliver the angry dialogue at the opening.

Lady Gaga: "Christmas Tree"

Nothing says Christmas like Gaga singing 'Here here here (Ra pa pam pam). The best time of the year (Ra pa pam pam). Take off my stocking’s we’re. I’m spreading Christmas cheer. And if you want us to we will, you. Oh oh a Christmas, my Christmas tree is delicious.' This kinky holiday ditty features Space Cowboy on vocals. Thee's no official video but really, you'll get the intended visuals just by listening to the colorful lyrics!

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Indigo Girls, “Mistletoe”

It's the iconic queer duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers weaving together their signature harmonies for a Christmas tune off of their 2010 album Holly Happy Days. Nuff said!

kd Lang, "You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch"

Last year's Glee Christmas episode hinged on Brittany's believing in Santa Claus getting dashed, while Sue Sylvester fittingly stepped into the role of the Grinch. Lesbian country / crooner extraordinaire kd Lang provided the vocals for Sue's theme song. There's something just so right about kd singing "Your a Mean One Mr. Grinch" to accompany Sue's bad behavior.


Judy Garland: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

The mother of all heartrending Christmas carols... Judy Garland's pristine vocals coupled with her expressions that look as if her heart is continually breaking in the Minelli masterpiece Meet Me in St. Louis is just devastating. The song starts at 1:45.

Joni Mitchell, "River"

The third song off of the B side of Joni Mitchell's iconic Blue album, "River" has become the holiday song for the disaffected and longing. With Joni's inverted, minor key "Jingle Bells" that rings through the song, to the crystalline lyric "I wish I had a river to skate away on," "River" has become the go-to cover song for the holidays. Sarah McLachlan did Joni justice with her version, and just last week, Glee introduced the song to a new generation when Lea Michele delivered a gorgeous rendition of it on the Christmas special.

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Carole King, "Chanukkah Song"

One of the greatest singer / songwriters of a generation, Carole King released her first holiday album just this year. The woman famous for penning "You've Got a Friend," "So Far Away" and "I Feel the Earth Move" delivers a very traditional style "Channukkah Song" in addition to her Christmas fare.

Stevie Nicks and Friends, "Silent Night"

Back in the early 80s Stevie Nicks was the singer all the girls loved -- see "Edge of Seventeen," and when the A Very Special Christmas album for charity dropped in the mid 80s Stevie's "Silent Night" was a clear stand-out!

Dolly Parton, "Hard Candy Christmas"

Really though...nothing says Christmas like Dolly Parton and a bunch of big-hearted working girls singing about the holidays in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. We prefer the recording with Dolly singing solo but this video of Dolly with the girls is so priceless, we had to post it.

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