And so today we enter the top 10, and I can’t think of a better way to begin it than with one of the best rock bands of the 1980s. By the time 1983 rolled around, The Pretenders were pretty big. They’d had several hit singles, platinum albums and the time was right for them to get some coin with a seasonal tune. But rather than do an album of covers, which would have been the easy way to cash in, they created an original song that became a standard. The song doesn’t seem to be about Santa at first—“He’s gone, 2000 miles…Very far…” It seems to be about a long-distance relationship. But it’s these kinds of Christmas songs that really etch in a person’s memory. Covers of Rudolph are a dime a dozen, but this song is a classic.
The version above, by the way, is from their excellent acoustic album.
Hit the tag below labeled, “G.O.A.T.: Greatest of All Christmas Tunes” to see more of my top 20 original Christmas songs!
Further listening: It’s Christmas All Over by Tom Petty is another classic rock classic noel. And Ozzy Osbourne’s underrated ballad, “Mama I’m Coming Home,” is another long-distance-love-affair Holiday song.