(Un)Covered: Christmas Lights

Coldplay vs Yellowcard By | December 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Christmas Lights”
Writers: Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
Original Release Date: December 1, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Which means: trees and festive songs and lights and, of course, festive songs about lights.

Released as a surprise single in December 2010, Coldplay’s melancholy Christmas anthem “Christmas Lights” has become a huge hit. It fools you into thinking it’s a happy, festive song, but the opening lyrics—“Christmas night, another fight / Tears we cried a flood”—indicate that not everyone is having a happy holiday. In fact, it seems to be a song about missing someone you’d normally spend the holiday with. A walk down a lights-filled street both reflects your sadness back to you but also offers you some hope: “May all your troubles soon be gone”. The piano-based intro actually makes me think of the theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas—another holiday classic that manages to be both hopeful and melancholy.

I love Christmas music and I love pop-punk, so naturally, I love pop-punk Christmas music. Thanks to Punk Goes Christmas back in 2013, I found a whole bunch of Christmas covers from pop-punk bands I love (All Time Low) to bands I don’t listen to often but whose covers stand out for me anyway. Case in point: Yellowcard’s version of the Coldplay song. It’s impossible to stop yourself from belting out the bridge (which will get stuck in your head for days). Obviously, one of the most recognizable aspects of Yellowcard’s music is the violin—while it’s quite subtle here, it works beautifully with the overall vibe of the cover. And even though the words haven’t changed, the energy that Yellowcard put behind their version makes it sound a little less melancholy, letting the hopefulness shine through a little brighter.

I actually hadn’t heard the Coldplay original until after I heard the Yellowcard one, so the cover holds a special place in my heart.