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On our minds and on our playlists

Deborah Allen’s holiday cheer: “Redneck Christmas.’’ Deborah Allen’s holiday cheer: “Redneck Christmas.’’ (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
By James Reed
Globe Staff / December 3, 2010

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Susan Boyle unleashing “O Holy Night’’ on morning talk shows can mean only one thing. No, not the apocalypse, silly. It’s beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas. While holiday albums race up the charts, a few other artists kept it simple and recently released songs to get you in the spirit. Some highlights, all of which are available on iTunes:

The Killers, “Boots’’ With references to cinnamon candles, snowball fights, and “It’s a Wonderful Life,’’ this reverent ode to Christmas staples is the Killers’ latest holiday single whose proceeds benefit the fight against AIDS in Africa.

Deer Tick, “Holy [Expletive], It’s Christmas!’’ The rough-and-tumble pride of Providence just released this two-song EP of country-punk songs for folks who like Santa reeking of bourbon.

Deborah Allen, “Redneck Christmas’’ A wreath on the truck and a string of beer cans wrapped around the tree — behold the wonder of Christmas in the trailer park! Allen has a lot of fun with this country song featuring narration by comedian Cledus T. Judd.

Matisyahu, “Miracle’’ Every year there’s a dearth of good Hanukkah pop songs, but Matisyahu remedies that with this thumping dance track that’s both radio-friendly and respectful of the holiday’s traditions. Be sure to check out the accompanying video, which Matisyahu recently told the Globe is like “the Ice Capades on LSD.’’

Curt Smith, “This Is Christmas’’ The cofounder of Tears for Fears enlists his own family for a spirited account of Christmas cheer on Smith’s first holiday song.