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Watch: Coldplay Perform 'Christmas Lights' to Benefit Homeless Shelter

Plus, a holiday song from Sufjan Stevens and Odd Future's expletive-laden Christmas music

December 22, 2010 3:39 PM ET

Coldplay performed their new single "Christmas Lights" live for the first time over the weekend. The gig probably spread a lot of holiday cheer: It was a benefit to raise funds for a new homeless center in the British city of Liverpool. Watch above as the group is joined at the end of the song by Gary Barlow from Take That and Chris Martin's dad dressed as Elvis.

Sufjan Stevens also has a new holiday release — the latest in a series of annual Christmas albums that he makes for friends. Stevens joined The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Perry for two songs from the album during their set on BBC Radio over the weekend. [Via Pitchfork]

A much more misanthropic holiday spirit can be found on "Fuck This Christmas" from the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All collective. It is undoubtedly one of the few holiday songs in existence that features the words "Fuck Santa!" in the chorus. [Via Prefix]

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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