The Worst Christmas Songs


or Bah Humbug II: Pig in the City

I don’t celebrate Christmas, a holiday I find irredeemably Capitalist.  It’s a celebration completely disconnected from the supposed ‘reason for the season’, Jesus Christ, a largely (perhaps, completely) mythologized man whose purported teachings were always against the accumulation of possessions.  So how do we celebrate his birth (and, yes, for you pedants out there, I know most Christmas traditions are rooted in ‘pagan’ rituals… I don’t care)?  We buy a bunch of shit.

But this isn’t an anti-Christmas screed.  People can celebrate whatever holiday they want, I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it, as long as I’m allowed to not celebrate it.

But, I work in retail, and that means one thing:  Christmas Music.   God I hate it.  There are so many horrible Christmas songs, a genre of music that pretty much guarantees a litany of ABAB rhyme and ridiculously nonsensical platitudes.  The sound makes me cringe.

So, naturally, I made a list.  Here are my least favorite Christmas ‘songs’ (in no particular order):

Winter Wonderland:  This is pretty much the definitive yuletide tune, a perfect storm of inane lyrics, unrealistic expectations and simplistic rhyme.  Plus, these creepy kids want to get married by a snowman.  What the shit?  It’s a shitty song, and it’s been covered by a billion artists and remixed by a billion more, so there is no foreseeable shortage of this noise pollution (and yes, I’m aware that even Radiohead sang a version some years back, but it was for a bizarre tripped out video, so I can forgive it).

Jingle Bell Rock:  Christmas music for the mentally handicapped.  So, you know, good for them.

Feliz Navidad:  This song is okay the first time you hear it.  You become Lou Dobbs after having heard it 5 times.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year:  No, it’s not.  It really isn’t.  You know what’s a ‘wonderful’ time of year?  That time of year where you don’t go into debt buying gifts for people you barely know while you get cussed out by every jackass on the road, on the sidewalk or in the store who, themselves, are spending too much money and doing their best to ensure that the Credit Card companies will never take a Lehman Brothers-style collapse.  Merry my ass.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town:  Take the lyrics of this song and replace ‘Santa Claus’ with ‘Jesus Christ’ and you have the foundation of Christianity (and all religion):  Be good or you won’t get any cool shit.  Plus, the song sucks.

Santa Baby:  Actually, I kinda like this song.  Mainly because it cuts through the bullshit:  Christmas is about getting stuff.  If the singer’s got a sexy enough voice, I can almost be convinced this isn’t a Christmas song at all, it’s just about some hot bitch trying to seduce an old, fat dude who’s got a lot of coin.

Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart):  Originally recorded by Wham and covered numerous times (including by Ashley Tisdale, which made the song popular for tweens and 20-something girls who should have better taste but don’t), this song is terrible pretty much in every form, though the Jimmy Eat World version is an argument for abortion if I’ve ever heard one.  Imagine Hitler raping your crippled grandmother, and you’ll feel better than you would hearing this song.

Finally-

Baby, It’s Cold Outside:  Though this isn’t really about Christmas, it’s a Christmas-time staple.  Here’s the thing, you need to really listen to this song next time.  It’s essentially about Date Rape.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a little gray area in my holiday festivities, but this song is just plain creepy.  If you listen real carefully, you can hear the sound of a few roofies being dropped into hot chocolate.  White Christmas, indeed.

Now, I don’t want to come off like a complete curmudgeon, so I’ll leave off with a couple Christmas songs I actually like.

First off is “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi.  Of course, that’s kind of a cop out, because it’s not really a Christmas song at all, just tangentianlly connected to the holiday.  All the same, no one can dislike this song, it’s pretty damn great.

As far as a true Christmas song I actually like:

Carol of the Bells:  With or without lyrics, this song is eerie.  It could be a Halloween Carol.  Especially when it’s sung by an all boys choir, it’s like something out of The Omen.  I think if you aren’t a little unnerved by music commemorating the virgin birth of a dude who got nailed to a cross and sent to hell for three days, you aren’t celebrating the right holiday.

Happy Festivus everyone!

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2 thoughts on “The Worst Christmas Songs

  1. Just FYI (and also because I find this very interesting) Carol of the Bells was originally a pagan chant celebrating renewal. Every time I hear it now, I can’t help but think of half-nude nymphs frolicking through the woods on a fresh Spring morning. I think that image fits the “eerie” sound of the song much more than Santa.

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