A triumvirate of lousy Christmas songs

It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say “Merry Christmas.” As long as it’s after Thanksgiving. I refuse to listen to it before then, and any radio station playing it early has a good chance of being boycotted for the entire season.

I enjoy most Christmas music. But every year, a little part of me dreads the time because there are also some awful, awful songs out there that call for an immediate intervention, i.e. changing the station. If changing the station isn’t possible, I put myself into a kind of self-induced coma until it’s over. The worst part is how, despite being so terrible, these songs always end up stuck in my head. Maybe they’re so bad, it’s like listening to a train wreck and I just can’t help myself.

So this year, to vent a bit, I’ve come up with a trio of bad-ness. I could easily come up with many, many more (really, why do so many people feel the need to record Christmas music? Surely it’s the money.), and my list will differ from others. If you happen to like any of these listed below, I make no apologies, and merely ask, what’s wrong with you??

Without further ado, the list, complete with their respective awesome music videos.

3. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band-Aid

Sure, the message and intent might be on the right track, and I give them credit for that, but was it necessary to leave this for all future generations? Throw together every early-80s pop/rock superstar, add some cheesy lyrics (“the only water flowing, is the bitter sting of tears”; “well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”) and some synthesizer (what 80s song would be complete without a heavy dose?), and there you have it.

2. Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney

I would have expected better from a member of the Beatles. Again, absolute overkill on the synth, mindless lyrics, and the same flipping thing repeated over, and over, and over. The actual song is less than four minutes long, but when you hit “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time” for the fourteenth time, it feels like an eternity.

1. Last Christmas – Wham!

This is my undisputed, number one, all-time terrible Christmas song. Any band that needs to put an exclamation point in their name is automatically knocked down a couple notches. And just because they say “Christmas” in the chorus, doesn’t make a Christmas song. It could just as easily say, “Last Wednesday, I gave you my heart…” and the world would be better off, because it wouldn’t be treated as a “Christmas” song, and would have been relegated to the dustbin of Terrible 80s Songs (funny that two of my top three were released in 1984, and the other 1979). Instead, it gets played incessantly every year and these guys are still probably raking in the royalty money. I can honestly, and proudly, say that I have not listened to this song in its entirety for years. I do love the sweet 80s hair in the video though.

Honorable mentions:

Christmas shoes – Newsong – In a more sentimental life, I might tolerate it, but I just can’t. And the made for TV movie based on it stars Rob Lowe. Funny.

Silent night – Stevie Nicks – The first time I heard this song when I was younger, I honestly thought it was a sheep singing it. That should tell you all you need to know. Fortunately it doesn’t make the radio rounds much anymore.

Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano – Another one that repeats incessantly. Seriously, the song has 18 words. I liked it when I was younger, I think because of the novelty of Spanish, but can’t really tolerate it much anymore.

I know there are lots I’m missing – anybody else have any least-favorites?


3 thoughts on “A triumvirate of lousy Christmas songs

  1. Reblogged this on Bored American Tribune. and commented:
    — J.W.

  2. Well said. I fully agree. Although Christmas Shoes would have been at the top of my list, at least you worked it in. This year I started making a list of “bad Christmas songs” and instead I ended making a list of “good Christmas songs.” It was a much shorter list and much easier to put together. I’ve also got a whole separate list of Christmas songs we sing in church that just don’t pass the scripture test 🙂

  3. I automatically change the station when any Christmas music comes on the radio. I can’t stand any pop version of carols. Pretty much the only Christmas music I like is churchy choir stuff. I’m not a church person anymore, but it’s the only thing that sounds right to me for Christmas.

    Oh wait. Except the Claymation Christmas soundtrack. The California Raisins are the best.

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