The Chronicles of a Witty Observer

The Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs and Why I Hate Them

Christmas carols have a bipolar effect on me. A few bring up some intense sentimental memories for me, like ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ and ‘Silver Bells.’ Most, however, make me want to shoot down Santa’s Sleigh with a grenade-launcher.

Before you even ask, no, I am not Ebenezer Scrooge’s great great…great (?) grandchild. I actually thoroughly enjoy the holiday season. I am a pagan, and therefore Yule means more to me than Christmas, but traditionally-speaking, my family still celebrates a standard Christmas with a tree, gifts, turkey and the ancient festival known as 24 Hours of A Christmas Story on TNT. I do love this time of year. It gives me a feeling of comfort and satisfaction to know that another year has passed without a complete mental breakdown (and boy oh boy did I come close this year!).

But Christmas carols represent a whole other side to the holidays. The side that brings out the crowded shopping malls blasting these simplistic and carefully-secular tunes and the rolling your eyes because your favorite classic rock station won’t play anything else until January 2nd. It’s one thing to casually listen to these songs while baking gingerbread cookies with your mom, but it’s another thing entirely when they are played over, and over, and over everywhere you go without any escape (except, maybe, to your local synagogue).

Also, when you think about it, some of these songs have very…questionable messages that aren’t even that subliminal. These are the songs that seem to be overplayed the most. I hold a select few as far away from my heart as possible, because every time I hear the opening bars to these songs I desperately try to find a different station, only to hear these fuckers playing on every other station I try.

And with that said….

5. Let It Snow. I live the Northeast, so immediately this song’s chorus will strike a nerve with me. Let it snow? In Florida maybe. We have too much of it here already. They can have it.

But listen to the first and second verses a time or two, and tell me you don’t get a mild creepy feeling…

“Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since there’s no place to go….let it snow (etc.)
It shows no signs of stopping,
But I got some corn for popping,
And as long as you love me so….let it snow (etc.)”

Basically, the singer is emphasizing the fact that you’re trapped…alone with him…in his house…because some big Nor’Easter is running up the coast.  Sounds very The Shining to me, buddy. If the guy who wrote this song’s name is Johnny…then forget about it.

His name was Sammy Cahn? Oh, ok. Phew. I was about ready to lock myself in the bathroom…

4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Reindeer!). This is probably one of the first Christmas carols children learn in school. It’s cute, it’s got the ‘differences rock’ message, and the Rankin & Bass film was my favorite growing up.

It’s not the song, but the song’s echoes that middle-school punks who think they’re being funny use to ruin the rest that irritates me. You know which ones I’m talking about. From Pinocchio to Monopoly to George Washington, now I cannot hear that song without hearing those subliminal lyrics in my head my friends taught me in fifth grade, thinking they were being clever. But really, none of it is funny, and it turns the song into a joke. A bad middle-school joke.

And it’s seriously inescapable. This song is forever destroyed in my mind.

3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Aka The Christmas Rape Song. I have the feeling this one is a little more recent than many people want to believe. The entire song is a duet between a girl who just wants to leave, and a guy who’ll seriously roofie her drink if it means getting some.

Don’t believe me? Just listen…

“The neighbors might think  (Baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how  (Your eyes are like starlight)
To break the spell  (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I ought to say no, no, no, sir  (Mind if I move closer)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense in hurting my pride?)
I really can’t stay  (Baby don’t hold out)
Ahh, but it’s cold outside…”

Yeah, nothing says Yuletide like spiked punch and not knowing what the word ‘no’ means.

2. The Christmas Shoes. This one not only is overplayed and repulsive in its overdone attempts to induce sympathy and sentimentality, but it’s story and message are, when you get right down to it, horrible.

For those of you lucky enough to not be familiar with the song, it goes like this: some Scrooge is buying last minute gifts and is stuck behind this kid buying pair of red shoes in line in front of him. The kid comes up short on the price of the shoes, but begs the cashier to cut him some slack because his mom’s sick, might die soon, so he’s buying her one last Christmas gift ‘so she’ll look beautiful’ if she goes to heaven…

“Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight…”

Scrooge II spots him the change and goes about his merry way, touched by the gesture, as does the boy.

So, what have we learned from this song?

A-Apparently it’s perfectly all right to leave your dying mother’s bedside in order to buy her things. In fact, it makes you a better person. And inspirational person. Seriously, if the boy’s dad said ‘there isn’t much time’ shouldn’t you be at home spending those last precious moments with your dying mom instead of partaking in a last-second bout of commercialism?!?!

B-Apparently what they say isn’t true…you CAN take whatever you want up to the Pearly Gates with you…as long as they make you look smokin’ for St. Peter! Does that mean I can take my Coach bag to heaven too? Oh wait, I’m not going their anyway. Nevermind.

1. The Chipmunks Christmas Song. Fuck it. Fuck. This. Song. It’s mindless. It’s annoying. It’s three guys sucking back helium into a recording microphone back in 1958 and some jerk yelling at them.  And it, for some reason unbeknownst to me, is beloved by millions and played no less than fifteen times a day on any given radio station between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it might have had SOME merit if the lyrics were somewhat meaningful. But the whole song is the chipmunks wanting hula hoops and waiting impatiently for Christmas because Christmas = presents! Yay, commercialism! That’s what Christmas is all about!


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