Christmas carols can be beautiful reminders of one of the most exciting times of the year. They can also be horrible scourges that make you want to poke sharp objects in your ears. Here are some of the worst offenders.
Yes, for every "Silent Night" or—my personal favorite—"Merry Christmas, Darling," there are several horrible songs that either sound awful, have a negative sentiment, or just annoy me in some other way. So go put on a copy of your favorite seasonal tune and try to drown out the awfulness that is to follow.
"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
Of all the annoying novelty Christmas songs, this is the most annoying and noveltiest of them all. Randy Brooks' tale of a boozy matriarch who decides to walk home through the snow and gets killed by Santa's sleigh is supposed to be subversive and amusing. It's not. It's just a jangle of chords that are trying way too hard. After hearing this, we sympathize with Grandma. We'd rather be dead too.
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
This song is seriously messed up. Not only is the tune obnoxious, but think about the message of the song. Either this kid thinks that his mother is cheating on his father by making out with Santa, or he finally realizes that Santa doesn't really exist at all because it is his father. Either way, his Christmas is ruined and he's going to be one seriously screwed up adult—or adulterer.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
The problem with this traditional favorite is by the time you get to the fifth day of ever-compiling gift giving, you're already sick of the song. Can't it be like the 4 days of Christmas? That's a much more manageable number, especially because we can never remember how many lords are lording or maids are milking or chummers are chumming or whatever the fuck they're supposed to do. Just make it stop after five gold rings. Thank you!
"Baby It's Cold Outside"
Another entry in the "creepy lyrics" category is this song that is basically about date rape. A man is convincing a woman that she should stay at his house to cuddle and canoodle, but she really wants to leave. He doesn't think no means no and is basically saying, "I won't lend you a coat so your choice is to stay here and let me paw at you or try to get home and freeze." By the time she sings, "Say, what's in this drink?" we want to scream, "It's a roofie!" and call the police.
"The Little Drummer Boy"
I'm no crazy Christian or anything, but even I know there was no little drummer boy in the manger with Mary and Joseph and the animals. He wasn't even the slave of one of the three wise men or anything. He's just some annoying kid with a drum who shows up and is all "pa rum pa pa pum, rum pa pa pum, rum pa pa pumm-ing" everyone until they want to punch him in the face. That's really all this song is, a series of continuous onomatopoeic drum noises that go on and on for hours. Also, David Bowie trying to be all mainstream with Bing Crosby makes my skin crawl.
"Happy Christmas (War Is Over)"
The Baby Boomer establishment has brainwashed us into thinking that any member of The Beatles that isn't Ringo Starr never did anything bad. We would like to submit this Christmas carol by John Lennon as proof that they are wrong. A children's choir? A tambourine? A singing Yoko Ono? These are all bad ideas on any song, especially one about seasonal joy. And stop trying to pretend like Christmas is about bringing people together. It's about presents, and anyone who pretends otherwise is an idiot. Hearing this song is like when your crunchy aunt Cathy gives you an envelope for Christmas that she donated $25 in your name to the St. Dymphna's Homeless Shelter for Wayward Women and Autistic Children. No one wants that.
OK, I love this Joni Mitchell song, what I find truly annoying is that it has been co-opted by every "serious" singer with a Christmas album to try to spruce up their track selection. Let's get one thing straight, "River" isn't about Christmas any more than Die Hard is about Christmas. Sure, they both take place in December, but the plot is completely devoid of any holiday sentiment. "The River" is about a selfish woman who pushed her lover to break up with her and she wishes that she had a river so that she could flee all the people who are happy about Christmas. This song is about hating Christmas, but now whenever I listen to Mitchell's album Blue I feel the need to skip this song because it reminds me of shitty Starbucks' musical compilations. Damn you, corporate America!
"Do They Know It's Christmas?"
First of all this holiday predecessor to "We Are The World" is just a lousy song. It's completely formless, the lyrics are atrocious, and it just devolves into an ever-repeating chorus of "Feed the world, don't they know it's Christmas time." Second of all, don't make us feel guilty. When we're drinking eggnog, wearing reindeer sweaters, and eating those delicious peanut butter cookies with the Hersey Kiss in the middle, the last thing we want to be thinking about is starving children in Africa. Making us feel bad about not wanting to think about that makes it even worse. The repayment for making this song is that every rock star has to be confronted with this video and the Ghost of Hairstyles Past every December 25th. Take that, Bono!
This Wham! hit annoys the piss out of me cause it's basically about a guy who can't get over a lover who treated him badly. He's like "Last year I gave you my heart, you dumped me, and a whole year later, I am still not over it and completely obsessed with you." This song is like your ex-boyfriend who finally stopped calling, but still tries to Facebook stalk you when he gets drunk or depressed. Also I feel like George Michael is disingenuous when singing this. He might as well be saying, "Last Christmas I was in a popular singing duo. The very next day, I threw you away and started a solo career and never thought about you again. But this year, to give you some cheer, at least you'll get a royalty check, Andrew Ridgeley."
"The Christmas Shoes"
This song is spectacularly awful. It's every bit of Christmas sentimentality packed into three awful country-twinged verses. See, there's a dirty boy with a sick mother and he has no money to buy her a pair of shoes for Christmas so he has to beg a man in the store to buy them for her before she dies and goes to heaven to "meet Jesus." Who brings up Jesus in a Christmas song? And then they made this piece of shit into a TV movie starring Rob Lowe! The worst part about this is while we roll our eyes at its cheesiness, everyone who owns a Thomas Kincaid painting thinks it's beautiful and cries every time they hear it.
Which holiday songs do you absolutely loathe? Let us know in the comments and be sure to leave us with some You Tube evidence of their awfulness.