Home   About   Connect   Bonus   Wedded Blissters   Book
RSS Twitter Facebook YouTube

5 Worst Christmas Songs

The logo for Sirius/XM Satellite Holiday Music Channel

I’m a huge fan of Sirius/XM Satellite radio.  I especially love it this time of year when they activate their commercial-free, Holiday Traditions Channel [see photo insert] where Christmas music is played 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the New Year.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s something special about holiday music. You don’t have to be Christian to enjoy this time of year or its uplifting melodies.

But let’s be honest, not all Christmas songs are created equally – many are not even remotely related to the tenets of the holiday. In fact, during our most recent trek north for Thanksgiving, where we listened to six straight hours of holiday music, I compiled my list of 5 Worst Christmas Songs:

5. I Believe in Father Christmas – this dirge-like, sacrilegious jingle written and performed by Greg Lake from Emerson, Lake and Palmer is more like a postmodern anti-Christian anthem than a cheery tribute to the winter solstice holiday. When you check out the lyrics HERE you can’t ignore its nihilistic leanings and hopeless tonality. Here’s the most depressing stanza to me:

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
Hallelujah noel be it heaven or hell
The Christmas you get you deserve

What the heck does that have to do with Joy, Peace and Goodwill toward men??  Actually, it completely undermines the premise of the holiday. He might as well have written “Jingle Hells Bells” or “Satan Claus is Coming to Town.”

4. These are a Few of My Favorite Things – this is NOT a Christmas song. It’s from the of Sound Music and I can’t for the life of me figure out how this song jumped from the rolling hills of Austria into the western Christmas psyche. If you review the lyrics HERE , there are no direct references to Christmas except the vague mention of sleigh bells and snowflakes on eye lashes. The only possible reference to Christmas might be “brown paper packages tied up with string,” but that could be referring to a UPS shipment of medication for rickets and not Saint Nicholas.

3. Last Christmas – this song was written and performed by George Michael in the late 1980s when he was still a member of the group WHAM and had yet to be convicted of misdemeanor charges of lewd exposure of himself in a Beverly Hills public men’s room in 1998. If you read the lyrics HERE, you’ll see that this song has more to do with depression and seasonal affective disorder rather than the birth of Christ or even Jolly Old St. Nick.

2. Frosty the Snowman – here’s another one of those songs that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Check the song’s lyrics HERE. The only vague reference to Christmas is snow, yet it doesn’t mention any of the traditions of Christmas. However, it goes to great lengths to describe Frosty’s vandal tendencies running “here and there all around the square” brandishing a weapon (ok, it’s broomstick) until he nearly assaulted a police officer – ok, that last bit is a bit of an exaggeration. Still it’s not a Christmas song.

1. Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey – as an Italian-American this insipid song is not only idiotic it’s offensive. If you review its lyrics HERE, you’ll note that it contains virtually every cliche and Italian stereotype with the exception of the word Ba-Da-Bing or Tony Soprano. The only way to fix this song would be the addition of a Godfather reference where the Christmas Donkey Dominick gets his head loped off and it’s left in the silk sheets of the misguided music producer who conceived this piece of Christmas music drivel.

Question: What’s your least favorite holiday song? What’s your favorite?

Special Report: 20 Newsroom Writing Secrets
FREE! Powerful insider tips to supercharge your content, boost creativity and blast your writing to the next level. You'll learn hidden tactics to find story ideas, sharpen your skill and write like a pro!

Comments

  1. What?!?! How did “Christmas Shoes” not make this list, Tor? I demand a recount!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you!!! I totally agree. One of the worst songs, ever.

    • TorConstantino says:

      I can neither confirm nor deny that a the ballot box was stuffed…however, your point is valid. Christmas Shoes is flawed on so many levels: what was the kid doing running around the mall alone at night? What kind of dying mother allows her kid out of her sight? How does the boy know the shoes will match mom’s hospital gown? Too many questions…

  2. I think you should expand it to the Top Ten Worst Songs – I’m sure we could all add our votes to determine the five yet-to-be-named titles. My vote – Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. It’s not the lyrics, per se, but the over-playing of the song. Whenever it comes on the radio – I hit the off button. I’m really not a Scrooge, I just don’t care to ever hear THIS version of the song again.
    Blessings,
    Debi

  3. Two songs that I really love, but never hear enough, are I Saw Three Ships and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.

    • TorConstantino says:

      I completely forgot about Santa Baby – that piece of garbage should be flushed whether it’s sung by Eartha Kitt or Madonna. Thanks for the addition!

  4. What about “I Saw Grandma Kissing Santa Claus” or “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”…..those are worse than all the ones you listed besides “Frosty”…..strongly dislike that song.

    • TorConstantino says:

      Agreed on all fronts – however, is it momma kissing Santa Claus or Grandma? Either way, that’s a creepy track…

  5. I think WHAM’s song explains my feeling as I am bombarded by the trite, LOUD, music playing in every store I visit (from a coffee shop to “drug stores” to grocery stores to bookstores (music in a BOOKSTORE?) from Veteran’s Day forward. I look forward to 3 January…

    • TorConstantino says:

      Exactly! You struck a nerve with me regarding the pre-mature initiation of the holiday season – anything thing prior to Thanksgiving is just wrong….btw, thanks for the comment and RT!

  6. I don’t like Grownup Christmas List by Amy Grant. Thanks for telling me what needs to be fixed in the world. I totally missed that.

  7. Michelle Woodman says:

    Least favourite: “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” — I cannot turn the radio off fast enough when that one comes on.

    Favourite: Currently a toss-up between Seabird’s “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and MercyMe’s “Christmastime is Here”.

    • TorConstantino says:

      Ugh! Michele, you are spot on with that Hippo track from a youthful Wayne Newton. Two words, horr-ible…

      • Michelle Woodman says:

        If I had a time machine, I would go back to the day that song was recorded and do whatever I could to prevent its recording. :p

  8. How could you leave off Randy Stonehill’s “Christmas At Denny’s?” Most depressing Christmas song by a Christian artist ever.

  9. Pat Billone says:

    I said it on facebook and I’ll say it again…Last Christmas, just awful.

    • TorConstantino says:

      PB – thanks for stopping by my man, so good to hear from you. I guess one good thing about “Last Christmas” is that it afforded us the chance to reconnect – I hope all is well with you!

  10. Pat Billone says:

    That Beatles song freaks me out too.

  11. Yep. You got them. I change the station when these come on. Every. Time. I almost wrote this same post. Feliz Navidad is pretty annoying too, but I’ve sort of grown to appreciate it after hearing my son come up with a pretty happening piano arrangement of it.

    Then there’s Baby It’s Cold Outside which I sometimes refer to as the date rape song. Sometimes I just sing along because I like the line about the maiden aunt’s name is Vicious.

    • TorConstantino says:

      Nancy, you’re spot on with your characterization of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – that’s a creepy tune…

  12. “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney. That song does worse things for your brains than a tumor.

  13. Grandma got run over by a reindeer has to be the all time gross song.

  14. Christine Calvin says:

    After working in retail for 8 years, I heard I think every Christmas song in existence! (The holiday season is a big reason why I changed careers.) I wholeheartedly agree with “Last Christmas.” DESPISE that song! And Christmas Shoes, the song about “There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas, do they know it’s Christmastime at all?” Hello! The entire southern hemisphere is in Summer right now, and they still have Christmas. Insane!

  15. My husband and son both work in retail and my husband absolutely will not listen to any Christmas music as he is so burnt out on it when he comes home. My “worst” selection? Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer! Yeeccch! And I dread the Christmas music that will start to be piped into my work cafeteria any day now…..I’m getting burnt out myself.

  16. #1 is truly awful. Not surprisingly, no one is “credited” with writing it. I wouldn’t put my name on that garbage, either.
    #2. Yeah, hate to break it to you, kids, but Frosty’s melted. He ain’t coming back. :(
    #5 I don’t think was intended as a Christmas song. Maybe a bit hackneyed and somewhat bitter, but evil? I don’t think so.
    My favorites are the parodies like “I Am Santa Claus” by Bob Rivers (performed to the tune of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”). That one cracks me up every time. :)
    You can find the lyrics here:
    http://www.hotlyrics.net/lyrics/B/Black_Sabath/I_Am_Santa_Clause.html
    I have to disagree with some of my fellow commentators here on “Feliz Navidad.” It’s not that bad. In fact, I kind of like it.

  17. #1 is truly awful. Not surprisingly, no one is “credited” with writing it. I wouldn’t put my name on that garbage, either.
    #2. Yeah, hate to break it to you, kids, but Frosty’s melted. He ain’t coming back. :(
    #5 I don’t think was intended as a Christmas song. Maybe a bit hackneyed and somewhat bitter, but evil? I don’t think so.
    My favorites are the parodies like “I Am Santa Claus” by Bob Rivers (performed to the tune of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”). That one cracks me up every time. :)
    You can find the lyrics here:
    http://www.hotlyrics.net/lyrics/B/Black_Sabath/I_Am_Santa_Clause.html
    I have to disagree with some of my fellow commentators here on “Feliz Navidad.” It’s not that bad. In fact, I kind of like it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Christmas Shoes” . Blech.

  19. “Christmas Shoes”. Hands down. It’s wrong on so many levels. There aren’t many songs that I loathe so much that I turn the radio off when they start playing. This is one…and the action is usually accompanied by eye-rolling, a moan or other sound of disgust and maybe a little bit of throwing up in my mouth. I truly hate this song (in case all of the above hasn’t already convinced you of that!)

  20. For those decrying the mawkishness of ‘Christmas Shoes’–you’re right: it’s bad. But not the worst. Not by far. For the worst, imagine any Christmas song sung in Bob Dylan’s voice. Wait, you’re thinking, Dylan hasn’t done a Christmas album. Au contraire, mon frere–he has; it’s called ‘Christmas In The Heart.’ Check it on iTunes if you dare.

    • TorConstantino says:

      Yikes, don’t tempt me Chad – it’s almost like daring someone to drink eggnog that’s past its expiry date….

  21. I hate Feliz Navidad simply because it won’t get out of my head. Yes. It’s catchy, but it’s not what I want to catch.

    I love a good version of sleigh ride. Johnny Mathis singing is is one of my favorite versions :)

    • TorConstantino says:

      Hah! “…it’s catchy, but it’s not what I want to catch…” that’s a GENIUS line that I’ve never heard Julie, (I don’t get out much)!!! Awesome!

  22. I don’t think there is a worse song than Christmas Shoes. I’d rather listen to cats singing carols than that song.

  23. Okay, I was hanging in there with you through the Sound of Music bash, but I must disagree with Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey–what kid (growing up Italian) did not listen and love this song?

    Next time you and I are together at a Karaoke bar, I am requesting this one and we can sing a duet.

  24. And I thought Gramma Got Run Over By A Reindeer would top the list.

  25. I can’t believe not one person has mentioned “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” yet.. while all these others are horrible songs, this one tops my list.

Speak Your Mind

*


6 + eight =