The Five Worst Christmas Songs

Toby Keith Christmas

I know… this seems like yet another excessively negative article, but sincerely, I love Christmas music! I was going to actually first write a Top Five Christmas Songs list, but it would be too hard to limit it to only 5 – and, I wouldn’t have anything terribly interesting to say about them.

But most people out there have some level of a love-hate relationship with Christmas music. It’s a guilty pleasure, one that has so many ways of being off-putting, and invokes a lot of conflicting emotions. I find that despite its excessively saccharine, commercial nature, I’m all about Christmas music during the month of December (and ONLY the month of December). The problem is there are only so many mainstream songs about Christmas, and terrestrial radio only puts a relatively small number of those on constant rotation. And some of them are just terrible… 

5) Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Not an offensive song from a purely musical standpoint – the conversational duet structure of the lyrics is unique and playful – but the lyrics themselves…. hoo boy. I know this song was written in a different time, and this type of mildly predatory male courtship behavior wasn’t taboo like it is now, but listening to this song in 2014, it can definitely make you feel icky, especially the oft-cited “hey what’s in this drink?” line from the woman. And if you really want your mind blown, go here and check out how many well-known versions of this song have been recorded. Especially creepy: The Willie Nelson and Norah Jones version. Eek.

4) All I Want For Christmas is You

I’ll come out and admit it – this is a well-written song. It’s true! But if you’re reading this I bet you never thought of it that way, and that’s because THIS SONG NEVER STOPS PLAYING AROUND CHRISTMAS. That’s why it’s on the list – the sheer ubiquity of it forces you to hate it. And that’s a shame, because it mildly taints a climactic scene in another Christmas guilty pleasure of mine: Love, Actually.

3) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

The earliest version of this song I’m aware if is by the Jackson 5, but most versions I’ve heard are sung by children – of course, since it’s written from a child’s perspective. But something about this song being sung by a kid utterly grates me. The Jackson 5 version is the most famous and definitely the worst, especially when poor Michael has to speak the words “I did! I did see mommy kissing Santa Claus! And I’m gonna tell my dad!” at the end.

2) Last Christmas

Of all the songs on this list, this one is clearly the worst sonically. The lyrics are just ultra-generic, Christmas love fodder, with a depressing overtone (“last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away”), but what makes this song next-level terrible is the synthetic, inhuman quality of the music. That 80’s synth beat, the overprocessed vocals, and the total lack of recognizable acoustic instruments. This song repulses me at the atomic level.

1) Do They Know It’s Christmas?

I have to pose this question: How does a song that’s both incredibly sad as well as cringe-inducingly preachy and pretentious, that makes you feel guilty about celebrating Christmas, become a perennial Christmas classic that gets played every hour on the radio? It just boggles my mind. I guess the tune is fairly catchy, and I get that the intent of the song was meant to be positive, but those lyrics are the bummer to end all bummers. “Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears”. I suspect its status as a ubiquitous Christmas hit is mostly to do with the audacious spectacle of the all-star “Band Aid” hullabaloo that they cooked up during its recording.

I learned via Wikipedia that as soon as the master tracks were recorded, somebody produced a huge bag of cocaine and the studio turned into an 80’s rock star coke party while the song was being mixed. In other words, a rich rock star cocaine fest was happening during the making of a pop song urging people to think about starving Africans during Christmas time. Is there anything more 80’s than that? игровые автоматы онлайн играть бесплатно и без регистрации

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  1. […] that I think the music itself is great. Some of it is great, some of it is mediocre, and some is downright God awful. And I understand that in most cases it’s completely fucked out. Crammed into our […]

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