Whether you get your Christmas music from a streaming service such as Spotify or iHeartRadio, a satellite provider (I’m digging the Sirius/XM Holly channel as I type these words), or a terrestrial radio station, you will undoubtedly hear famous Christmas songs that grate on the ears. You know what songs I’m talking about: the soupy ballads that are supposed to tug at the heart strings but really just want to make you puke. The obligatory Christmas tune from a famous recording artist of his time, who just phoned it in. The Christmas tune from the famous recording artist who over-performed it because she can. The boring and repetitive Christmas song that just says the same thing over and over again.
NOTE: This post is not about “Christmas” songs that aren’t actually about Christmas (like “My Favorite Things”); that’s a topic for another post.
Here, in no particular order, are six Christmas songs that need to be pulled from the stations’ libraries, burned to the ground, and never played again.
“The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong, 2000
What It’s About: A grumpy shopper learns a heartwarming lesson about the True Meaning of Christmas® thanks to a little boy whose mother is dying, and all he wants to do is buy her a pair of shoes so mom can look beautiful when she meets Jesus. For a few months in 2000, you couldn’t get away from this song: it was all over the Country, Christian, and Adult Contemporary charts. It even spawned a movie.
— Ryan Berenz (@raberenz) November 17, 2016
Why It’s Got To Go: There’s so much wrong with this song, I’m not even sure where to start. But I suppose the lead vocalist’s performance is as good a place as any. Simply put, the guy sounds like he recorded the song while passing a kidney stone. Then there are the manipulative, soupy lyrics that transcend the definition of “maudlin” and beg for a word that isn’t even in the dictionary.
By the way, comedian Patton Oswalt does a comedy routine about this song, and it is HILARIOUS. I’m linking it in this post rather than embedding the video, mainly because it’s indescribably vulgar and violates just about every paragraph of the Inquisitr‘s bad language policy. Here you go.
“¡Feliz Navidad!” by José Feliciano, 1970
What It’s About: The Spanish translation of “Merry Christmas.” That’s it.
Why It’s Got To Go: Quick: name another song by José Feliciano. You can’t, can you? That’s because this song is basically the entirety of José’s repertoire unless you count a couple of cover songs that hit, like, No. 199 on the Top 200 charts. And like Señor Feliciano’s career, the song is long on content but short on substance. There are only 20 unique words, repeated over and over again, for three minutes.
“Jingle Bells” by Barbra Streisand, 1967
What It’s About: Babs’ take on a then-hundred-year-old song that isn’t even about Christmas (it’s about winter), but that American pop culture has collectively accepted as a “Christmas” song, just like “Sleigh Bells” and “Winter Wonderland.”
Why It’s Got To Go: In the theater industry, there’s a term called “chewing up scenery,” and it describes a performer who completely over-performs his or her part, making the performance all about him, rather than what he’s performing. Barbara is doing the musical equivalent of that, destroying the very essence of the song in order to make it about Barbra Streisand. She starts with completely ruining the meter of the song that we’ve known and loved for decades, tears through the melody like her very life depends on finishing the song as fast as she can, then descends into lyrics that border on gibberish. Because she’s Barbra Streisand and she can get away with it.
“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney, 1979; “Merry Christmas War Is Over” by John Lennon, 1972
What They’re About: Paul McCartney and John Lennon phoning it in because their labels wanted Christmas songs.
Why They’ve Got To Go: Because Paul McCartney and John Lennon phoned it in because their labels wanted a Christmas song. OK, truth be told, I don’t know if either guy’s label pressured them to make a Christmas song, but considering both men’s lack of attention to either song, I wouldn’t be surprised. Both songs are best described as “trite” and “saccharin” at best.
“Dominick The Donkey” by Lou Monte, 1960
What It’s About: A donkey helps Santa Claus deliver presents to children in Italy, for some reason.
Why It’s Got To Go: Offensive cultural stereotypes, for one thing, including a fake Italian accent that makes Joey Tribbiani sound convincing as an Italian. And then there’s the horrible screeching, the gibberish lyrics, and the fact that Italy doesn’t need any help from Americans or Santa for Christmas, considering they have their own Christmas gift-giver, thankyouverymuch.
— JDzigner (@JDzigner) November 26, 2016
This list is nothing more than my personal opinions, of course, and everybody has their own opinions. That’s what Comments sections are for: for everyone to share their own opinions and have them discussed (and probably torn to shreds) by everyone else. Please put the Comments section of this post to good use, and share your own thoughts. What do you believe are the worst Christmas songs?
[Featured Image by Maslowski Marcin/Shutterstock]