One of the best parts of the holiday season is the music. Be it ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ ‘Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah’, ‘Greensleeves’, ‘Carol of the Bells’, or ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’. And let us not forget ‘Christmas At Ground Zero’ and ‘The Hanukkah Song’. Sadly, for every classic, there are scores of atrocious songs that should never have been recorded. They represent the true War on Christmas. With the aim of helping to rescue your holiday season from these atrocities, I am providing you a list of the five worst Christmas songs ever recorded.
Umm… apparently Beyoncé and her cohorts got Hanukkah and Christmas mixed up. Ladies, Christmas has twelve days; Hanukkah has eight. Just ask Adam Sandler. The song is all about women harmonizing about the ‘spirit of Christmas’ with erotic inflections and references to massages and foot rubs, which as Vincent Vega has told us, have a deeper, sexual connotation. And the video? Yes, when the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born, what he meant by the spirit of Christmas was scantily clad women baring their midriffs in sexy Mrs. Clause costumes picked up at Aren’t We Naughty and singing about what their man ‘does’ to them. And the list of presents is the ultimate in forced rhymes. One gift is a Mercedes (I really hoped they discussed a price limit on Christmas presents), which is rhymed with ‘CDs’? Get it… they rhyme. With lyrics this awful, I’m glad the cut it down to eight days, because one more quatrain would have simply ruined Christmas permanently. The song has also become quickly dated. A gift certificate to a CD store? You mean, a living museum that shows youths how we used to buy music back in the old days? I mean, come on… couldn’t he get her a gift certificate to the Apple store?
I don’t mind a depressing Christmas ballad that challenges the consumerist and capitalist appropriation of the holiday. But this just a lazy, kitschy attempt at being sentimental. Aside from the clichéd shrill country vocals and twangy guitar, the song also features a droning ‘melody’ and some of the worst lyrics I’ve ever heard. In the first stanza, Denver performs simple math for the audience… and fails! Speaking from the perspective of a child, he says that last year he was only seven, and now he’s almost eight. Actually… you wouldn’t be almost eight if you were seven at this time last year; you would be eight. Did this kid switch over from the Orthodox calendar during that year? There is also an utter lack of a narrative. His father passes out under the Christmas tree and his mother cries. That’s it. That’s the whole song. No cheating. No abuse. No money meant for gifts being blown at the race track. The father even says ‘Merry Christmas’ to his family before passing out. He just had a few too many one night. What’s the BFD? And in the father’s defense, if I had an eight-year-old that could not add one and seven, I might take to drinking myself. At least it’s not as over the top as ‘The Christmas Shoes’. Thank god for that.
In 1989, five white kids from Boston tried to redefine the word ‘funky’. Thankfully, they failed miserably. This song was destined to become one of the most infamous Christmas songs. The biggest problems? Well, it featured Donnie Walberg, who was trying desperately to be the white Bobby Brown by using the word ‘posse’ and ‘spitting’ rhymes almost as effectively as the Average Homeboy. This didn’t exactly enhance his clever word play, which included lines like “kick the ballistic Santa Clause”. The beat is monotonously simplistic and annoying and sounds like it was put together by a person who received a Casio SK-I keyboard for Christmas the year before but didn’t even know how to use it as well as this guy. Tip for white kids who wear fanny packs and want to break into hip-hop: When you are rhyming, don’t make ‘butt’ jokes about Santa Clause burning his ass on a fire in a British accent. It simply is not going to earn you any street cred. Not even if you are ICP.
A little child’s mother is dying of cancer, so he buys her a pair of shoes for her to wear to heaven. Is this the lead track on an album titled A Very Kitschy Christmas? WOW! Of course, when the child goes to buy the shoes, he’s fucking poor as all hell, so he doesn’t have enough money to buy them. That’s when the song’s narrator steps in and saves the day, paying for the shoes and then boasting that god sent him the child so that he would learn the true meaning of Christmas. Right… god GAVE A WOMAN CANCER, so that some redneck fuck could understand the true meaning of Christmas and write a shitty country song about it. I guess god does work in mysterious ways. Either that, or this guy is just pathetically egocentric. Hey… hero… how about instead chipping in for the fuckin’ shoes, you pay for his mother’s chemotherapy? I guess this is what Christmas is about. Living in the free market where people can’t afford health insurance and rich people can make themselves feel better by chipping in to buy a pair of shoes for a woman dying of cancer, because that’s what she really needs. I can hear the guy now: “Let me know what Jesus says about them shoes, and be sure to tell him I chipped in for them!”
When Tiny Tim, famous for his rendition of ‘Tip Toe Through the Tulips’, penned this tune in 1980, ‘AIDS’ was not yet a term in the English vernacular. It wasn’t until 1982, when the disease was first discovered by physicians that it was given a name, and even then it was at first called Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). Gives you a little insight into how backward thinking even men of science were just over a little thirty years ago. So what the fuck was Tiny Tim talking about when he said Santa Clause has got the AIDS? Well, he says he was talking about a diet supplement called Ayds (famous for tags likes like “Why take a diet pill when you can enjoy Ayds?” and “Thousands of men and women have lost weight on the Ayds plan” and sentences that start with “Ayds may taste like candy, but…”). If the song is about Ayds, though, why is Tiny Tim singing about how Santa is “lying sick in bed”? I mean, Santa actually says “I’m sick in bed with the AIDS.” There are even nurses and doctors! And he’s got to stay away from people? Are diet pills somehow contagious? How on earth could this song be about a diet pill? At least in Tiny Tim’s world, AIDS only needs twelve months to get cleared up. I guess in this alternate world, AIDS is pretty much like genital warts? The song is painfully hilarious as phrases like “he won’t be ‘round to spread his Christmas cheer” take on a whole new twisted and depraved meaning. And I’m still trying to figure out why the article ‘the’ is in front of Ayds/AIDS, given that neither usage required an article in front of it. This song has broken my WTF Scale.
What do you think some of the worst Christmas songs are? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you enjoyed this post, be sure to get updates on my latest ramblings by following my on Twitter @JasonJohnHorn.