Well, Thanksgiving is over. You know what that means?
Yep. Christmas is around the corner. It’s the season of giving, uncontrollable capitalism, and Christmas songs, which started playing the day after Halloween. These songs are usually a mixed bag, ranging from timeless classics that have stood the test of time to cheaply-produced lazy cash grabs that are best left forgotten. And I’m going to count down the best and worst of them, starting with the worst. So let’s begin with the dishonorable mentions.
GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER-ELMO & PATSY
When I did my special Random WTF Lyrics 4 years ago, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer was the first song I talked about and how appropriate that it’s the first song I talk about here. A tale of Grandma getting hit by Santa and his reindeer. This is supposed to be the punchline of the entire song, an elderly woman being murdered by a fat man in red and his herd of reindeer. No amount of whimsical singing can hide how horrific that is. And they made a whole-ass animated movie based on this song and it’s just as bad. What the ever-loving fuck was wrong with us as a society?
Look, I like Wham!’s music as much as the next person and I know a lot of people like this song, but, unpopular opinion, it ain’t doing it for me. Last Christmas is where a woman breaks up with a guy the day after Christmas and he’s trying to get back with her, even knowing that she broke his heart. The downer tone of the writing clashes with the more upbeat new wave production, which is honestly bland. Wham! has made better songs than this.
In 2011, Justin Bieber released a Christmas album and this was the big hit from it. Like a lot of the Biebs’ early material, Mistletoe is awkward as hell in delivery and sound with a flimsy acoustic guitar and beat, shaky vocals, and amateurish writing as he’s attempting to woo a girl to be with him. Also, the chorus.
With you, shawty, with you
With you, shawty with you
With you, under the mistletoe
Yeah, I think it’s long overdue for the phrase “shawty” to be put down Old Yeller-style. We don’t need any more mediocre white guys abusing it.
EVERY VERSION OF SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
You know? The more you listen to the full version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, the more you realize how terrifying this song really is. Just look at these lines and try not to picture Santa Claus as some horror movie slasher.
He sees you when you're sleeping
And he knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Cause Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s watching your every move 24/7 and knows everything about you. What’s going to happen when he comes to town? I don’t wanna know. Hyperbole aside, I never liked this song nor any of its covers. One of the worst ones comes from Bruce Springsteen, whose rougher vocal performance makes it seem like he’s constipated, like he had way too much eggnog. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone spying on me.
SANTA CLAUS IS WATCHING YOU-RAY STEVENS
Man, it’s been a while since I last talked about Ray Stevens. So when I found out that he has a Christmas song, I thought it was perfect for this list. With Santa Claus Is Watching You, Ray goes further beyond being unfunny and becomes a straight-up creep, threatening a girl to bang him because Santa Claus is watching. Yyyyyyyyyeah, this wouldn’t fly these days. And I thought Santa Claus Is Coming To Town was bad, but this. Yeesh.
THE ENTIRE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS ALBUM BY NSYNC
So a year after their debut album, NSYNC released a Christmas album and it’s about as embarrassing as you’d thought it’d be. It consists of nothing but sappy-ass love ballads that just happens to involve Christmas, sometimes in the most awkward ways possible like holiday sex. I know it’s technically cheating by mentioning the entire album and not pick one track, but I couldn’t just pick one. I bet the guys of NSYNC were embarrassed that they ever made this thing.
PLEASE DADDY (DON’T GET DRUNK ON CHRISTMAS)-JOHN DENVER
Well, this is dark. I mean, I’m not against dark holiday songs, but this goes one step further. This little number from John Denver is about exactly what the title says: a young boy pleading to his father not to drink to the point of passing out right by the Christmas tree. It’s so depressing that you’d want to hit the bottle to numb the pain of listen to this song. There’s an old stereotype that country music is depressing and this song helps reinforce that stereotype. This sounds less like a Christmas song and more like something that would get played in Western-themed bars at 2:00 in the morning.
Now that we got that out the way, here are the 10 worst Christmas songs of all time.
I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS-GAYLA PEEVY
I feel uncomfortable talking about this because the performer, Gayla Peevy, is just a kid and she’s doing her best with what she’s given. But that doesn’t make I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas any less annoying with writing that dives nose first into “kids say the darnest things.” A little girl wants a hippo for Christmas. Not a toy hippo, mind you, but a real hippo. You know, an animal that’s killed the most people out of any animal in Africa. THAT hippo. I put this low on the list because I’m not even mad at Gayla for doing this song as I am at the adults around her who made this earsore of a song. But while we’re on the topic of annoyance, …
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH-SPIKE JONES & HIS CITY SLICKERS
… are you serious right now? I tried to be nice to the last entry, but this doesn’t even deserve kindness. We have Spike Jones (no relation to Spike Jonze, the director) imitating the voice of a kid with two missing front teeth and I’m already irritated by the amount of whistles in a short amount of time. This is an imitation of Herbert The Pervert from Family Guy with hokey backing music and content where a kid wishes for two front teeth for Christmas. I’m pretty sure Santa can’t help you there, kid, and even the Tooth Fairy doesn’t give away teeth. It’s a bad joke song crafted to annoy and nothing else. Let this remain forgotten through history.
THE CHRISTMAS SONG (CHRISTMAS DON’T BE LATE)-ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS
We meet again, Alvin & The Chipmunks. I throughly thrashed this POS in my Worst & Best Songs of 1959 list, so if you missed that, check it out for my thoughts. A quick summary: one guy voices three characters and increases the pitch to make them sound like chipmunks and he gave us this dreck where the three chipmunks sing about the things they want with one of them being a major asshole (guess which one) and messing up on purpose. There, now we can move on.
MERRY MUTHAFUCKIN’ XMAS-EAZY-E
I could have put any one of the numerous bad Christmas rap songs on this spot, but I thought it was appropriate to put the king of them all on here and man, does this not disappoint. You ever wonder what would happen if you let Eazy-E make a Christmas song? Well, you get an amalgamation of all the recognizable Christmas carols in the most ratchet, ghetto mess on this side of the Earth. Also, we get guest verses from the Black Eyed Peas. You read that right. The Black Eyed Peas, pre-Fergie. This is a joke song through and through and that’s the reason that a part of me doesn’t really hate this song. I can’t help but laugh at how absurd this shit is. I mean, it’s still juvenile crap, but I’d put this in the same level as Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
SANTA BABY-MICHAEL BUBLÉ
Confession: I never was a fan of Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby. I never really cared for it, but I see the appeal and understood what it was doing. This has been subject to various covers from Madonna to Kylie Minogue to Ariana Grande. But the worst one comes from Canada’s own Michael Bublé. A reminder that this song is about a woman writing an extravagant list of things she wants Santa to give her in exchange for, well, some holiday loving and to hear a guy singing this feels… awkward.
Santa baby, slip a Rolex under the tree
I've been an awful good guy
Santa buddy, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa buddy, a sixty five convertible too
I'll wait up for you, dude
Santa buddy, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa pally, I want a yacht and really that's not a lot
I've been an sweetie all year
Santa buddy, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa buddy, fill my stocking with Canucks tix
Through me on the first line
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
I can’t be the only person getting a homoerotic vibe out of this, right? Especially when you consider the context of the original. Am I crazy or something? All he did was change every feminine gift with more masculine ones and he calls Santa “buddy” and “pally” like it’s the 1950s. Come on, dude. That shit is lame. I’m just saying, leave this one to the ladies.
WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME-PAUL MCCARTNEY
Well, it wasn’t gonna be long before I talk about this one. Wonderful Christmastime was released 40 years ago and it’s easily one of the worst songs that Paul McCartney has ever made. The production has this ugly synth line that doesn’t mix well with the rest of the song. Paul McCartney sounds like he’s on his off day as he isn’t even trying in terms of vocals and in the writing, which consists of a bunch of repetition, which is a common annoyance of most Christmas songs. No amount of covers can make this song good in any capacity. It’s annoying and insipid.
FUNKY FUNKY CHRISTMAS-NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
New Kids On The Block did a song called Funky Funky Christmas. At this point, the jokes write themselves. And yes, the song is just as lame as the title would suggest. It’s one of the perfect examples of a bunch of white guys attempting to be cool by rapping, but they suck at it because they’re not convincing or cool. This is how I imagine a record label executive would put together a rap song in the late 80s, by having it be performed by a friggin’ boy band. Unsurprisingly, the lyrics suck.
Girls on the floor knows our posse at the door
Should I stop - nah cool - here's more of this song, a funky Christmas melody
'cause Jordan K feels so Christmasy
Throw your hands in the air pause, kick the ballistics Santa Claus
Sneaking downstairs on Christmas Eve
I saw a sight that you just wouldn't believe
St. Nick by the fireplace dusting off his head with a frown on his face
He said hay - said what - he said you - I said what
He said you left the fire burning and I burnt my butt
so now I've learned you've got to turn the fireplace down
so Santa won't get burned
Do I even need to analyze these lines? Aside from that, the production has aged horribly and it’s dragged out by an unfunny intro and outro. Geez, I wonder why this never became a Christmas staple.
EVERY VERSION OF BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
I can’t just pick one version of this song, so I’m including them all for this spot. Written by Frank Loesser in 1944, Baby It’s Cold Outside was a song that he performed with his wife for guests at house parties. Five years later, he sold the song to MGM, who used it in their film Neptune’s Daughter, which won them an Academy Award for Best Original Song. In recent times, the song has sparked controversy because of its lyrics. And when you analyze the lyrics, yyyyyyyeah, I can see it. So in the song, a woman is getting ready to leave a man’s house, but he insists that she stays because of the cold weather. The dude sounds like a clingy creep who can’t take “no” for an answer. Now, one might argue that no one should be outraged over this song because of cultural differences and the times it was made in. That’s fair. Still doesn’t make the song any less creepy and none of the covers redeem it at all, even the one from John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, who changed the lyrics to make it less creepy and appeal to modern audiences. But, …
I really can't stay (baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away (but, I can call you a ride)
This evening has been (I'm so glad you that you dropped in)
So very nice (time spent with you is paradise)
My mom will start to worry (I'll call the car and tell him to hurry)
My daddy will be pacing the floor (wait, what are you still livin' home for?)
So, really, I'd better scurry (your driver, his name is Murray)
But maybe just a half a drink more (oh, we're both adults, so who's keepin' score)
What will my friends think? (I think they should rejoice)
If I have one more drink? (It's your body and your choice)
Ooh you really know how (your eyes are like starlight now)
To cast a spell (one look at you and then I fell)
I ought to say, "No, no, no, sir" (then you really ought to go, go, go)
At least I'm gonna say that I tried (well, Murray, he just pulled up outside)
I really can't stay
(I understand, baby)
Baby, it's cold outside
As you can tell, it fell flat on its face big time and only succeeded at giving the anti-social justice crowd more ammunition for their political correctness rants. Let this song remain in history because it wasn’t that good in the first place.
DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS-BAND AID
Well, here’s a doozy. Do They Know It’s Christmas is a great example of a song with good intentions, but horrible execution. Band Aid is a collection of the biggest British and Irish music artists of the 80s who recorded a charity song to combat the famine crisis of Ethiopia and thus, we got Do They Know It’s Christmas. From the start, it’s pretty clear that the writers have no idea what the hell they’re talking about as the way they talk about Africa is gross and condescending as all hell. They make broad oversimplified generalizations about the African continent way more than they talk about the actual crisis they’re raising money against.
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
Considering that Ethiopia is one of the first African countries to adopt Christianity, I’m pretty sure they’re aware of Christmas. Then again, non-Christians celebrate Christmas as well since Christmas has a lot of pagan and secular elements to it, making it an inclusive holiday. Also, snow is not necessary for Christmas. I’ve lived in Los Angeles my entire life and I haven’t seen any snow outside of the mountain areas. Oh, but those weren’t even the worst lines on the song.
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
Thank God it’s them instead of you. Yeah, there’s no way you could spin that in a positive light. “Hey, your life isn’t that bad. At least you’re not like those starving African children with no access to food or water. Please donate your money right now.” Fuck all the way off with this gaslighting bullshit. Why don’t these pricks just pony up their own bank accounts and give some money to the cause if they’re so passionate about it? This, plus We Are The World, exists to guilt-trip people into giving money not because it’s the right thing to do, but to boost the egos of a bunch of millionaires. This is why I feel that celebrities should never be worshipped like gods. I was so close to putting this song at number one, but then I heard something that left my jaw on the floor.
And finally, the worst Christmas song of all time IS………
THE CHRISTMAS SHOES-NEWSONG
Okay, you might want to sit down for this one because I am about to describe to you how bad this song is and why it topped this list. This is The Christmas Shoes, a song by a contemporary Christian group named NewSong which hit number one on the adult contemporary charts. And it is atrocious, to say the least. Why is that? Well, the music is saccharine as hell, sounding like something straight out of a Hallmark Channel movie, and the singing is subpar. But that’s not why this song is number one. No, the real reason is in the lyrics. So the story here is that a boy is in line to buy a pair of shoes for his ailing mother because he wants her to look beautiful when she
dies meets Jesus. The narrator decides to pay for the boy’s gift and he basically thanks God for reminding him of the true meaning of Christmas. Excuse me for a moment.
Wow. The implications that this song is generating are horrendous. So God tests some random Joe’s faith by making him give money to a kid buying shoes for his mother, who’s going to die because of God. That is some advanced-level of gaslighting going on here from the big man in the sky. It reeks of the same condescension that taints a lot of contemporary Christian music. Also, this shit is depressing as hell. This is supposed to be about Christmas, the time of joy and giving and all of that happy stuff and you make a song about dead moms? What the flying hell, NewSong? The only real catharsis I can gain out of this is that this is one of those Christmas songs that gets little to no airplay. Even the Christian crowd hates this crap. That is amazing. Even more amazing is Patton Oswalt’s hilarious breakdown of the song that I think you should check out.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why The Christmas Shoes is the worst Christmas song of all time.
And that was my list of the worst Christmas songs of all time. Stick around next week for when I do the best Christmas songs list.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Sweet Thang-Rufus & Chaka Khan