I love the holiday season. I really do. But even a nostalgia lover like me has her limits. So, following the example of 2 of my favorite internet critics, I am going to list my Top 12 Least Favorite Christmas Songs. This is a subjective list. If you like the songs, I won’t hold it against you.
12)”I Saw Three Ships.” I am a stickler for lyrics (most of the time) and I just don’t get the lyrics of this song. Last time I checked, Bethlehem wasn’t a harbor town. I know it sounds nitpicky, but they never really went into what the three ships were, where they came from, etc. What I will say, though, is that the song sounds really nice. So if I hear an instrumental version, I’d be okay with it.
11) “This Christmas.” While I like a good holiday-themed love song, this particular song sounds a bit self-centered to me. It might be because the first time I heard this song, Chris Brown was the one who sang it, but I also don’t like the lines “I’m gonna get to know you better” or “This Christmas will be a very special Christmas for me.” Christmas is supposed to be a bit more altruistic than that.
10) “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” No list of bad holiday songs would be complete without this song. I remember hearing this as a kid and I found it weird. It still doesn’t hold up now that I’m grown up. In fact, it sounds even weirder and worse. It’s a joke of a song that’s only funny once.
9) “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” This song has the same problem as “Grandma.” It’s a funny childhood joke that does not hold up when you grow up. I can still laugh at the “Dominick the Donkey” song because it’s funny in a “hilariously bad” way, but this song isn’t even hilariously bad. Also, it’s just one verse that doesn’t even have the excuse of being longer but only being known for the opening verse like “Jingle Bells.”
8) “Where Are You Christmas.” It’s kind of a sad-sounding song and sadly the last verse doesn’t redeem it. I can get the idea of people being sad during the wintertime and the holiday season, but the problem with the song is that Christmas isn’t something that leaves you or something that changes. People change and their perceptions of Christmas change. If the person in the song wants Christmas back, they have to change instead of thinking that Christmas is lost because the world is changing.
7) “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” While this is a very cute duet, the lyrics are a bit sketchy. And unless the people in the song live in Stars Hollow or the unrealistic-but-still-seen-in-every-holiday-movie-ever-small-town-where-everyone-gossips, I highly doubt that there will be talk about two people spending the night together on a very snowy night. Also, if you really can’t stay, why did you visit your boyfriend on a day with very tumultuous weather?
6) “Do They Know It’s Christmastime At All?” The intentions of the song are good, but as they say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Again, the main problem is the lyrics, although the melody isn’t all that good either. One particular lyric ruins the whole song: “Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.” Dear Bono, I really hope you intended for that lyric to be sarcastic because otherwise, you wrote a really condescending line. I like the new 2014 version with the changed lyrics that raise awareness about the Ebola epidemic. They’re not perfect, but at least better than the original.
5) “And So This Is Christmas” AKA “Happy Christmas.” I respect John Lennon as an artist, but if I want to listen to a song about how there should be peace, there is a beautiful song called “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” I enjoy the latter song so much more because war can’t be over just because we want it to be. But peace begins at home. And in these chaotic and uncertain times, people forget that peace is a lot harder thing to have. But it is attainable. And it is possible.
4) “Another Auld Lang Syne.” This song wasn’t even intended on being a Christmas song. But sadly, unlike Die Hard which became the coolest action-packed unintentional Christmas movie in cinematic history, this song doesn’t have a cool factor. It’s a story of two exes who run into each other on Christmas Eve and drink in their car. Then the woman drives off and that’s it. I really hope she wasn’t drunk when she was driving. The melody is also slightly annoying. If you want to listen to a song lamenting lost loves that takes place in winter but isn’t necessarily about Christmas, turn your attention to this lovely song.
3) “Mistletoe.” Justin Bieber is everyone’s punching bag and everybody knows that. I hated him as soon as I heard his voice. I don’t like his duet with Mariah Carey in the remake of “All I Want for Christmas is You” because it makes both of them look bad. But another internet critic hates Justin Bieber and has critiqued this song better than I ever can. (Warning: there’s some cussing in the video I shared.)
2) “Mary Did You Know.” There are 2 types of people when it comes to this song. Those who don’t mind the song and those who change the station as soon as they hear it. I fall into the latter category. Catholics have written many a post either saying that they can use the song to start a theological discussion or cringing over it the way I do. There are better songs that capture Mary during the time of the Nativity. But my favorite Mary-related song is “Let it Be Done Unto Me” which takes us back to when Jesus was conceived.
1) “The Christmas Shoes.” My dad likes this song. And the movies relating to it. And usually I’m a sucker for songs that tell a story…but not when the story is badly written. I get the whole “faith of a child” angle that the song was trying to go for and the idea of doing a kind deed for a stranger during Christmastime, but it was all poorly executed. A Christmas Carol shows the ideas this song was trying to do in a much more realistic way.
So what will you expect me to write about next week? Taylor Swift. It’s her birthday next week, after all!