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Really, Really Bad Christmas Songs

My yearly disclaimer: I love Christmas music, but there is no getting around the fact that some of it is putrid.

I am purposefully not going to look back at last years’ post about the worst Christmas songs, but if you need to brush up, there it is.

So, let’s see if anything has changed this year.

For me? Nope. It’s still the Cat Carol.

Oh dear oh dear, it grows ever more wretched.

I still hate The Little Drummer Boy. It’s just too plodding and monotonous for me.

The Christmas Shoes.

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time.

In Toys R Us I heard the most insane version of Hark The Herald Angels Sing. Some things were not meant for the reggae treatment.

Pop-countrifying anything rarely stirs me.

My favorites this year–my favorites are almost always based solely on melodies that give me goosebumps–have been:

  • Greensleeves
  • Silent Night
  • O Holy Night
  • Just about any fingerstyle guitar arrangement of familiar carols
  • Gabriel’s Oboe
  • I love nearly all of the Sarah McLachlan Christmas album–there are levels of sentimentality I happily submit to

Okay, your turn. Sharpen the knives. What do you hate? And if you’re feeling jolly, what do you love?



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah December 13, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Favorite: Night of Silence

    I sung that for probably close to 10 years in church, during this huge candlelight service we always did. I still love it.

  • Megan G December 13, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I’m sorry, I know the radio stations seem to love it, but I absolutely detest ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ by Band Aid. AWFUL. For so many reasons. Not the least of which is its admonition to thank God that people in Africa are suffering instead of you. What?! Ugh. I have to change the station every 10 minutes when it comes on.

  • Rhamantus December 14, 2011, 12:33 am

    Wow, that Cat Carol song really is wretched! 🙁
    I have always hated “The First Noel”… I’m sure I would have liked it, as it is a pretty song, but since my name is Noelle, I’ve heard it juuust a bit too often.
    Even though I’m not religious, I do like “Silent Night”. I also really like “Winter Wonderland”.

  • Todd December 14, 2011, 7:30 am

    Josh, are you my long lost brother. I hate the cat carol too, and love the same as your list. Although The Violet Rising did a pretty good rendition of Little Drummer Boy, so I don’t completely find the song ‘hum-drum’. 🙂

  • Heather December 14, 2011, 10:09 am

    BRIAN SETZER’S CHRISTMAS ALBUM!!!!!!!! DIG THAT CRAZY SANTA (SETZER) CLAUS!!!!!!!! LOVE me some Rockabilly Christmas!

  • Jeanette December 15, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Okay, someone HAD to make up The Cat Carol. There is no way that is a serious Christmas song.

    Absolutely HATE The Christmas Shoes!!! Ditto for Do They Know It’s Christmas, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, any version of Santa, Baby except Eartha Kitt’s.

    I like the Bing Crosby/David Bowie version of Little Drummer Boy, Barenaked Ladies’ God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.

    Best fun and listenable Christmas albums: John Denver and the Muppets, (Figgy Pudding? It’s made with figs….*and bacon*…) and Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas.

  • Martinize December 26, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Great post. Let’s not forget how horrid the lyrics to The First Noel are. “The First Noel…was to certain poor shepherds”? What does that mean? “He look-ed up”? Lazy lyrical syntax. Beautiful tune, though. And you’re so right, “The Little Drummer Boy” and “The Christmas Shoes” are the bottom of the barrel. I’ve never heard of “The Cat Carol” but 10 seconds was enough to hate it. But not as much as these other three.

    I don’t have a problem with McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” though. If that annoying “Please Come Home for Christmas” drudge gets played every year, give us something equally vapid but cheerful to balance it.