I ranked 100 Christmas songs. Here are the worst 10.
If you are in media long enough, there comes a year when you will be forced to rank something. Now it is my time. So I took the liberty to rank the 100 holiday songs being foisted upon us from Most Especially Heinous to Best. I present here the 10 worst offenders:
91. “Little Saint Nick.” You know, I should like this song. There’s something frustrating in not liking something that is entirely made up of components you like. “A Beach Boys song, about Christmas? Great!” “Will they do anything to make it sound like anything other than a normal Beach Boys song? Absolutely not!” My inability to enjoy this frustrates me more and more with each listen.
92. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Love adultery!
93. “The Chipmunk Song.” This song is designed to be annoying, but, unlike other songs designed to be annoying, it succeeds in turning me against it. It is the voices, I think.
94. “Linus and Lucy.” This makes me feel like I am on hold.
95. “Carol of the Bells.” Okay, here’s a thing I dislike: songs that would be fine if they didn’t have words but instead we put words in them. This carol reminds me of that time in the 1970s when they decided that all movie theme songs had to have lyrics, so the “Godfather” theme got the words “Speak softly, love, so no one hears us but the sky!” ( Yeegh.) “Carol of the Bells” typifies the worst excesses of this approach: “Hark how the bells! Sweet silver bells! All seem to say! Throw cares away!” And that is before you even get to the ding-dongs.
96. “Silver Bells.” I just don’t like songs with bells in them. I don’t like Christmas songs with onomatopoeia of any kind. Just play the dang instrument; don’t have a human being sitting there going RINGA-LING like a moron.
97. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” One of my chatters correctly describes this as a song about how differently abled people are bullied until the system finds a way to exploit them for profit. The only good thing about this song is that Rudolph is a reindeer with a people name, and all the other reindeer have dog names. Prancer, Blitzen, Dancer!
98. “Santa Baby.” The panicky Michael Bublé version that addresses Santa as “buddy” and “pally” and, even more confusingly, “poppy” has been richly and correctly mocked. But here is my bone to pick with the original, especially in 2018: Santa’s WHOLE CONCEPT, as far as I can understand it, is that he will give you amazing, wonderful gifts for NOTHING. Yet the singer in this song seems to be laboring under the delusion that to receive elegant presents, she has to sleep with him? Eartha, or whoever else is covering this, you don’t have to! This is Santa’s only job! If he told you this was part of the equation, he was lying!
99. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” A better name for this song would be “I Assume You Cannot Hear Anything I Am Saying and so I Am Going to Repeat All the Words Twice.” This contains things that in another, better song, would be welcome: A star! A star! A shepherd boy! Rhetorical questions! But the problem with this song is the problem that arises any time you are forced to repeat something you said because someone didn’t hear it properly — namely, that you didn’t phrase the thing very well in the first place, and having to say it again just makes you more painfully aware of how awkward your wording was. “WITH A VOICE AS BIG AS THE SEA.” What? “WITH A VOICE AS BIG AS THE SEA,” you shout, regretting that you ever thought it was a good idea to introduce a simile here.
100.“Little Drummer Boy.” My hatred for this song knows no bounds. I think it is because the song takes approximately 18 years to sing and does not rhyme. The concept of the song is bad. The execution of the song is bad. There is not even an actual drum in the dang song, there is just someone saying PA-RUM-PAPUM-PUM, which is, frankly, another terrible onomatopoeia and probably is an insult to those fluent in Drum. I cannot stand it. Nothing will fix it, even the application of David Bowie to it. Every year I say, “I hate this song,” and every year people say, “Have you heard David Bowie’s version?” Yes. Yes, I have. It is still an abomination.