At times like these, we need some holiday music to lift our spirits, like the top 10 holiday songs that I posted last year. There are some holiday songs we should avoid. This is a list of what I call “musical ugly sweaters.” These songs are played every holiday season, but they are annoying, unlistenable, or just plain bizarre. These songs can bring the “Bah, humbug” out of anyone. These are listed in no particular order, except they’re all the bottom of my holiday music list.
Good King Wenceslas
“Good King Wenceslas” is a Christmas carol (which takes place on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, and is based on a springtime song) from England (based on a Czech legend) about a king (who never held a royal title in his lifetime) who was a saint and martyr (if you define saints and martyrs as having a family more messed up than a reality TV show). Mostly, it’s a tedious, barely singable song that pretends “cruel” and “fuel” have two syllables.
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Having a hippopotamus under your Christmas tree may sound cute, until you realize how frightening hippos are when they wander through your neighborhood and that they kill more people than sharks each year. Then, there’s this verse:
I’d feed him there and wash him there
And give him his massage.
Which was sung by a 10-year-old girl. Creepy!
The Chanukah Song
“The Chanukah Song” is Adam Sandler’s career in a nutshell. The original was really funny. Then, he produced some loud, boring, and unfunny sequels (one of which included Rob Schneider, of course) and an unpleasant cartoon. Just when you’re about to give up on Adam Sandler, he comes up with a new one that’s actually good.
Holy S–t, It’s Christmas!
I appreciate a good dirty joke. What I don’t appreciate is when someone tries to shove a lot of dirty jokes into one song. (It’s the same problem with using too many swear words.) Red Peters’ song is good for a few shock laughs, but listening to an ancient Richard Gere gerbil joke and Santa Claus committing different sex acts gets old after a while. Peters ends the last verse with “The sleigh came down and took him away./The whole damn crowd was dismissed,” which is the universal sign for “I just ran out of ideas. I might as well end the song here.” Holy s–t, it’s awful.
The Christmas Shoes
How can you not be moved by a story of a boy trying to buy shoes for his dying mother and the kind stranger who buys them for him? When it’s told as a overwrought, melodramatic, and cloying mess of a song from someone who seems a little too pleased with himself for being such a good Christian. When that little boy’s mother sees Jesus, she can ask him to tell the singer the proper way to give charity. No wonder why Jezebel.com declared it “The Worst Christmas Song Ever.”
What is your musical ugly sweater holiday song? Post it in comments.