Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If I Never Heard Them Again...I'd Be Delighted

Nat King Cole, who recorded the original version of "The Christmas Song"

I've never been a big fan of secular Christmas music. Each year in late November, I cringe when in every store, you hear nothing but cheesy Christmas song after cheesy Christmas song. What's worse, beginning in late November, a few of our local radio stations start playing nothing but these songs...and, of course, my daughters all insist upon listening to nothing else!

In the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, I thought I would make my own personal list of "Christmas" (some barely deserve the title) songs that I really cannot stand. Just to be extra cantankerous, I am going to only include songs that are loved by millions. I'll exclude songs that practically no one likes, such as "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" or the wretched "Last Christmas" by Wham (sound of retching). In order to make this list, a song had to have been heard by me at least 100 times over the past 7 years (even though I avoid them!)

So, here it goes: The ten beloved Christmas/Holiday songs that I hate the most, in order from those I hate the least to those I hate the most:

10. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree (Goofy)

9. Jingle Bells (No one over about 12 should like this song!)

8. I'll Be Home For Christmas (Way too sappy)

7. White Christmas (I know; you all love it. No offense to you or to Bing!)

6. Sleigh Ride (I had to play this in band all the time and pretty much couldn't stand it by my senior year in HS)

5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Sappy, and I hate the line about "the Fates" -- there is no such thing as "the Fates!")

4. Let it Snow (pointless)

3. Santa Baby (even more pointless)

2. Winter Wonderland (all-time dumbest lyrics, IMHO)

AND NOW....my all time LEAST FAVORITE (popular) Christmas song...drum roll, please.....

1. The Christmas Song (I know, I know, this will be heresy to many of you. Forgive me! I've just heard it about 1000 times too many, and the sappy, syrupy lyrics give me indigestion. Why does every recording artist on the planet feel compelled to record this song?)

Thank you for indulging me. I wish you all a blessed celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh (that's Christmas for all you Aggies out there!)

By the way, what would you add to the list? I solicit your thoughts.


Fr. James Early said...

White Christmas! I love white Christmas and Sleigh Ride. And my favorite is Winter Wonderand!

Fr. James Early said...

Folks, that was actually my daughter Beth, not me. See what I mean?

Paul said...

"Silent night". Who ever heard of more put you to sleep song than this? And whoever heard of a Holy night in Houston?

I like Greensleeves the instrumental only.

Though it is not a "Christmas" song, I do like 'Hazy Shade of Winter'.I can't remember the group though. They also sang 'Baracuda'.

Rachael said...

I have to say "A Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney is my least favorite Christmas song ever.

And you're right for excluding "Last Christmas". Who DOES like that song? Somebody must, because I hear it about fifty times per season.

"Sleigh Ride" gets stuck in my head like mad. I would also be delighted never to hear that one again.

Clint said...

I don't know "Hazy Side of Winter" but I think the group Heart sang "Barracuda."

I have to admit that I also don't much care for Christmas music. However, I was once wowed by an acapella (opera, no less) version of "O Holy Night."

Thats about it...

Fr. James Early said...

I just looked it up, and "Hazy Shade of Winter" was first recorded by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966. A cover version was released by the Bangles in 1987. That's probably the version Paul is thinking of. Heart was indeed the artist(s) who recorded "Barracuda" (a great song!)

Paul, "Silent Night" is indeed a little on the lame side, but at least it talks about the real Reason for the season. Interestingly enough, I was able to visit the home of the song's composer, Joseph Mohr, near Salzburg, Austria, in 2000.

Rachael, it's funny you mentioned "Wonderful Christmastime," because it came out as the all-time worst Christmas song ever in a recent list that Fr. Huneycutt recently discussed in his podcast. It is truly lamentable, but no worse than "Last Christmas!"

Clint, the most beautiful version ever of "O Holy Night" (IMHO) is the one by Josh Groban. And his "Ave Maria" sends chills down my spine. If you haven't heard it, go to my Facebook page. I posted the video there.

May you all have a blessed Christmas. I think I'll see all three of you before the 25th. :-)

Katrina said...

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"...I can't stand it!

Our choir sings "Silent Night" in English and then in Slavonic at the end of Liturgy on Christmas as everyone goes up to venerate the cross. That's my favorite version.

And even though I only know maybe ten words in Spanish and the song says the same thing over and over, I love "Feliz Navidad". It's just so cheery!

Have a blessed Nativity feast everyone!

James the Thickheaded said...

1) I can't believe you missed Elvis's "Blue Christmas". I mean it is so buh-buh-buh-buh bad to the bone... it's well... kind of grows on you. There's a point where cheesy crosses over into "classic"... and this is it.

2) Anything by the Chipmunks.

3) Santa Got Run Over by a Reindeer... and all similarly just plain out b-a-a-a-d gimmick songs.

4) Rock-n-roll versions of most of 'em...'cept I kinda like "Rock'n Round the Christmas Tree"... 'cuz in my version (not available in stores - and for good reason) my better than the original lyrics... I mean lyrics... who can ever get'em right? .. I have a verse about Jingle Bell Jane.. whoever she was. I think she "summers" with Tarzan?

5) Anything done by Muzak

Actually... in real life... one of my favorites is a French carol.. Le Divine Enfant... or something like that (did I say I had a lyric memory problem?).. done by a cathedral choir. All in French.. you don't know what they're saying.. but it sounds beautiful.

And some of the Ukranian carols are great, too - especially by Kitka.

James the Thickheaded said...

Ah... I can't believe you're nailing some of these.

Okay least favs:

1) Gimmick sons: "Santa Got Run Over by a Reindeer"... and its ilk. There should be a special penitentiary INSIDE Gitmo for the folks who record and/or play these things

2) Most carols recorded by aging British Rockers that look like Rod Stewart in full leisure suit mode and goo-ed up hair and sound like they've got a sore throat (this includes The Boss even if he comes from Jersey)

3) Any Perry Como, Ray Connif singers... or other cheesy over-produced 1960's stuff

4) Anything by Muzak

I'm a sucker for "Silver Bells" with B-B-B-Bing Crosby. And I also love Elvis's "Blue Christmas".... so buh-bad to the bone it's... well.. kind of grows on you.

Mostly, I like the French Carol "Le Divan Enfant" or something like that... done by a Cathedral choir; Ukranian carols by Kitka, and so on.

But heck... even the bad ones beat much of what's out there today.

John said...

I'm with you all the way on your list EXCEPT "Santa Baby"--but only, only if sung by the late, great Eartha Kitt.