Holiday Hall of Shame 4: Christmas Turkey

It’s that time of year again. Time to haul out all those old, dusty Christmas songs and pretend we like them for about a month. Ok, ok, I really do love Christmas music, but I also have to admit that some of them are just – a bit overboard. Still, it’s a ton of fun to take these songs and carve them up like some sort of Christmas Turkey.

In the past, I’ve written about “classics” such as Christmas Shoes by Neswsong and Lady GaGa’s Christmas Tree. While this year’s batch might not be as gut-wrenching as the aforementioned atrocities, we’re confident this new batch will make you gasp in awe. So, sit back, relax, and maybe have an adult beverage at hand – these songs will sound better if you’re drunk. This is Holiday Hall of Shame 4: Christmas Turkey!

Christmas Turkey
No, not this kind of Christmas Turkey!

Billy Joel / Rosie O’Donnel – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Billy Joel has a pleasant voice. If there’s an artist who should sing a slow, Christmas ballad, it’s Billy Joel. And, I got to say, Joel absolutely crushes it with his rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Christmas. So, why would this song find a spot at the Holiday Hall of Shame? Two words: Rosie O’Donnell.

Now, I’m not ripping on Rosie O’Donnell just to rip on her. I really have no beef with her, other than her terrible performance as Betty Flintstone 20 or so years back. In fact, I kind of love Rosie. Her work as the host of Stand Up Spotlight back in the day was hysterical. I remember her doing a comedic version of “Pump Up the Jam,” and making fun of herself because she couldn’t sing. This brings us to the point: Rosie O’Donnell can’t sing! And juxtaposing her lack of singing ability with a legend like Billy Joel? It’s like drinking the best cup of coffee ever made, and then drinking the sludge you get at a gas station. Oh, but it gets worse! This is one song on an entire album of duets. Rosie O’Donnell sings with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Elton John, and more! Legendary singer after legendary singer paired with Rosie O’Donnell. Who, oh who, thought this might be a good idea?

O, Rosie, again I don’t have a beef with you. But please don’t sing ever again. And if you do, please don’t pair yourself with legends like Billy Joel.

Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Maroon 5

Maroon 5’s rendition of John Lennon’s classic Christmas carol starts out pretty good. Adam Levine’s vocals are on point, and the piano sounds hauntingly beautiful. This goes on for about half the song, just enough to lure you in. What happens during the last half of the song? Well, all I can think of is Adam Levine wants to imitate Yoko Ono’s part. He sings in a nasally, quasi stylized fashion – much like a dying cat.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Maroon 5 forgets that while the original version of War is Over starts out simple, the song progresses to a complex choral piece. What’s worse, is Maroon 5 forgets the crux of the song. Levine and company sing the line “War is over if you want it” at the very end of the song. It’s almost like an afterthought. Yeah, thanks for ruining the song!

Hey Adam. Next time you do a cover of a classic song, maybe look up the song’s meaning. KTHNXBYE!

Christmas Shoes – FM Static

Ok, so any cover version of Christmas Shoes deserves to be on this list. It is the worst Christmas song ever, and possibly the worst song of any genre, ever. I hope I don’t end up in hell because the devil will play this for me nonstop, I guarantee it. But I digress.

If there’s any cover of Christmas Shoes that might, just might, be ok, it’s a punk version. Like, a punk version that’s making fun of the most torturous song ever written. Unfortunately, FM Static does not take this route. Their version of Christmas Shoes sounds upbeat and almost stands as a tribute to the original. Come on! Why, oh why would anyone want to pay tribute to the Newsong war crime? That’s just sadistic! The FM Static cover of Christmas Shoes appears on the album “Punk goes Christmas,” which should give us a hint at the context. The album title may as well be called “Punk sells out and goes commercial Christmas.” Oh, and side note, the next song is by Jars of Clay. I love Jars, but since when are they punk? But I digress.

FM Static, you suck eggs for making this cover of Christmas Shoes. Seriously, it’s not enough to have one version, but no, you had to squeeze out this regurgitated turd to make our lives that much more miserable. I hope Santa gives you a lump of coal in your stocking.

Don’t Shoot Me Santa – The Killers

Don’t Shoot Me Santa is just disturbing. Basically, we have a boy who gets teased by other children. The boy shoots and kills all his tormentors. Santa, who may or may not have told the boy to do this, decides for Christmas the boy will get a “bullet from a gun.” And that’s the whole song. Seriously. Is that demented or what?

I don’t know why The Killers wrote this song, but I don’t want to know. All I know is I’ve spent too much time on this song. Next!

The Night Santa Went Crazy (Extra gory version) – Weird Al

It’s rare that I snark on the great “Weird” Al Yankovic. But he went a little too far with the original (aka extra gory version) of The Night Santa Went Crazy. A little context before we get started: The extra gory was released as the B side to the Amish Paradise single. The album version, while almost identical to the original, changes verse three entirely. Both versions have Santa bombing the workshop, holding the elves hostage, making Rudolph into Reindeer sausage, Barbequing Blitzen, and other over-the-top acts of psychopathy.

Oh, but the extra gory version, yeah, Santa dies in it. The SWAT team shoots a hole in Santa’s head, and his brains splatter all over the floor. There are no presents for the children, and the elves all file for unemployment. It’s a dark ending, to say the least. Contrast that with the album version, Santa goes to prison, sure, but he’ll be out in 700 years. Christmas will come back, eventually. Even the elves gain employment with the postal service. Sure, most of the reindeer are gone, but it’s a happy ending. Well, maybe not happy, but at least it’s a hopeful ending. Kind of. Ok, ok, at least Santa doesn’t end up like a Barney the Dinosaur parody!

The moral of this story: don’t kill Santa. Just don’t. It’s Christmas for Pete’s sake. Try to keep things hopeful for poor, impressionable Virginia!

What Christmas Turkey do you want me to roast next year?

I always try to be kind on these, roasts, but again, if you cover Christmas Shoes, I hope your Christmas turkey turns out like Clark W. Griswold’s. Still, I might have been a little too hard on The Killers, considering how nice I was to “Weird” Al. What can I say? I’m a Close Personal Friend of Al. But I digress.

Anyways, what songs deserve the Holiday Hall of Shame treatment next year? I’d love to hear a few suggestions. I look forward to writing this article every year, so I’m anxious to hear which song I can rake across the coals in 2022!

As for tradition, I guess, I forgot to parody a certain song once more. It’s the worst version of O Holy Night ever recorded. Well, if you’ve never heard it, here’s your chance. But listen to at your own risk. Merry Christmas everyone!

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