Last year, in my Holiday Hall of Shame, I gave such holiday classics as Little Saint Nick, Santa Baby, and The Chipmunk Song a bug, huge, steaming lump of coal. I mean….why not? Those songs deserve any hate I can give and more. I really enjoyed writing about those musical atrocities, and dang it! I want to do it again. So here comes the Holiday Hall of Shame Part Two – the holiday shame train. Next stop, more beloved Christmas favorites! The holiday shame train will not hit the same songs as last year, but I promise – it will be just as entertaining. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride. The holiday shame train is leaving the station!
Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney & Wings
It took me sometime to view this song objectively. I have some very special memories attached to Wonderful Christmastime. Besides…this is Paul freaking McCartney….one of the Beatles! You don’t rip on the Beatles! Ok, ok, I totally rip on the Beatles, and Paul McCartney has done more than his share of really bad music in every phase of his career. And yes, speaking objectively, Wonderful Christmastime is indeed one of those bad songs.
Firstly, let’s look at the instrumentation. That keyboard sounds like a cheap, 50 dollar Casio Keyboard. Seriously, this does not sound like an instrument that someone of Sir Paul McCartney’s stature would use. Once more, that double reverb effect during the chorus makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with the track! Not a good sound, Paul, not a good sound!
Now, let’s look at the words and melody. I realize Wonderful Christmastime is supposed to be a “simple” song (simply having a wonderful Christmas time and all that) – but there’s simple, and there’s lazy. The lyrics and melody fall into the lazy category. The bridge is especially guilty of this heinous crime. The melody has what, two notes sung intermittently? Oh, and hey there Pauley, guess what? Choirs don’t make the sound “ding dong, ding dong!” That’s the sound of a bell, not a choir! Come on Paul! You’re so much better than that!
Here’s the biggest crime of Wonderful Christmastime. We KNOW Paul could have done so much better. Again, I have a lot of emotional attachment to this song, and I will always love this piece of crap….but it’s still a big, huge, freaking pile of crap.
Last Christmas – Wham
If you had a Yamaha SHS10, you might recognize this song from the keyboard’s demo. Or maybe you recognize Last Christmas from the million and a half times it’s been shoved down our throats over the years. Seriously, I feel this song is actually getting more popular by the year. I swear, I’ve heard it a dozen times since Thanksgiving already. I barely remember hearing it a handful of times in 1984. Hell, even Ariana Grande did a version….why would she do that to us? Isn’t her music torturous enough?
Ok, ok, I digress. We’re talking about Wham, and not the a poor man’s Mariah Carey. Aside from the overplaying of Last Christmas – it’s just a dumb song. Firstly, I have no remorse for the singer. He gave his heart away to someone he knew was not special, and admits it! Come on, of course that’s going to end in heartache!
Still, maybe that’s a whole hindsight’s 20/20 thing. I get that. The song still sucks. Why? Listen to that background music. It’s so formulaic, so derivative, so repetitive, it sounds like….well….it sounds like the demo from a cheap, 80s keyboard! No wonder Yamaha used it for their entry level Keytar.
Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy
Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer might be the most random and disturbing novelty song ever written. Seriously, Grandma got killed by Santa’s sleigh? That seems like something from The Onion or a tabloid. I can see someone in a story planning meeting: “Ok, folks, we need something to sell The Weekly World News…what’s something more outrageous than bat boy? I know, beloved holiday icon murders a senior citizen!”
Sure, I get that Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer is a children’s song, but that makes it all the worse! Hey kids, Merry Christmas! By the Way, the magical being who brings you presents just sent grandma to be with Jesus. Yeah….
All one should can really say In response to Grandma Got Ran Ran Over by a Reindeer is What. The. Heck. What the actual heck?
Fame & Fortune – Rudolph and Hermey
In 1964, for reasons I still don’t quite understand, CBS made a change to the TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They replaced We’re a Couple of Misfits with the baffling and out of place Fame & Fortune. The placement of the new song made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Seriously, We’re a Couple of Misfits not only fits well into the storyline, but also had a refrain later on in the show. Fame & Fortune didn’t fit the scene and it didn’t fit the plot. Rudolph and Hermey did not go out into the world to seek Fame & Fortune, they ran away because everyone called them a couple of freaks! Including Santa Claus! Replacing We’re a Couple of Misfits with Fame & Fortune is the equivalent of editing Episode IV: A New Hope, to show Greedo shooting first. It’s wrong, wrong I tell you! Fame & Fortune is the same level of evil as the special edition of the original Star Wars Trilogy.
TL:DR – Han shot first, and Fame & Fortune has no place in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5
Sure, a thousand versions of this song exist. The original version was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church of Boston for mixing Kissing with Christmas. Spike Jones also had a pretty famous version (and an R rated version we’re not supposed to know about). So, why am I picking on the Jackson 5 version? Mainly because Michael Jackson and family painted a big, huge bullseye on their version of the song.
Firstly, (asides from the original version), every other version of the song featured adults imitating children. The Jackson 5 version? Well, let’s say MJ was the youngest person to record the song. This means the producers of this song exposed a child to adult situations! Not cool guys. Not cool at all!
Still, 1970 was very different than 2019 – so maybe I can’t condemn the Jackson 5 version for this one infraction. I can, however, condemn the Jackson 5 version for being just plain annoying. Let’s look at other popular versions by the Ronettes and John Cougar Mellencamp. These were actually fun to listen to. Mellencamp had a nice rock and roll grove. The Ronettes had a groovy dance rhythm with their version. The Jackson 5 had a prepubescent Michael Jackson yelling “I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS!!!” Oh. My. Freaking. Gosh. Make it stop! Make the bad music stop!
The Jackson 5 version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus both annoys and disturbs us!
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
The most famous version of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Mr Andy Williams sounds like a bad speed trip. Written in triple time, and with the most upbeat melody ever written, the song is so happy you just want to rip your ears out! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, but there’s happy, and then there’s super duper I think I might be going insane happy. You just know the Andy Williams classic was going through Clark Griswold’s head during his Christmas Eve freak outs! This song just has a tendency of making you so happy you go insane. I’m sure, if the Joker ever launches an attack at Christmastime, this accursed and unholy song will serve as the background music.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is so happy, it’s downright evil!
All I Want for Christmas (is my two front teeth) – Anyone!
The very idea of this song is just mean. Hey, let’s make fun of kids going through a freaking awkward stage of losing their baby teeth. Yeah, mocking kids is always funny and never, ever damages their self esteem or anything. Oh, and that’s essentially how this song was written too! According to Wikipedia, songwriter Donald Yetter Gretter, was a teacher who asked his second grade class what they wanted for Christmas. Most of them talked with a lisp because they were missing a couple baby teeth. Yeah….ok. What kind of psychopath makes a song out of that?
The Holiday shame train is too good for this jerk, so I’m officially kicking him off. Yep, Mr. Gretter…you get to walk the rest of the way.
The Holiday Shame Train will be back next year!
Yeah, of course I’ll bring back the holiday shame train. Why wouldn’t I? I mean, come on….there’s plenty of ill thought of Christmas songs to mock. We’ve got ourselves a hap hap happy Christmas tradition going on here, and this train is not losing any steam. No sir! When Santa parks his sleigh on my roof and slides down the chimney, he’ll see the jolliest bunch of lunatics this side of a Vacation movie! Ok, ok, enough of my failure to emulate Clark Griswold.
In all seriousness – next year’s holiday hall of shame / holiday shame train, or whatever I call it, will be just as much fun as this year’s. So….what songs have I missed in the last two years? Which Christmas songs make you cringe in 2020? Which Christmas songs should be banned from ever being played on the radio? Be creative, and remember nothing is sacred. I’m not above mocking a really bad version of say, Silent Night or Silver Bells. Heck….I’m not even above mocking any version of Silver Bells!
I leave you once again, the same way I left you last year. This song happened, and we let it happen!