Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Ultra Most Hated Christmas Carols

Today, as promised, I will elaborate on my most-hated Christmas carols. For now, I cannot finish my tribute poem as I said I would yesterday--I was drawn into a spontaneous game of Skip-Bo with the in-laws. Family bonding will trump blogging for the time being.

Anyway, here it is without further ado. These songs are in no particular order; they all make me want to rip my hair out by the roots. There are fifteen, so it's a good length CD to throw at something moving very fast so that it shatters. I don't blame you if you don't click on the videos to hear these monstrosities (a few of which I am sure you have anyway, and I'm sorry), but I will provide them when available.

1. "The Twelve Pains of Christmas."

This song makes me grate my teeth until I feel like I am getting a headache. It is a poor attempt to parody the original Twelve Days of Christmas song, but it features very bad impressions of Archie Bunker, a whiny kid and assorted other characters I don't want to hear complaining about the negative aspects of the Christmas season. I feel that if a song is supposed to be funny, if it is not funny, it fails.

2. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" performed by the Sinatra family:
Frank, Nancy, and Frank Jr. Frank thought it would be cute to turn the song into a list of crappy presents he got from his kids. It wasn't. 'Nuff said.

3. "Santa Baby" by Madonna.
I think this song can be pretty cute and/or funny when performed with some subtlety, but when Madonna sings it, it is like she is either drunk or trying very hard to be Adelaide from Guys and Dolls, doing her strongest New York accent. Ugh.

4. "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Carpenters. I grew up with their "Christmas Portrait" album playing many times throughout December and own a copy myself. But this original (I think) song on that album is just the cheesiest thing I have ever heard. I mean, really: "The logs on the fire fill me with desire/ to see you and to say..."???? I have yet to be turned on by firewood. I realize that is not what the lyric is intending to mean, but when you leave a big pause right there, that's how it sounds. Fail.

5. "Old Fashioned Christmas" by Frank Sinatra.
This is looking like I don't like Frank either. I do, usually, but he is great at finding some cheese. This is another example of it. I take particular issue with two very dated lines from the song: "My mom's there in the kitchen, basting the Christmas bird", and "You can't find that at the Automat."

6. "Jingle Bells" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
I usually adore big band arrangements, but upon hearing this version of Jingle Bells, I just about choked. It contains a horrible original verse in which "Down in Mexico, we ain't got no snow...sit around all day, hear the music play, ev'ry time we sing, tequila glasses ring!" Um, racist much??? Those lazy, drunken Mexicans. I am appalled that they are still playing this crap on the Holiday Traditions station on Sirius XM Radio. It may be traditional to be racist, but we don't need to perpetuate that one.

7. "Jingle Bells" by Barbra Streisand.

This is abhorrent for other reasons. First of all, as she often is, Streisand gets overindulgent with her arrangement. Secondly, she decides to act superior to everyone listening to her sing by attempting to dismiss the line "he got into a drifted bank and then we got upsot," by repeating, "Upsot??" as if it is not a word. Barbie, honey, it may not seem like a word to you, but think for two seconds about your context clues. If you're riding in a sleigh and it runs into a big ole snowbank, what do you think will happen? What words you know sound like upsot? Upset, perhaps?? Sigh.

8. "The Christmas Shoes."
This song is played entirely too much every year. I feel like it was written by some disturbed individual who is preying on everyone's emotions around the holidays in order to sell some copies of a song. It is attempting to pull every string to get a tear to the listener's eye: a sob story, not-very-talented children singing, and a kid whose story could just as easily be a scam for him to then take the "Christmas shoes" down the street and fence them for cash. Ugh.

9. "Christmas Song" by the Chipmunks.
Again, this song tends to be very overplayed. Maybe it is especially annoying lately to me because of the two horrible movies made featuring the rodents in the past few years, but I could go my whole life without hearing this song again.

10. "Last Christmas" by Wham!
This is my least favorite of the genre of Christmas songs that I feel has the least to do with the actual holiday: the whiny love song. OK, it sucks that you tried to give your heart to a jerkwad last year, but do you have to whine about it this year too? Other songs in this genre are "All I Want for Christmas is You," "Blue Christmas," and the ever-popular "Pretty Paper." Apparently the birth of a savior means nothing to these people if they can't get laid. UGH.

This one pairs inane lyrics ("Merry Christmas" x4, "The hope that he brings" x4, etc.) with some really questionable chords in the children's choir. Probably my least favorite part is near the end, however, when they repeat the soprano line: "On this night! On this night! On this very Christmas night!" about 500 times.

12. "Merry Christmas America."
As far as I remember, this song was just an attempt to turn "God Bless the U.S.A." into a Christmas song. Apparently it has gone into hiding, however; I can't find it on Google despite repeated attempts to locate it. Perhaps because the title seems to coincide with a lot of op-ed pieces on the so-called "War on Christmas." Not going there.

13. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Whitney Houston.
Unfortunately, if you are listening closely to the lyrics of the recorded (not the live video above, that is just for reference) rendition, Miss Whitney is not completely with it for one reason or another. She clearly misses some lyrics entirely. I am not sure how this take ended up being the one considered "radio ready;" I probably would not have wanted to be present for the recording sessions if this is really the best take she did.

14. ANYTHING by the Ray Conniff Singers.
Their arrangements are the ultimate in bile-attracting cheese, and their delivery leaves nearly everything to be desired. Ever heard their version of "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer"? It's the one with people shouting "Rudolph! Rudolph! Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer!!" Do I have to explain further why they are horrible?

15. "Christmas in the Northwest" by Brenda White.
I am pretty sure most people living outside of the Pacific Northwest region have been spared this gem, but it is SO incredibly cheesy that I had to share it with the masses here. The chorus: "Christmas in the Northwest/ is a gift we all can share. / Christmas in the Northwest/ is a child's answered prayer. / Take away the presents / and they still have a dream, / for Christmas in the Northwest / is a gift God wrapped in green." Need I say more?

So, there you have it. Fifteen putrid, festering excuses for the frothy delight that SHOULD be Christmas songs. I'm sure I probably left some that make you retch off my list. Feel free to share your misery with me--I may have just forgotten about that one!


Anonymous said...

Re: #15. I completely agree. When we moved here and I first heard that song, all I could think was "WHAT?!" Can't stand that song.

Muser said...

Great compilations. Happy New Year!