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Sam's Christmas (Song) Lists: First, The 5 Worst

So it’s Christmas time again, and, per the usual, I’ve completely and totally immersed myself in Christmas music, both in my extensive collection on iTunes and through the medium of radio. And since I hear that Qualler is doing such embarrassing things as googling “hip holiday jams”, I thought I’d help out by outlining for him and the world of Blogulation what are the TOP 5 WORST CHRISTMAS SONGS CURRENTLY BEING OVERPLAYED ON CHRISTMAS RADIO STATIONS NATIONWIDE:

(Don’t worry, friends. I’ll talk about the best Christmas songs a little closer to my favorite holiday.)

5. “Do You Hear What I Hear” by Whitney Houston
It’s not the song, really, that gets me. I understand that in 1987, pre-Bodyguard Whitney was hitting the peak of her career before her terrible downward spiral into domestic abuse and NOT crack, and that she needed to belt that stuff up, per her MO. But why radio stations feel the need to continue to play this jarring, sub-par version of this song with its vocal runs and honest to god SHOUTING is beyond me. Playing the Divas are important, but why not Cher singing “Baby Please Come Home” or Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”? I’d even settle for that creepy-ass version of “Favorite Things” by good ol’ Babs.

4. “We Need a Little Christmas”
Vaguely polka-esque in nature, this song, and any cover of it, “We Need a Little Christmas” seems like a thoroughly happy, if innocuous, little yuletide ditty. However, a closer examination of its lyrics reveals that it’s not all that happy. Christmas isn’t this joyful thing that happens every year, but a salve for one’s terrible life that can’t come soon enough. “I’ve grown a little leaner / grown a little older / grown a little sadder / grown a little colder…and I need a little Christmas now.” In an effort to get the Showtunes people off my back, I will say that I’m sure it makes sense in its original context in “Mame”, but listening to Kelly Rowland or Johnny Mathis or cast of Glee sing it is deceptively depressing.

3. “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?” by Band Aid
Written in 1984 and recorded by a menagerie of popular artists of the time, this song was created to raise money for famine in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, in 2010, all hopes of altruism and good intentions are dashed in the face of disgusting stupidity of the lyrics. “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” Of course they don’t, stupid. They have their own cultures that don’t have anything to do with Christmas. And, honestly, the arrival of Christianity didn’t do a lot to fix their problems. So when you say, “the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging bells of doom,” you’re probably right. Alright, Blogulator readers, I’m stepping off my soapbox. Please donate to aid programs that benefit those in need all over the world. Just don’t do it because they don’t know what Christmas is.

2. “Christmas Shoes” by Newsong
Summation of the story narrated in this song: A guy is Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, pissed off by long lines, crowds, and a general depletion of Christmas spirit, when he sees the kid in front of him lacking the funds to purchase a pair of shoes for his cancer-ridden mother who needs to look beautiful in case she “meets Jesus tonight.” The man is so inspired by this kid that he buys the shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good depressing Christmas song as much as the next hipster (River by Joni Mitchell, for example), but good God this song is EXCESSIVE. Complete with a children’s choir and a made-for-TV movie based on the song and starring the likes of Rob Lowe, this song teaches us a really great lesson through emotional manipulation and exploitation of cancer victims everywhere: “Buying things will solve all of our problems. And if you can get Rob Lowe involved, all extents of mediocrity are possible.”

1. Any version of “Last Christmas” that isn’t by WHAM!!
Yes, Jimmy Eat World covered this song and it was great, but it opened the door to a whole lot of un-ironic, unexpectedly cheerful versions of the song. The original song is gloriously stupid and unabashedly poppy (as George Michael has proved himself again and again), and its cheery lyrics don’t make a lick of sense. And while the Jimmy Eat World cover captures our interest in the camp of this song by ironically making it eerily depressing, listening to Taylor Swift—known, of course, for her vaguely veiled songs about Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner—earnestly sing things like, “The face of a lover with a fire in her heart / a girl undercover but you tore me apart” is mostly just awkward. Leave the camp to George Michael, Ashley Tisdale. It’ll make us all feel better.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 9:18 AM |  

    Hahaha this is amazing and an excellent public service announcement to the public about shitty Christmas songs. The day after Thanksgiving, Brigitte and I always excitedly turn the radio dial to KOOL 108 to get ourselves immersed in the holiday cheer. And by December 5, I've heard "Christmas Shoes" for the 78th time, and I'm about to shoot myself in the head.

  2. Blogger chris | 11:00 AM |  

    "Christmas Shoes" is my first and only holiday-themed arch-nemesis! So glad it was included on this list. Rob Lowe in that "special CBS presentation" music video almost makes up for it though.

    Kinda like the Ashley Tisdale rendition of "Last Christmas" though - not gonna lie!

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