Every year I make a holiday music CD that I send out with my Christmas cards to friends and family. I started doing it several years ago when I realized I couldn’t find a holiday music compilation for sale that had all the Christmas songs on it that I really enjoy. I made the CD for myself with music I had downloaded off the original, illegal Napster. A couple of my friends heard it and asked me for a copy. That gave me the idea to share it as a musical Christmas card. It received such a great response, I’ve been doing it every year since.
This weekend I have been putting together the final touches on this year’s CD. I am an extreme perfectionist when it comes to making it. I spend hours agonizing over how well one song flows into the next and how long each crossfade should be. Buckaroo must think I’m silly to spend so much time on it, but I think the final product speaks for itself.
As I’ve gone through literally hundreds of songs deciding what to include, I have come across a fair amount of Christmas music that is bad… well actually worse than bad, they’re downright horrible! As a result I have come up with a list of what I consider to be the ten worse Christmas songs of all time. Keep in mind that there are many bad versions of otherwise decent songs that could be on this list as well, but these ten really stand out to me.
10. "Feliz Navidad" – José Feliciano: It’s not that this song is so especially horrible, but it gets stuck in my head and I can’t get it out. Not only that, but I change the lyrics and sing "There’s fleas on my dog" instead… over and over and over. Buckaroo will be upset that I put this song on the list as I believe it’s one of his favorites.
8. "Same Old Lang Syne" – Dan Fogelberg: I always hear this song played on the Christmas music station during the holidays. Doesn’t anybody realize that it’s not really a Christmas song?
7. "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" – Gayla Peevey: Oh my God does this song get annoying fast! A couple of years ago it seemed that no matter where I went, this song was playing. This song makes me never want to have kids.
6. "Suzy Snowflake" – Rosemary Clooney: Rosemary Clooney recorded a heck of a lot of Christmas music during her life, and most of it I really like. This song however is just an abomination, and as such should be constitutionally banned from marrying its long-term, committed partner of the same sex. Oops… wait! I’m getting my abominations mixed up. This abomination should just be refused airplay.
5. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" – Elmo & Patsy: This song was cute the first time I heard it. I might have even smiled the second time it played. In the 5,674,322 times I’ve heard it since, it just grates on my nerves. It is a joke that has gone on way too long. They even turned it into an animated Christmas special (which Buckaroo watched of course).
4. "Backdoor Santa" – Bon Jovi: This song was originally part of the very first "A Very Special Christmas" benefit album. I guess other people realized how bad the song was because on later copies of the CD, they replaced this song with another only slightly less bad Bon Jovi song. Fortunately it appears that you can’t buy this song anymore. Talk about your Christmas miracles!
Listen to Backdoor Santa: [audio:backdoorsanta.mp3]
3. "Jingle Bells Boogie" – Jingle Dogs: Whoever thought it would be amusing to make a recording of dogs barking to the tune of "Jingle Bells" deserves a very special place in hell.
2. "My Name is Christmas Carol" – Skip Ewing: Gag! A sappy country song about a little orphan named Christmas Carol. It’s so full of saccharine it will make you want to puke.
1. "Christmas Shoes" – NewSong: If you thought the last song was bad, this is ten time worse! This has got to be the most sappy, "tug at your heart strings" song ever! The problem is that it’s so manipulative. You can tell it was written just so it would get airplay as a sappy Christmas song. It doesn’t ring true or sincere. It’s about a kid begging the guy ahead of him in line at the store for a pair of shoes for his mama because he wants "her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight." I truly worry about anybody who actually likes this song.
So there’s my list of the ten worst Christmas songs. Leave a comment and let me know what I’ve missed.
UPDATE: Want some good (and free!) Christmas music? Click here.
UPDATE 2: See the follow-up to this post here.