Christmas Music: Songs of Hate

The Byronic Man has a post typical of this kind of year: Christmas Songs You’d Like To Punch In Their Stupid Faces. Something about the inevitable schmaltz of the holiday season brings out the rage in people.

But Christmas is a time of charity and love. So I have reduced my hatred of Christmas music to only four songs, in descending order of hatred:

  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Whoever. I don’t know if I hate this song or am just sick of it. On its own merits, I suppose it’s not that offensive. But I’ve heard it at least a thousand times, and that will do, pig. That will do.
  2. Happy Christmas (War is Over), by John Lennon. I will offend many, no doubt. But I cannot dissociate this song from the UNICEF ads featuring poor emaciated Africans that it used to provide the background for. I get the sense that the song tries to be “Hey Jude” at the end, but doesn’t quite pull it off. No tune this miserable should involve the word “Happy.”
  3. Wonderful Christmas Time, by Paul McCartney. Yes, I am fair, and will not denounce Lennon’s bad song without pouring out a generous dollop of hate upon this excreable dreck (however, if Ringo has written a worse Christmas song, I will not attack it, because c’mon: it’s Ringo). This song exemplifies everything people hate about holiday music: the dull exhortion to have a good time just because it’s the time of year that we’re all supposed to, the plodding saccharine synth line that sounds like it was written by a Furby, the bland vocals. In fact, I would put it at the top bottom of the list, were it not for…
  4. Last Christmas, by Wham! Leaving aside the notion that Wham! was basically Culture Club with better hair, this song commits several of the same crimes as “Wonderful Christmas Time” while adding a final felony: it’s not about Christmas. At all. It’s about getting your heart broken, and hoping to do better this time around. That’s it. That these events happened to occur during the holiday season does not make it about the holidays. If I wrote a song about how I finished my Christmas shopping while observing Hanukkah, that doesn’t make it a Hanukkah song if there’s nothing in it about menorahs or dreidels or oil or eight days of presents or anything. This song is dreadful, and it’s not about Christmas, but for some reason I can’t escape the season without it inducing several boredom headaches in public places.

What songs weary you? That’s what the comment section is for.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Music: Songs of Hate

  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” because every time I hear it I feel like I’m being brainwashed. It’s usually playing in a commercials or over a store’s loudspeaker, which makes me associate it with over-the-top consumerism. And then there’s the beat-you-over-the-head emphasis on the syllables *MOST* *WON*derful *TIME*, which really grates on my last nerve. I really hope there’s a dark creepy Marilyn Manson or Trent Reznor-esque cover of it somewhere, because this song could use a heavy dose of irony!


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