It was inevitable folks; Christmas time is almost upon us again and that means a return to familiar scenes and trappings. The lights and trees are up, stores are having their sales, and the radio stations are running their Christmas line-ups.
Last year, I went on an exploration of what Christmas meant to me in an attempt to recapture the spirit that I once had as a child. I’m pleased to say that, for the most part it was a success; I’m much more optimistic about the season now then last year and years prior.
However, I still take some exceptions to the canon of Christmas music. While I find myself more tolerant to multiple renditions of Jingle Bell Rock that aren’t even rock music, there are still auditory atrocities that I have no patience for. So, if you’re going to invite me to your Christmas party, please make sure your music playlist doesn’t include the following.
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy
Might as well get the obvious one out of the way right now.
This song often tops several peoples lists of the worst Christmas songs made and for good reason – it’s just not funny or, at the very least not funny in the way it should be.
It’s not that I’m offended by the subject; I enjoy dark comedy (hence why I’ve mentioned The Binding of Issac with glowing praise multiple times). It’s just that the joke goes nowhere. It’s says, “Grandma’s dead,” and doesn’t do anything with it. It’s a subject that the now divorced Elmo and Patsy Shropshire clearly weren’t ready to handle.
The droning riff stolen from Jingle Bells doesn’t help matters either. It’s far too blunt and it sounds like it’s trying to pound it’s way through your skull.
If you want a death-as-comedy Christmas carol, I recommend Weird Al’s Christmas at Ground Zero which only delights in becoming more and more grotesque. Unlike this sorry tune which doesn’t know know what to do with the sleigh-hicular manslaughter of a beloved family member.
Santa Buddy – Michael Bublé
I’ll admit it, Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby is my guilty pleasure. I know that it’s a stupid song about a gold digging woman using her sexuality to con Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick out of more presents, but that stupidity is part of it’s appeal to me. To me, sex is an inherently funny act that tends to get a chuckle out of me. Plus, It’s Eartha Kitt – I just can’t say no to Catwoman.
Basically what I’m trying to say is, if I may paraphrase Kitt herself, I used to have a lot of fun with this song… then Michael Bublé sang it.
Bublé misses the entire point of the song. He reworks the lyrics of the song to remove any and all hints of sexuality from the lyrics because he can’t stand the idea of people thinking he may be gay (which is a shame because a gay male take on Santa Baby might have been interesting) and there by removing what little edge the song had.
Also, by removing the sexual humor and changing the perspective to a male one, the song becomes a story about a greedy douchebag begging Santa for stuff he probably doesn’t deserve. Yup, Bublé unintentionally made the theme song for Jeremy Creek from The Town Santa Forgot.
So, just to clarify, Eartha Kitt was sexy and funny; Michael Bublé is rude and pathetic.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Various Artists
There exist no words to accurately describe the level of discomfort and blind fury I feel every time I hear this song. It is, quite simply, the worst Christmas song ever made and one of the worst songs of all time, purely based on how offensive it is.
Why is this song so bad? Well, the short version is this: there should not exist a Christmas song about DATE RAPE.
No, really; this is a song about a man using the state of the weather as an excuse to keep a woman at his home against her will and despite her pleas to leave. I really don’t think I need to justify my hate much further beyond that. It’s a sexist song on par with, if not worse than, Blurred Lines.
And just in case you think I and my fellow condemners of this song are reading too much into lyrics like, “The answer is no,” and, “What’s in this drink,” bare in mind that when the original writer Frank Loesser scripted the score, he named the female and male roles the Mouse and the Wolf respectively. He used the same language used to describe a sexual predator and their prey.
No means no, people. And I’m saying no to this song.