It’s that time of year where every business, building, gas station, radio station, and street performer is filling your ears with memorable tunes. Many of those tunes inspire flashbacks to happy times, awesome presents, and general nostalgia. However, some of the songs that are played become more of a trigger than anything…and if you’ve worked retail/grocery at any point in your life, you know damn well what I’m talking about. What follows is the Christmas Shitlist, except for the last track on the list; that is there to cleanse your poor aural palette. It should be noted that these are songs that the artists recorded in (at least what seems to be) a serious manner, so while there may be an element of humor, I don’t think that was ever the intention (as opposed to “Homo Christmas” by Pansy Division, some hilarious shit). To subject yourself to the torture, I put it all together for you in a nice YouTube playlist at the end of this article.
Leading us off is the first song that springs to mind any time the topic of Christmas songs arises: “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. It hurts me to have him anywhere on any list of negative things, considering how much I love the Beatles and that I’ve seen him perform a couple times now. But as flawless as I feel his work with the Fab Four may be, this song has firmly earned its place in the realm of the awful. The cringey synths, mixed with the cheesy lyrics, and capped off by the feeling that the song is dragging on, pulling you into a continual loop of developing insanity…and then imagine having to hear it more than once in a day, and multiple times in a week, for an entire month. “Ding dong ding dong ding dong!”
Next is Lady Gaga, treating us all to a shittily produced, not-so-metaphorical song about Christmas banging. As in sex. Yeah. I don’t know what else to say here.
So instead we’ll hop along to Tiny Tim’s classic “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year.” There’s some potential contention with whether or not the song is about a now-defunct appetite suppressant candy bar called Ayds, since this single came out as the AIDS epidemic was starting to truly catch public attention. Tiny Tim insists the song was never intended to be humorous, but it’s hard to believe that when the flipside to the 7″ was “She Left Me (with the Herpes).” He also stated that his agent actually threatened to drop him if he recorded and released it, but went ahead in spite of this and managed to win over critics everywhere, making millions and curing world hunger in fell swoop…except that never happened. I’ll stick with tiptoeing through tulips.
From there, we move on to “Deck Da Club” by the Ying Yang Twins, a track so stellar that I can’t seem to find it for sale by itself anywhere. All the standard staples of generic hip hop songs are included: money, Cartier, liquor, hoes, minimally-produced beats, and some iteration of a word being barked at the listener over and over. Except this one is for Christmas. Fa la la la, la la la, fack.
Then comes the panty-melting legend himself, Neil Diamond, with a real ripper of a carol called “Christmas Prayers.” Neil lets us know there’s Christmas in heaven, and that he misses all of his loved ones (which I’m assuming is pretty much everyone, considering his age). As much as I love “Cherry, Cherry” and “Solitary Man,” along with all his other hits, both performed by him and others, I can’t reconcile all of that with listening to any of this more times than needed in order to really get me in the spirit for this article. To cap it all off one YouTube user commented “I am going to share this song first thing on Christmas morning as a GIFT OF LOVE AND DEVOTION to my family”…not in MY house.
What happens when you take a pseudo-hair metal band and mix them with 99 bottles of beer? You get “Heavy Metal Christmas” by Twisted Sister. Besides being incoherent at times, the vocals and instruments are painful, and the lyrics are so awfully cliché that @kerryhotice would rather drink bleach than sit through more than one measure. This is also only one song of an entire album of holiday horror. Woof.
“Christmas Shoes” by NewSong is to Christmas what pretty much any Toby Keith track is to America: pandering bullshit. Talk about harnessing the spirit of the season in order to try guilting people into being good to others, and wrapping it all into a meandering shitstick of a song. My poor wife had to listen to this drivel quite a bit in a previous relationship, which means I get points just for never wanting to listen to it.
Who here likes Justin Bieber? How about his Christmas song “Mistletoe”? …kindly see yourselves out. Especially if you’re going to put this tripe on blast for the holidays. Instead of “playing in the winter snow” (because there’s summer snow??), please play in traffic. Shawty.
Instead of any of these misguided/embolism-inducing tracks, take a listen (and give your brain a shower) to “Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Not only is it an appropriate homage to the rocker-who-is-no-longer-with-us, but it’s also a perfect example of how to do a new Christmas song the right way. They hit the nostalgic points, there are bells, the production is phenomenal, it’s catchy, you don’t feel dirty after listening to it (I can’t believe I’d have to say that for a CHRISTMAS song), and best of all, it just rocks. If this one doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know how to help you.
That wraps up this edition, folks. Have a happy holiday season, however it is that you do so!