It's one week until Christmas, and, like me, you've been inundated with Christmas music for the past month or so. It doesn't bother me. I used to be a total Scrooge when it came to Christmas music, but I think a lot of that was just posturing, trying to be "too cool" for Yule. Suffice to say, if I had to pick a favorite holiday song, it would have been "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" by Sixpence None the Richer. (Which is a great track, by the way.)
I've gotten mellower now, and have developed more of a tolerance. I'm not quite at the "non-stop from Thanksgiving to Christmas" level yet. (My mother lives at that level.) But I can definitely appreciate Christmas music a whole lot more.
However, that doesn't mean I like all Christmas music. In fact, certain songs still just annoy the tar out of me--so much so that I feel it's my duty to unofficially indict these musical crimes and misdemeanors.
Here they are, then: PBB's List of Christmas-themed Musical Crimes.
[A Word of Disclaimer: If you like these songs, that's cool. If you think I'm being unnecessarily grumpy or negative, that's fine. Whatever, maybe I am, so what? These are the five songs that I avoid like the plague. Songs that make me turn the radio dial immediately, or off completely if they keep popping up. I'd rather listen to my truck engine idle than sit through these cheesefests ever again. But maybe it's just me, so whatever.]
#5: "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano
I almost didn't list this one, becuase really, it's harmless. But the sad fact is that this song is the "Margaritaville" of Christmas carols--everyone knows the words, everyone sings along with the song, and then everyone is deeply embarrassed afterwards. No Christmas carol should cause this much shame. And honestly, the lyrics aren't that inspiring. No magnificent angelic host, no inspiring star, no world laying pining in sin and error, no captive Israel. Just some dude saying Merry Christmas over and over and over. He doesn't even wish us a prosperous New year "from the bottom of his heart." What's up, Jose? Did you run out of sincere sentiment halfway through?
#4: "Jingle Bell Rock" by Billy Idol
Normally this song would be okay, but I hold against it that it turned Billy Idol into this:
I have no words for how much this disturbs me.
#3: "Santa Baby" by anyone who thinks it's still sexy.
Memo to everyone singing this song ever: You are neither Cynthia Basinet* nor Eartha Kitt. You will never sound like Cynthia Basinet or Eartha Kitt. Attempting to sing this song as if you were Cynthia Basinet or Eartha Kitt only demonstrates how ridiculous and incredibly annoying this song sounds. Plus, it makes you look sad and desperate. Please stop. For the love of Christmas, please stop.
*Thanks to Ash at cynthiabasinet.com for the correction. (But I still hate the song--no offense.)
#2: "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney
First, take everything remotely awesome about 80's synth music. Okay, ready? Now smash it with a candy cane until it's completely unrecognizable and repulsive. Once you're done with that, let it rot for about a year, and then set it on fire. Put out the flames with old pondwater, and then smother it with about 15 gallons of watered down vanilla frosting. What you'll have will still be more palatable than this turd, produced by one-fourth of the greatest band of the twentieth century.
The video is frightening and may in some subconscious way be intended to dissuade kids from doing drugs during the holidays. The disembodied piano-playing hands and the star people freak me out. At about 1:45 into the video, the Spanish Inquisition shows up (unexpected, natch). There's duelling Pauls, some kind of fire, angels vandalizing buildings. I'm giving you the high points here.
What stinks is that there is actually a decent version by Jars of Clay, but I can't enjoy it, because Sir Paul's original is forever tainted.
#1: "Christmas Shoes" by Newsong
If there were ever a tune deserving of criminal prosecution, it's this one--and I say this with absolutely no exaggeration. I can't even express how much I loathe this song. Some of these tracks annoy me, or stick in my mind like a burr that I can't remove. But this one makes me angry, to the point of minor violence. Why? Because it's expressly created to make you cry. A little boy is buying new shoes for his mother, so she'll be pretty when she dies and goes to Heaven tonight.
Holy. Freaking. Crap. And the kid can't afford the shoes, and a stranger buys them for him. For his mom who's dying of some unspecified disease. Because apparently Daddy can't get his butt to the store with his young son to buy the frigging shoes.
The stage-whispery vocals. The telegraphed musical swells at the bridge. The FREAKING CHILDREN'S CHOIR SINGING THE CHORUS AFTER THE BRIDGE!
AAARRRRRGGGGGGHHH!!! MUST SMASH!!!! MUST SMASH!!!!!!!!
I hate you, Newsong. I hate you very very much.