Season’s gratings: songs on my last nerve

For many of us, the day after Thanksgiving marks the official all-clear for listening to Christmas music. It's the day when, after an 11-month um… quarantine, if you will… the sounds of the season blare 24/7, spreading Christmas cheer in our stores, restaurants, offices, and homes.

I dare say it can be a real free-for-all. Trying to squeeze a million or so seasonal favorites into thirty or so days takes real skill. So in an effort to assist us all, I've created a Christmas list of my own.

I've titled this list “Songs I'd like to ban”. That's right, I said it.

To be clear, I don’t condone banning much of anything, but I wouldn’t mind squashing a few of these ear aches from the airwaves once and for all. You know the ones. The ones that grate on your last nerve like the terms “new normal” or “social distancing”. But I digress. Already.

Anywho, if you're up to it — and I think you are — here are a handful of  songs I'd like to send to the disc jockey dustbin. Don't forget to direct all hate mail to youhurtmyfeelings@worstholidaymusic.com. (Note: not a real email.)

First up is the multi-artist collaboration and international hit from the early 80s: “Do They Know it’s Christmas?”

The song was written as a knee-jerk reaction to reports of a famine in Ethiopia. Recorded in one day, it brought together some of the most popular names in British and Irish music at that time. The song lends us classic lines such as, “there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas”, “the only water flowing is the sting of bitter tears,” and “the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.”

It’s a quantifiable yuletide guilt trip. Thanks but no thanks.

Next up, I’d take the ax to “Blue Christmas” — especially the Porky Pig version. If you’d like to argue for retaining other versions of the song, I’m open to discussing it, but you better bring along some bacon to use as a bargaining chip. I'm reasonable, but not a push-over.

“Santa Baby” is another song I’d like to see on the Christmas chopping block, especially Madonna’s nails-down-the-chalkboard version. Ugh. Talk about your gold diggers. Doesn’t she know there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas?

Moving right along, the next song on my seasonal song chopping block is, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. This one offends my sensibilities in the same way that Christmas Vacation’s Cousin Eddie offends me when he arrives at Clark’s house in his tenement on wheels. Christmas calls for a little decorum after all, and there’s no decorum in Santa and his reindeer trampling drunk Grandma. Worse yet is the family’s blatant disregard for her demise. Heartless. Especially at Christmas.

Last up is Mariah Carey’s chart-busting, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Don’t get me wrong. It was great the first 759,418 times I heard it. Now that it’s been played millions, maybe billions, of times, I don’t care what she wants for Christmas. As for me, all I want is to get through the season without hearing that song.

There you have it — my take on five of the Christmas season's worst songs. At least they aren't the clanging chimes of doom. 

Drop a comment or send an email to beth@bethunderwoodbooks.com with the songs you'd like to add!