Worst Holiday Music

by Honolulu Mother

As we get to the point in the season where we’ve all had LOTS of opportunity to hear all the holiday music, perhaps it’s time to reflect on the holiday songs that least bear repeated hearings.

This LA Times article by Randy Lewis can get you started:

Ho, ho, no! 12 of the worst holiday albums of the last 20 years

My contribution to this topic is the album “All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.”  It’s hilarious at first, but a little of it goes a very long way.


60 thoughts on “Worst Holiday Music

  1. Best Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc wishes to all!

    We are traveling to see DS1 + in-laws beginning in about 20 minutes. See you Wednesday!

    Safe travels to all! Hoping everyone can have meltdown-free time this weekend!

  2. The only Christmas music I can’t stand is anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – shudder.

    My favorite Christmas song is probably:

  3. I love the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs from The Year Without a Santa Claus. My family doesn’t share the love for these songs.

    The TV holiday special was released in the 70s when I was in elementary school, and it was a once a year thing.

    It’s possible to watch it over and over now thanks to the magic of our DVR.

    I even have an altoids tin with heat miser because it was released as a special holiday thing.

    I know the songs are terrible, but I still love it.

  4. It’s not a bad song, but “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” is not a Christmas song just because it has Christmas in it. It drives me nuts that people think it’s a festive song. It’s like how people think “Born in the USA” is a patriotic song.

  5. Lauren, you have GOT to try the Heat Miser / Snow Miser cover by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It’s great!

  6. A pastor friend was griping the other day about people who want Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” played at weddings and funerals. Someone needs to print out the lyrics and read them slowly to the participants before the service.

  7. I see I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for Trans Siberian music.

    The Amazon Crazy Christmas playlist has some bad ones, or good ones depending on your tastes. I’d never heard Happy Holidays, You Bastard before.

    I FINALLY opened up and used my Echo (original, not Dot) and I wonder if I can link my Bose speaker to it.

  8. I adore Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt. Boy is it raunchy. My younger son at 13 or so was visiting his grandmother once, and they went down to the condo common room for amateur holiday entertainment, and an elderly “kitten” sang this and the old men lapped it up. Even hearing about the visual made me understand his revulsion. However, this youtube version, combining the original studio recording of the single, a live performance from a lost film, and a chorus of three drag queens, is priceless.

  9. CoC, it’s easy if you mean linking it by cable. If you mean bluetooth, it depends on the Bose. The Echo connects pretty easily to my bluetooth devices.

  10. Thanks, Rocky! I’ll research further. I think it would have to be bluetooth, unless I get a cable that splits up because from what I can tell there’s only one connection point on the Echo, and that’s used for the power adapter.

  11. Sadly, the drag queens don’t appear in the original movie.

    CoC, I just looked at my Echo, and you’re right, there’s no speaker-out. I have three Echos and two Dots, and I must be thinking of the speaker-out cable on the Dot. (Yes, I’m mildly insane, but they’re spread over two houses and for unclear reasons DH loves them.) But there’s definitely bluetooth possibilities for the Echo.

  12. Oh I love all Christmas music – I’ve been listening to it nonstop since Thanksgiving. The only song that annoys me is Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. I am trying to motivate to paint my family room before my in-laws get here this afternoon so we can move furniture in tonight. I just braved Whole Foods with three kids (completely insane) and have to drag them all with me to get a new tire this afternoon after realizing I had a flat this morning in the parking lot of CVS. Gah!

  13. Waiting for my daughter to get her hair colored (dark blue streak), I had to listen to interminable Christmas music on a 20 minute loop. The tunes were only those perky commercial ones that make me feel bananas. My son was with me and kept complaining too (Ack! no! here comes Frosty again!)

  14. I was thinking about my favorite Christmas music, rather than the horrid ones. BTW I dislike intensely The Little Drummer Boy.

    Folk – I Wonder as I Wander
    Religious – O Come O Come Emmanuel – plainsong (not 4/4 time)
    International – Un flambeau Jeanette Isabelle (Toss up with Il est né le divin enfant)
    Rock version – The Boss – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
    Christmas hymn for singing in parts – Lo How a Rose e’er blooming

  15. I love Christmas music – we have a whole huge box of CDs that we play nonstop until Epiphany – but I don’t care for poppy Christmas music, even by performers I like. I like my Christmas music to be religious or at least spirirtual in some way, and to feel, I dunno, serious. Fortunately, there is a ton of that kind of music out there, so we listen away

  16. And my favorite Advent song (remember, it is Advent season – it won’t be Christmas season until midnight tomorrow) is O Come Emmanuel. I love its medieval sound.

  17. Oh, meme just mentioned the same song. And, I Wonder as I Wander. Do you know the John Jacob Niles version?

  18. Meme, thanks. “Santa Baby” is simply too, too much.

    My favorite Christmas Album has to be the one Mahalia Jackson put out so many years ago. To Junior’s chagrin, that is a staple around here.

  19. Atlanta Mom — I also like Christmas music, most of it, and it seems every year I start listening to it earlier and earlier. You have a lot on your plate. Just reading what you’re doing makes me tired. Good luck!

    As I’m listening to music while I prepare food in the kitchen, it occurs to me that much of the music I like is what many would consider horrible — Daddy Don’t Get Drunk On Christmas, Silver Bells disco style, White Christmas (Blanca Navidad) salsa style, etc. My family mainly keeps quiet. That’s my Christmas present from them, I guess! :D

  20. CoC – thanks! I managed to do some cutting in of one of the paint colors I’m considering. This is clearly not getting done today. Oh well – we don’t have all of our windows in anyway so it won’t be the end of the world if it’s not painted before Christmas (my in-laws certainly won’t care and I haven’t started wrapping yet so I think I probably have more pressing things to work on). Merry Merry!

  21. In the home country the Christmas music that was available when I was growing up was Jim Reeves. So, it was always always Jim Revees. Then an uncle brought home Nat King Cole. But most people thought he didn’t sound quite right and protested in favor of the Jim Revees tape.

  22. “have to drag them all with me to get a new tire this afternoon after realizing I had a flat this morning in the parking lot of CVS.”

    If it’s just a puncture, e.g., running over a nail, causing a slow leak, you can probably get by just topping off the air once or twice a day until you can get it repaired. If you bought the tire from someplace like Costco or Sam’s, puncture repairs are free and you may be able to have it done while you shop.

  23. Total hijack but my mom just emailed this to me and I thought you all might find it interesting.

  24. I’m surprised the list didn’t include Bob Dylan’s Christmas album. I’ve only heard bits and pieces, but what I heard lived up to the review that said he made “I’ll be home for Christmas” sound more like a threat than a promise.
    Mahalia Jackson singing O Holy Night is a favorite of mine, and I always go back to George Winston’s December album as background Christmas music. And Andy Williams. It isn’t Christmas without Andy singing Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

  25. Not Christmas-y but relates to this week so wanted to post today.

    And also: meet my dad, everyone! :)

  26. Risley, I visited the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa this summer, and what impressed me the most was how much Canada gave in both world wars

  27. Thanks for sharing the article, and for writing your second comment because I didn’t realize it was about your father and grandfather. Great story, and I like how your books are on the same shelf in the NYT photo with some other famous authors such as Grisham and Harper Lee!

  28. Thanks for sharing Risley. It’s hard to imagine how far away from home soldiers were fighting and how many places were impacted. The colonial Empire was vast indeed.
    My Dad remembers aid raid drills and preparation in the home country for a Japanese attack. The Japanese were in Myanmar (Burma), an attack on the home country ports were thought to be imminent.

  29. MM, how about the Brave Combo number that’s the perfect thing for taking off your Santa suit piece by furry piece?

  30. Risley, that story is amazing. So heartbreaking to read that he never stood a chance, and more so that is caused you dad to grow up without a father. You must feel so proud to have your family’s story told. We can’t forget the hardships and sacrifices that they made.

  31. Risley, thanks for sharing.

    Relating to a previous conversation, I had to take my dad to the ER this afternoon so I decided to try one of the stand-alone ones. OMG, it was amazing. Within 10 minutes of walking through the door we were back in a room talking to the doctor. Fortunately it turns out he just has a UTI. Total time was about 90 minutes, which included an EKG, chest x-ray, and bloodwork.

  32. ERs can be incredibly efficient if you remove all the people with significant social problems (i.e homelessness), substance abuse disorders and crippling mental illness.

  33. Risley, that story is riveting. I wonder if your father told the story to you all as you were growing up or if much of this was something you learned about later. This reminds me of the type of “remembered grief” that we sometimes experience. That is, a sorrowful experience from long ago from which we’ve recovered, yet the recollection can sometimes feel as overwhelming as the first time we felt it. (Not sure if that makes sense or if anyone can relate.)

    Thanks for the music suggestions. I love them! Now on to more cooking and listening to more Christmas music.

    This year our Christmas family dinner is notable for a few things. The first baby in 19 years, some young adults not joining us because they’re celebrating with families of SOs, and our guest list is about one-fourth Jewish because of visiting relatives and new SOs. (SO is significant other in case you don’t use that term.)

  34. Lauren – funny. I can’t enlarge the photo (up north and only have phone for Internet) so hadn’t noticed the books. It is my parents’ place, after all. :)

    I had heard of this story as a kid. There are some books written about it and at various times, my parents went to HK for a ceremonial wreath laying at my grandfather’s grave.

    When my grandmother died in the 80s, my dad got all of the medals etc, as well as a number of amazing letters written to my grandmother after this took place. They talked about “the glorious death” of JK, and said things like, “I wish I could die half as well.” It was a different era, wasn’t it? There was a letter from HRH King George and the Cdn PM etc. All those letters were lost in the fire referenced in the article, but before that fire, my dad had put them into books and we all had a chance to read them. So grateful for that. He also had a chance to donate a lot of things (uniforms, etc) to the RCR museum in London, ON. So we had all seen everything and heard the stories that went with it all.

    Interestingly (though perhaps not surprisingly) I learned yesterday from a cousin that he has never read a Canadian account of the battle that was a fraction as candid as the American one. (The books are candid but not written by any Canadian entity).

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this moment with me. It was a surprise for my dad to get a call from The NY Times asking for the interview and my mom kept saying, “Really, they should fly all the way up here. You could Skype.” But I love that they took his picture! And in the end, my mom said, “It turned out to be a lovely afternoon. They stayed for 4 hours and of course we took them to dinner after.” So funny.

    I think this is a nice thing for my dad even though none of his Canadian friends will ever see it. But like my cousin said, there isn’t going to be a story written like that in the Globe and Mail.

  35. Risley, thanks for sharing. It’s so important to keep these stories alive. I’m so impressed with your parents.

  36. Thanks all. Interesting update: The Globe and Mail reprinted the Times story in its online version today. And at first, the title was “Recalling Canadians’ Senseless Sacrifice During WW II,” but according to my cousin, that got changed to “Recalling Canadians’ Sacrifices…” will be interesting to see what title they settle on for the print edition, assuming it’ll come out a day later as happened with the Times online/print timing.

  37. Tying back to the thread about getting old, I was not aware that SO had fallen out of common use.

  38. Tying back to the thread of getting old, we were looking at a slideshow of old photos last night that FIL had digitized, including a couple in which a toddler-aged BIL was dressed in a bow tie. BIL commented that the only people who wear bow ties are little boys and old men. DW and I corrected him and said that bow ties are very much in vogue right now for teenagers and college kids, but he didn’t agree.

    Then we went to church tonight and at least three or four high school/college kids were wearing bow ties. I told BIL that it’s a sign that he’s middle aged, because he had no idea (and he’s someone who thinks of himself as up on the trends. He’s only a year younger than me, but married later, and has no kids, and he is DWs younger brother, so he always SEEMS younger.

  39. Here’s my latest favorite “worst” holiday song — Earth Wind & Fire’s Christmas version of “September”, one of their top hits. Those of you of a certain age may remember this song or this group, which still tours with some of its original members. (I also didn’t know SO had died out. What replaced it?)

  40. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! If you’re not celebrating one of those, then I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend.

    I don’t think SO is dead because I heard a group of teen girls use the phrase when they discussed their Spanish teacher.

    I’ve never heard this version of September, but I can understand why you don’t like it. I really like the original version, and this one with the December slant just didn’t seem right.

    Risley, let me know if your father would like a hard copy of Saturday’s NYT. I’m not sure if people still save newspapers, but I didn’t recycle it.

  41. DW and I will be seeing EWF in a few weeks. We saw them several years ago, at which time they had three of the original members still in the touring band, notably including Philip Bailey, one of the original lead singers, noted for his falsetto.

  42. Worst Christmas song that I like: “White Christmas” by the Drifters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs5aJb-rcp8
    Worst Christmas songs that I don’t like: basically everything mentioned above. ;) I can’t take anything more poppy or current than Bing Crosby or Ella Fitzgerald, and those only in small doses. My favorite Christmas albums that I’ve been listening to this year are by the Eton choir, Chanticleer, Polyphony, and the Boston Camerata.

  43. Finn, how fun it must be to see EWF in concert. I saw them on TV recently, receiving some award iirc, and they were one of the few older acts that still had some of their original performers. (As a side note, Grace Slick looks so different, and did not sing with her band.) When EWF toured around here earlier this year I was tempted to go see them but ultimately decided against it.

  44. Lauren – thanks so much! I think a friend here got me some copies while we were out of town, but I really appreciate your offer. Very kind of you!

  45. I am glad that they have copies for you. I showed it to my husband and my daughter when we received the paper on Sat. It is a very interesting story.

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