In light of the festive season, a couple of our writers discuss the songs that shouldn’t be making it onto your Christmas playlist this festive season.
I have been introduced to the weird side of Christmas and I have heard things I will never unhear. I’m not trying to be a Grinch, Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year (and I love the occasional Christmas song jams) but honestly, these songs are the weirdest and most depressing Christmas songs I have ever heard.
‘Grandma got run over by a reindeer’- Elmo & Patsy
Firstly, look at that morbid title. Imagine yourself waking up on Christmas morning, turning on the radio, and that is the first thing you hear. The title says it all – Grandma got run over by one of Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve. The lyrics of the song just takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions – from finding grandma at the murder scene to grandpa not giving a hoot about his trampled wife. The song continues to confuse me with its cheery tune and hilarious music video despite those morbid lyrics. Not only that, it actually got made into a film. Yes, a film for children. You heard right.
‘Leroy the Redneck Reindeer’- Joe Diffie
Listen to this, Rudolf fell ill one day and told his heavily-country cousin Leroy to come help Santa on Christmas Day. If you are confused, do not fret, I am too. Not sure if it is the lyrics, Diffie’s hair in the music video, or the country music vibe that confuses me the most. But I’ll give it to him, the lyrics are by far the most creative (more creative than grandma being run over by a reindeer).
‘The Christmas Shoes’- NewSong
This song tells the story of a poor boy trying to buy shoes for his sick mother. It could have been a wonderful Christmas song about love, family and joy but the lyrics did not really make the cut. “I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight,” Weird, but okay… This narrator who isn’t quite feeling the holiday spirit is nonetheless out Christmas shopping when he notices a little child attempting to buy a pair of fancy shoes. The kid doesn’t actually have enough money to buy the shoes, so the narrator pays for them and reflects, “I knew that God had sent me that little boy to remind me what Christmas is all about.” Does it suggest that the entire scene was just for the narrator’s benefit and not anything else?
I’m not too sure if it is just me or if these songs are truly terrible. Maybe we should just stick to the traditional Christmas songs this year.
Let’s be honest, the best thing about Christmas music is usually the ‘so bad, it’s good’ factor. Christmas songs should be catchy, cheesy, and sickly sweet in sentiment.
Yet, I’m here to argue that there’s actually such thing as ‘so bad, it’s BAD’, when it comes to a few Christmas classics.
‘Walking In The Air’- Aled Jones
First on my list is ‘Walking In the Air’, Aled Jones’s 1985 monstrosity. I have despised this song for years, thanks to its ear-splitting shriek of a chorus. As you might have guessed, my feelings towards it weren’t improved when Fenwick’s decided, inexplicably, to play the song 24/7 during their 2018 Christmas window display. It’s thanks to these sadists that I still occasionally hear Aled in my nightmares.
‘Happy New Year’- ABBA and ‘Thank God it’s Christmas’- Queen
Next, I’d like to give an honourable mention to festive failures from two of my favourite bands. Any other time of the year, the opening bars of a Queen or ABBA song will see me running to the dancefloor. Play me a bar of Queen’s ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ or ABBA’s ‘Happy New Year’, however, and I’ll run firmly in the opposite direction. Both are songs that could have been perfectly fine examples of their respective artists’ work, if not for the inexplicable decision to shoehorn Christmassy lyrics into a perfectly good piece of music.
Band Aid 20/30- Various Artists
However, none of these sins are quite as terrible as… Band Aid 20 or Band Aid 30. The original 1984 version of Band Aid is, quite simply, perfection. If the organisers of the anniversary tragedies wanted to make more money for charity, they should have simply fulfilled their honourable intentions by rereleasing the original. Let’s be honest, you’d be hard-pushed to argue that the likes of Robbie Williams, Dizzee Rascal and Clean Bandit, are in any way comparable to Bono, Ultravox and Boy George. The original wins, every single time.
Last modified: 9th December 2019