Here we are, a few days late and more than a few dollars short but we have reached Number 1! The worst Christmas song ever is…
Aw c’mon… you know I can’t come out and tell you just like that. I have to drag it out in true Casey Kasem style. The older of my fervent readers will get the reference.
First of all, let’s review the bad so far:
12. The First Noël or The First Nowell – Nice melody, horrible lyrics, just say noë.
11. We Wish You a Merry Christmas – You can’t have any pudding you juvenile delinquent whippersnappers.
10. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Just a nice, innocent song about date rape.
9. Go Tell It On the Mountain – But only if it’s sung by people with no soul.
7. O Tannenbaum or O Christmas Tree – Christmas Trees will cut you down and hang candy canes on you if you turn your back on them. They can’t be trusted.
6. All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey – Again, I hasten to add, don’t stalk celebrities. Especially Mariah because she’s mine.
5. Santa Baby – Forget it ladies…and RuPaul, Santa’s not that into you.
4. Must Be Santa – Listening to this song is a horrible experience, except for Bob Dylan’s version which totally rules.
3. Some Children See Him – A controversial choice, but I stand by it. The song means well but we can’t create Jesus in our own image.
2. The Christmas Shoes – Oh, you bought shoes for a poor kid and now you know what Christmas is about. How about if I put my Christmas Foot up your ass?
Now in order to come up with the definitive list of bad Christmas songs I had to leave a few out, but that doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook. Some of my “also bads” have to be shown for what they are: Bad, but not bad enough. To paraphrase Dr. Evil, they’re like the Diet Coke of bad Christmas songs. “Just one calorie, not bad enough.”
First of all, what’s up with I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus? Man, how much therapy is that kid going to need for the rest of his life? Come to think of it…isn’t that what happened to Karl Childers? “Mm hmmm…I saw Mommy kissin’ that feller Santa Claus…mmm. So I killt them both with a Kaiser blade, some call it a sling blade, but I call it a Kaiser blade…mmm. Got any mustard?”
Also bad, Wham’s incredibly whiny Last Christmas; anything on Kenny G’s Christmas album on general principle (Kenny G needs to be stopped), and all of the versions of Sleigh Ride except for one (I’ll get to the one version that I will allow on the next post). I dunno, maybe it’s not a bad song of itself, but it’s been so overdone…and I’m sick of hearing the line about how the sleigh ride will “nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives.” Currier and Ives, the Thomas Kinkade of the 19th Century. Stop already. Are you really that nostalgic for the days of horse-driven sleighs? Are you ready to trade in your iPhone for slavery and consumption?
Finally, before I move on I must give a shout out to someone who has been a part of all of our lives in Christmases Past…and needs to be kept in Christmas Past: The late Burl freaking Ives may he rest in freaking peace. Every year when I was a kid they would drag out that incredibly lame Rankin/Bass cartoon Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and we would again be subjected to those awful songs like Holly Jolly Christmas:
Ho ho the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me
Oh yeah…that will go over well. Me: “Hey baby, this is for Burl Ives!” Her: “Eww!!!”
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas this year
Of course we heard Burl, we’ve been listening to this damn thing for 50 years!
But the real prize from that “special” was the song Silver and Gold:
Silver and gold, silver and gold
Ev’ryone wishes for silver and gold
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth.
Silver and gold, silver and gold
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and gold decorations
On ev’ry Christmas tree.
“C’mon Joe. Now you’ve gone too far! It’s a song against the commercialization of Christmas!” Oh really? Did Burl do the show for free? Did the dude who wrote the song write it for free? Did the networks not charge for commercial time on the show?
Plus it’s about Christmas trees, which as have discussed, are evil.
And decorations on Christmas trees should only be green and blue…and pink because Boodles likes pink.
Besides I am way over these warbly voiced folk singers from the 60s. “Oh, Burl Ives did other stuff.” Yeah, he also did earth shattering songs like Foggy, Foggy Dew, Lavender Blue, Blue Tail Fly, and many other songs about colors.
“But he was a revolutionary, he hung out with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger!” Yeah, and when he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 50s he totally sold Pete Seeger out. He basically said that he went to a Communist meeting with Seeger but only for networking purposes (i.e. to meet loose Commie chicks). Old Pete obviously forgave Burl though because I saw them on TV once performing Blue Tail Fly. There they were, two giants of warbly 60s folk, playing their guitars and banjos and very earnestly singing “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.”
Yeah, Burl. Funny thing…I don’t care either. Nobody does because nobody knows what the hell that song is about. Is it about a slave who’s happy because his evil master got bitten by the blue tailed fly? Was the slave an accomplice to the biting incident? And why is Jimmy always cracking corn? We don’t blinking care!!!
Fine. Enough of that…let’s get to our Number One bad song.
While a lot of works of art can rightfully be considered “bad,” few would qualify as genuinely evil. A few examples of art that has crossed that line would be The Satanic Bible, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Ave Satani from The Omen‘s soundtrack, the complete works of Nicholas Sparks, and our #1 bad Christmas song.
Drum roll please…
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Words and Music: Randy Brooks
If, by the blessed hand of Almighty God, you have not heard of this song. I beg you, flee. Close this page. Delete any history of this blog. In fact, just throw your computer away and move to a monastery where the only music allowed is Gregorian chant. Save yourself. It’s too late for the rest of us, but there’s still hope for you.
Oh sure, you say you only listen to your old David Brubeck records and occasionally tune in NPR, you don’t own a TV, and you have satellite radio in your car where you listen to the Chicago Jazz station. There’s absolutely no possibility of hearing this song (which will henceforth be called GGROBAR).
Yes there is!
It will find you! You’ll be at a Subway or Pier One Imports or a grocery store during the Christmas season – which in retail runs from the day after Halloween up until a week before Easter – and you’ll hear it:
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve.
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa,
But as for me an’ Grandpa, we believe.
It will find you, and it will work it’s evil way into your brain and stay there like a pork tapeworm. And like all the evil movie characters of the late 20th century – your Freddy Krueger, your Jason Voorhees, and your Michael Myers (the slasher from the Halloween movies, not the guy who plays Dr. Evil, who isn’t really evil, just hilarious) – it CAN’T BE KILLED!
From our vantage point here at the dawn of the twenty-teens, it’s hard to imagine that there was a time before this evil invaded the earth, but there was.
Come with me now to the year 1978: Jimmy Carter was in the White House, Laverne & Shirley was the top TV show, and Superman made us believe a man can fly. It was a simpler, gentler time; but the rough beast that is GGROBAR was even then slouching towards Bethlehem…more specifically Lake Tahoe. The Bay Area based singing duo of Dr. Elmo Shropshire and his then wife Patsy Trigg was performing at Lake Tahoe when Randy Brooks played the song for them. A veterinarian by training, Elmo knew a dog when he heard one. At his own expense he recorded the song and pressed some records, by Christmas of 1979 he was shopping around the single to record companies and radio stations.
He had no luck at first, for a time it looked as if the evil had been turned back, but then it happened. The single fell into the hands of a DJ at a San Francisco station, and San Francisco being the mecca of evil (at least that’s what Bill O’Reilly tells me), he played the damned thing. It got a reasonably positive response from his listeners, so he kept playing it every Christmas for several years.
Soon came the 80s and the era of videos, so once again Elmo scraped the money together to film a video with himself playing both Grandpa and the ill fated Grandma. Patsy played the comely “Cousin Mel.” The video found its way to MTV and, sure enough, they started playing it. In 1985 Epic Records signed Elmo & Patsy and released the song. The rest is evil history.
She’d been drinking too much eggnog,
And we begged her not to go.
But she forgot her medication,
And she staggered out the door into the snow.
OK, first of all, ageism much? She forgot her medication. Who would write a song about a young or middle aged person forgetting their medication? And if she’s been hitting the eggnog she probably shouldn’t be taking her meds until she sobers up anyway. So you “begged her not to go?” Well then why didn’t somebody go with her? I’ll tell you why, because it’s just Grandma and this song hates old people.
When we found her Christmas morning,
At the scene of the attack
She had hoof prints on her forehead,
And incriminating Claus marks on her back.
Huh? See what they did there? Clause marks? Claws? Get it? Yeah, except reindeer have hooves you nimnuls! Which leads me to another problem with GGROBAR. It’s anti Santa and anti reindeer. I suppose it’s possible that a low flying reindeer might accidentally kick a person. Reindeer do have a lot on their minds on Christmas Eve, they have to fly for one thing, not typical reindeer behavior. They also have to fly all over the world in one night, making frequent stops. Also, if they happen to be male reindeer then they’ve probably been castrated since males generally shed their antlers during the winter. That will make a guy cranky.
So let’s say a reindeer does run over poor Grandma. Are you telling me that Santa…The Claus is not going to stop and make sure she’s all right? I know he’s got a heavy schedule and all, but I don’t want anything to do with a Santa who’s so task oriented that he can’t stop to help an old lady in her time of need.
Now we’re all so proud of Grandpa,
He’s been taking this so well.
See him in there watching football,
Drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel.
Now the impression that I’ve always got from the line “as for me and Grandpa we believe” was that old Grandpa wasn’t all that upset about the death of his wife. Possibly that he had even asked Santa to do him a little favor Chicago style and take the missus out of the picture. This verse kind of confirms that, especially if you look at the video and see that cousin Mel is actually a woman and Gramps seems quite happy to have her consoling him. What the freaking freak? She’s his cousin! This is one twisted family.
Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And the blue and silver candles,
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma’s wig.
OK, nice. Ageism again. Blue and silver like her wig. Whatever, at least they’ll have some figgy pudding to give the obnoxious carolers when they come along.
So there it is, the most annoying song of the Christmas season. The song that won’t go away, in fact in the Good Morning America video posted below Elmo Shropshire brags about the number of worst lists the song is on. He’s laughing annoyingly all the way to the bank. And even though he and Patsy got divorced in 1985, she still doesn’t have the sense to distance herself from the evil she helped wreak. Her website is called http://grandmas-patsy.com.
So maybe I’m just Joe Quixote, tilting at windmills here at my little blog. But I calls ’em as I sees ’em, and that’s the point of having a blog right?
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my list. It’s all in good, cynical fun. If I didn’t list a song that you absolutely think should be on the naughty list, please put it in the comments.
I’ll post my best Christmas song soon, thanks for reading 🙂
Here’s a story from ABC’s Good Morning America on the song and a performance by Dr. Elmo: