Holiday Songs Unwanted, Disliked, Hated

I love Christmas carols–perhaps you’ve noticed. But some holiday songs I can’t stand. Like the Beatles singing “Simply having a wonderful Christmastime.” What a lame song! And don’t the Beach Boys sing a song just like “The Little St. Nick.” There’s no Christmas-ness about that song at all.

I don’t want to hear “I saw Momma kissing Santa” again, and some versions of “Santa Baby” will induce me to leave a store. But those are the holiday songs I can name; more repulsive to me are songs about the Lord. I hate “I believe in Bethlehem.” It would be better named “I believe in Christmas Kitsch.” And “Jesus, What a wonderful child” is dreadfully repetitive, though I guess I should spare that one for sake of differing tastes. Southern Gospel isn’t my style.

As for the songs I love:

  • “The Christmas Waltz”
  • “The Carol of the Bells”
  • “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”
  • “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”
  • “Gloria” – Vivaldi’s, Handel’s, and Charlie Peacock’s
  • “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”
  • “O Holy Night”

I don’t need to go on. What about you? Favored songs? Disfavored songs? Songs that inspire you to throw something at a department store speaker?

9 thoughts on “Holiday Songs Unwanted, Disliked, Hated”

  1. I don’t know how many would call this Christmas music, but I found a wonderful cd at the library a few days ago. It’s by a Christopher Poppen; called Morimur; J.S. Bach. It combines solo violin and choral music. (ECM 2001) (As a bonus; the cover is one of the best I’ve ever seen.)It has numbes such as ‘Jesu Miene Freude’ and ‘Jesu Deine Passion.’

  2. You hit several of the ones I hate, Phil (and well do they deserve hitting). I also hate “Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

    Carols I love: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” “What Child Is This?” “Silent Night.” “Joy To the World.” “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” It goes on and on.

    Last Christmas I had my cable provider’s Christmas music channel on quite a bit, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. The music scheduler clearly hated Christmas, and he broadcast every transgressive and/or cheesey Christmas song he could find. Particularly irritating was half a dozen different version of “Santa Baby,” including Calista Flockhart’s (!).

  3. I, too, detest “Little Drummer Boy”. And any song, Christmas or otherwise, performed by the Chipmunks.

    I love “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, and “O Holy Night”.

  4. I can understand–well, I think I can understan–your distaste for “Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear,” but I like those songs. Don’t love them, just like them. I think Jars of Clay and Harry Connick Jr.’s versions of LDB are lots of fun, though maybe not as much fun as some renditions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

  5. I love all the traditional Christmas hymns, and most of the “Burt carols”, including “Some Children See Him”, etc.

    I’m one of the pro-Drummer Boy people, but I never really did like “Do YOu Hear What I Hear”, mostly because it’s impossible to mesh it with the actual Nativity narrative from the Bible.

    I can be genuinely amused by one listen per year to “I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas” and “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”, but after that they get very tiresome very quickly.

    And I like most of the traditional fun-time carols like “Jingle Bells”, etc., but the hymn carols are more important.

  6. Michael, I doubt if most readers are familiar with that sadly neglected masterpiece, “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas.”

    I actually can’t remember the name of the guy who recorded it (Stan Borreson?) but it’s a Scandinavian-dialect novelty song, heard mostly in the Upper Midwest.

    My personal favorite in the genre is “Lutefisk Lament,” which I should dig out and post.

  7. Lars; I share your like of “I yust go nuts…” (We used to hear it every christmas when I was growing up.)If I’m not mistaken it’s by Yogi Yorgesson. (If that’s his real name.)

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