Who am I to compile a list of the 12 crappiest popular Christmas songs I’ve ever heard?



Well, my last name’s Goldberg, I’m Jewish, and I celebrate Chanukah. Do we even have 12 Chanukah songs?




I also respect Christmas, and the truth is that I love seeing friends celebrate the holiday, my favorite movie of all-time is It’s A Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story (you know the film with Ralphie, the old man, Flick, Schwartz, the flagpole and Scut Farkus) plays for at least eight hours in my home annually between December 24 (about 9:01 pm) thru December 25 (8:59 pm). Thanks, TBS, or is it TNT…


Am I earning the right to rip some lousy Yuletide yawners yet?


My Mom of blessed memory was born on December 25, as was her only sister. How’s that for a weird coincidence? One of two brothers was born on December 26. Not sure how that figures into all this, but I’m a private man who also believes in full disclosure. Conflicted much?


Oh yeah, I actually like the great majority of Christmas songs. I don’t go out of my way—not that I’d really have to—to listen to them, but that’s an empirical fact.


Although I’ve heard it a million times, I will not turn off The Christmas Song, whether crooned by the smooth Mel Torme or the impossibly suave Nat King Cole. And may my chestnuts roast on an open or closed fire if I bash a bunch of great Christmas carols  or rip songs such as O, Holy Night, Do You Hear What I Hear, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas and seemingly thousands more like Winter Wonderland, White Christmas…Please stop me.


The messages of some of these songs happen to be beautiful, and maybe more importantly, they’re just great songs. Catchy melodies, good beats, easy to sing along with—the whole nine, or 12.


So, it pains me to have to put together this list of the 12 Crappiest Songs of Christmas, but my pain is your gain. That’s what I’m all about…paging Nurse Ilsa…


I tried not to include a song simply because there was once a horrific version of it, and I also try not to penalize a song simply because it’s played 100 times a day between Halloween and Valentine’s Day.


So, here goes: no more apologies or disclaimers. Oh yeah, I didn’t even have to include chipmunks or barking dogs to get to 12. If you dare to, click the song title links to play the videos.


12. Feliz Navidad

Artist: Jose Feliciano


It’s a guilty pleasure to listen to this, yet I also don’t feel quite right ripping it. But, you must admit that this song is repetitious as hell, serving to negate its sincerity, goodwill and bi-lingual quality.


A much better Feliciano option:  Malaguena


Amazing artistry on display here; the man could play some beautiful guitar.



11. Band-Aid: Feed the World /Do They Know it’s Christmas?


Yes, this song raised a lot of money for those starving in Ethiopia, and I should be kinder. I applaud what Bob Geldof and others did, but it’s a mediocre song—We Are the World was much better.


They just look like a bunch of self-important, self-congratulatory, mullet-wearing jackasses mugging for the cameras on a publicity stunt here.


And how about these lyrics?

It's Christmastime / there's no need to be afraid
At Christmastime / we let in light and we banish shade


I'd hate to see the lyrics they rejected.


Other Band-Aid® options:  Try Johnson & Johnson



10. All I Want For Christmas Is You

Artist: Many, including Mariah Carey


This song is far from hideous, just overplayed to a hideous disagree. Perhaps I violated my guidelines here, but, well, it’s my list. Actually, Mariah sounds pretty good here, but I promised you no chipmunks or barking dogs.


Another Option:  All I Want For Christmas is Jews


Kind of funny, and guys, it may even keep your antlers up.


9. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Artist: Andy Williams


Not a horrible song, just tacky, boring, dull and schmaltzy. It seems artificially happy in a Prozac-ian kind of way.


A better Andy Williams song:

Try his classic, Moon River. I didn’t say it was edgy, just damn solid.



8.  Santa Baby

Artist (in this horrid version):  Madonna


I often  like Madonna, but this isn’t much of a song and she just sounds silly, sleazy and insufferably cheesy here.


If you insist in tolerating this song:  Try Eartha Kitt’s version. This former Catwoman could make the ingredients in a tube of toothpaste sound alluring.


7. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Artist: Gayla Peevey


I’m just not feeling anything here—be it humor, Christmas spirit or a supposedly talented, 10 year-old.


A Better Gayla Peevey Choice:  You’re on your own here, kids.



6. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Artist: Elmo and Patsy


I want to like this, because it dares to be different. And the lyrics are kind of funny. In the final analysis, I just don’t think a Christmas classic should be built around egg nog, lapsed medication and incriminating Claus-marks on her back. I’m weird that way.


Something Resembling an Elmo and Patsy Recommendation: Here’s to the Lonely


And you didn’t think they did anything else.



5. Sleigh Ride (Instrumental)

Artist:  Leroy Anderson


At least, the instrumental spares us from listening to these lyrics:


Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap,
Let's go, Let's look at the show,
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.


Alternate Version?  Try this one by the Ronettes.


The Ronettes once had me at Be My Baby, but even so, I’m not  a fan of this one.



4.  Here Comes Santa Claus

Artist: Gene Autry


To say this song is monotonous is to say this song is monotonous, which is to suggest that this song becomes quite redundant and monotonous.


Alternate Autrey?:  Back in the Saddle Again

Just don’t expect the Aerosmith version.


3. A Holly Jolly Christmas

Artist: Burl Ives


I truly detest everything about this song: the lyrics, the background vocals, the music, even jolly ol’ Burl Ives. This recording just stinks on ice.


a Better Burl?: Check him out as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).


2.  The Twelve Days of Christmas

Artist: Tennessee Ernie Ford, and tons of other sado-masochists

I would much rather listen to 10,000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall than this monstrosity.


But, it’s still better than what I consider to be the crappiest Christmas song I have ever laid ears on.


1. Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time


Artist: Paul McCartney


Over the years, Paul McCartney occasionally phoned one in, but from the opening synth beat, this is one of the worst songs I have ever heard for any genre.


This is the man who has written Let it Be, Yesterday, Hey Jude, and hundreds of gems. Even his worst stuff with Wings could never prepare a fan for this crapfest.


Other McCartney Recommendations: Literally, anything but this one.


Happy Holidays, everyone.


As always, thank you for reading. Please check out my other books, blogs and speaking information.







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