Carols from Hell!

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve, everybody!

Tomorrow is a big day for me; I have not one, but two Christmas Eve church gigs!

Since tomorrow will be all about the musically sublime, I thought it would be fun to devote tonight to the musically ridiculous!

I think everyone has at least one: the song that inspires bone-chilling dread every year, as soon as the Halloween are cleared from store shelves to make way for the commodities of Christmas. The song that makes you breathe a sigh of relief when December 26 rolls around. I know I do!

Herewith, Miss Music Nerd’s 5 Most Un-favorite Christmas songs!

First, a few parameters:

  • Only traditional, widely-known songs are eligible for this infamy, as Miss Music Nerd is not going to waste her beautiful mind keeping up with current pop mediocrity. That’s well-covered elsewhere.
  • I’m not going to get into the topic of bad covers of songs that may or may not be good; we’d be here all night. The particular performance doubtlessly has an impact on one’s opinion of the song, though.
  • McDoc asked me what my criteria are for categorizing a song as an un-favorite. If I took my time, I could probably articulate it in more detail, but for now I’ll just sum it up: songs that bug the sh*t out of me. 🙂

1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

‘Jingle bell’ and ‘mistletoe’ are nouns that should not be verbed. That is all.

2. Santa Baby

A common complaint about Christmas is that it’s too centered on materialism; common complaint about Halloween is that costumes for women are needlessly floozy-ish. This song gives you both.

3. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

It was sort of funny the first time… Actually, no, it wasn’t. 😛

4. Must Be Santa

Call me a mean old grouch, but I’m not so groovy with these additive, repeat a phrase eleventy times kinds of things. And a note about this performance: Mr. Dylan, Barbara Streisand called; she wants her hairstyle back. 😛

5. The Boar’s Head Carol

I chose this one not because I actually dislike it all that much; in fact, I like the harmony of the chorus quite a bit. However, it commits the musical sin of having the text set such that the ac-CENT goes on the wrong syl-LA-ble. Three times! >:-( The offending syllables are in bold below. That fourth one’s a wobbler, but I don’t like it.

The boar’s head in hand bring I,
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio (Translation: As many as are in the feast)

Caput apri defero (Translation: The boar’s head I offer)
Reddens laudes Domino (Translation: Giving praises to the Lord)

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico. (Translation: Let us serve with a song)


Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio. (Translation: In the Queen’s hall)

Also, as a vegetarian, I can’t much warm to the idea of eating a pig’s head, though I appreciate the don’t-waste-anything ethic it represents. 😛 I’m fortunate to have a wealth of alternatives!

Finally, because I hate to end on a sour note, here’s one of my not-un-favorites. This, I think, is just one of the most beautiful things ever. 🙂



Carols from Hell! — 3 Comments

  1. Without question, numero uno, ichi ban, ein and number one on my “bad” list:

    The Little Drummer Boy.

    I don’t care if the Vienna Choir Boys sing it, Bing Crosby sings it (with or without David Bowie), Lady Gaga sings it, the song is completely stupid if you even take the lyrics only slightly literally.

    Plus I was subjected to performing it for not one, but TWO Christmas pageants in Catholic school. So I didn’t just have to hear it over and over again, I was steeped in it.

    I will say that Bob Dylan does a MOAB-like deconstruction of it on his new Christmas album. But as the reviewer on NPR said, “no one can make this song sound good.”

    (Dis)honorable mention to “The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year,” for it’s propagandistic nature. It is the musical version of someone grabbing you by the throat and yelling, “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE CHRISTMAS, YOU COMMIE?”