You must not be a regular reader if you have to ask that question. By definition nothing on this site is sacred. As we head into the height of the season, my thoughts are focused on the simple pleasures: a prime parking spot, free shipping, and the abundance of opportunities for snoot.
I love Christmas carols, but even here there is ripe opportunity for snootage. Oscars, Grammys, Tonys all have their place. I give to you the Snarkies.
1. Most Depressing Song: Christmas Shoes
Have you heard this song? It’s awful on so many levels. It’s like that kid’s book about the kid who climbs into his aging mother’s window. Anyway, the song is about a kid trying to buy his dying mother some shoes. Barf. First of all, kid, if she’s on death’s door, what are you doing in a store on Christmas Eve? Secondly, and more practically, what kid knows his mom’s shoe size or taste for that matter? I shudder to think of what Gus or Nate would bring me in my dying hour. Really? Snake-skin peep toe? Where’s the pedicure to make these workable?
2. Creepiest Lyric: “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see”
Who wrote that, Yoda? I don’t like the word “flesh” and certainly not when paired with “veiled.” It makes me think of “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the face-melting Nazi scene. That’s just uncomfortable, and it doesn’t stop. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing goes on for 3 more, increasingly weird verses. And that’s the common version. The original is 10 stanzas of pure freak.
3. Just Stopped Trying: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Otherwise a great song, but in the Weird, but Harmless Lyric category, “There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” Know anyone who tells ghost stories at Christmas? Rhyme fail. Try harder next time.
4. Non Sequitur
I just hereby ban any Beach Boys interpretation of a Christmas song.
5. Most Annoying: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
Does that even require explanation? Even the parenthetical title is annoying–personifying a date and giving it supernatural powers to suspend time.
6. Wholly Unnecessary
There’s one that pops up on Sirius XM Holiday Traditions now and again called Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey. Not in my holiday tradition. Ever. Poor Italy, Jersey Shore and Dominic. The indignity.
7. Best Rhyme: Ding Dong Merrily on High
I just want you to know how deeply I dig for you people. Hidden in the oft neglected second verse:
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And “Io, io, io!”
By priest and people sungen.
Now that’s really working for it.
8. Conscientious Objection: Winter Wonderland
I object to a snowman as a circus clown. I object to clowns in general, and then knocking him down. That’s uncalled for.
9. Best Not Messed With: Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
I’m a purist and with each of the best songs, there is a definitive version that should not be refreshed, remastered, re-anything: Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby, and Andy Williams’ It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for starters. But, nobody can out-Brenda Brenda. Shame on you, Cyndi Lauper!
10. Snootiest: We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Any song that can demand food delivery has got my vote, even if it is Figgy Pudding, whatever that is.
Most Depressing, in my opinion- One Last Christmas by Matthew West. Child dying trumps mom dying in my book.
Best Rhymes- who actually knows the verses to Ding Dong Merrily on High?? My vote for one that people might actually know is Good King Wenceslas.
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
I would add a category of favorite newer Chirstmas song. I am all for the traditional carols and generally not a fan of anything written much past Bing Crosby’s hey-day, but I would put Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven on a list of favorite Chirstmas songs. Love it.
Have to give something to Carol of the Bells, it’s just so pretty!
How about best novelty song- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Still makes me laugh but somehow, B, I bet you hate it!
Personal Favorite- The Holly and The Ivy, the version on the Time Life Treasury of Christmas. Wish I knew who sang that version. The Morman Tabernacle Choir and Natalie Cole’s are ok, but I like the other version better.
I didn’t mean depressing as in sad, I meant depressing in a “I-can’t-belive-people-listen-to-this-syrup” way. I wouldn’t tear up over dead kid either, dead pet, maybe.
You think obscure verses of Good King Wenceslas are well known? You need to get out more. As I said, my piece was thoroughly researched.
Adding a favorite is so unsnooty, but here goes:
Religious: “What Child is This?” by Andrea Bocelli & Mary J. Blige
Secular: “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Perry Como
Speaking of Holiday Traditions, the other night I heard Conor singing in his room. In pitch-perfect tune, I hear “Holiday Traditions…Sirius X-Emmmmmm!” I was speechless. Kid doesn’t know any songs, but he’s got the station identification down pat.
Luke literally said to me this week “Snowman is a circus clown?…WHAT, Mom??!!” Frightened.
Kevin wanted to know what year the song was written “when did they used to tell ghost stories at Christmas?”
See, if you start to think about them, it’s just weird.
You are so damn funny. I laugh out loud every time I read these. EVERY time.