Call me old fashioned, but I like to listen to the radio while driving home. Usually, I stick pretty well with 102.5, 1047 and the like, but during the Christmas season, I venture to one of the stations that has switched their format to all-Christmas music (et tu, Movin' 97.5?) for the month of December on the off-chance that maybe a cheerful Christmas tune will brighten my commute. And usually I regret it. Today was no exception. Terrible selection. Terrible. As a lifelong valley resident, I have been listening to 99.9's "Continuous Christmas Music" since, I don't know, fifth grade? And since about seventh grade, I have loathed their choices of music, particularly for their inexplicable inclusion of these, the worst Christmas songs ever, on their never-ending cheer list.
"Do They Know it's Christmas?" - Band Aid
I'm pretty sure I sent my good friend Brigitte Borcuta a text-message based rant about this song last year. File it under "good intentions", but honestly. This isn't exactly a number you can trot out caroling. Do they even celebrate Christmas in Africa? Do they not have calendars? Does Africa even know about this song? Do Bono, Sting, Bob Geldof and the like know that this is not stopping anyone's commercialism?
"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"
No explanation necessary. I heard it twice today.
"Happy Christmas (War is Over)" - John Lennon and Yoko Ono
I have always hated this song, even before I decided that John Lennon was an overrated commie. First of all, hiding war protests under the guise of Christmas music is deplorable. Also, it is not encouraging as much as it is sarcastic (war is over, if you want it). And lastly, any song that subjects us to Yoko's screeching deserves to be put out of its misery. We know John loved her, but the rest of us aren't tone deaf.
"Last Christmas" - Wham
The poster child for Christmas songs devoid of actual content. In fact, if it weren't for the "Christmas" in the title, I probably couldn't tell the difference between this song and any song sung by Eurhythmics. I want to know who is walking through the mall saying, "Although Christmas is the season of perpetual hope, I think I'll "rock" out over a song about someone leaving me on Christmas". No thank you.
"Christmastime" - Paul McCartney
Did Paul McCartney sing this to a leper colony somewhere and I don't know about it? Is this why it is played continuously and revered as one of the greatest and most cover-worthy songs in our Christmas catalogue? According to an article I read recently, Sir Paul has denounced this number in recent years. Maybe he's ashamed that the synthesizer sounds like my junior highers could have put together in tech lab? Or maybe he realized that the phrase "simply having a wonderful Christmastime" does not get better or deeper in meaning with hundreds of repeats? Either way, I would have a wonderful Christmastime if I never had to hear this song again.
"Christmas Shoes" - NewSong
Let it be known, if I am dying, I want none of you to rush out and buy me shoes. In fact, if anyone rushes from my deathbed saying "MUST GET SHOES! MUST GET SHOES!" consider my friendship revoked. I think that we should take this song and simply not follow any of its advice. Don't leave your mother on her deathbed. Don't ask strangers for money. Don't listen to this saccharine garbage.
"Jingle Bell Rock"