The Worst Christmas Songs

Shannen Coffin kicks off a compelling debate for this time of year: What are the worst Christmas songs?

I don’t disagree with any of his choices, but there are a couple I endorse with an added level of enthusiasm: “Last Christmas” by Wham! (exclamation point included at no extra charge), and the mother of all terrible Christmas songs, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by BandAid, the largest concentration of self-important worthlessness in the history of music.

Shannen’s list is short, though, so there are some other selections I’d like to throw out there, in no particular order.

– Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: When I was a kid and heard this, I thought, “Wow! It’s a real rock’n’roll star doing a Christmas song!” Now I think, “Man, when I was a kid, I thought some stupid things.”

– “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey: This counts as a Christmas standard now, which just shows how far our country’s standards have fallen. It’s the same way that McDonald’s salads count as “salads,” and the¬†50 Shades of Grey¬†books count as “books.”

– “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy: Cute the first million times you hear it, but the expiration date on this one was about twenty Christmases ago. Hearing those first jangly chords makes me dive for the radio like a Secret Service agent on a live grenade.

“Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg:

– John Cougar Mellencamp’s version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”: On the list of bad John Cougar Mellencamp songs, this is tied for first with… every other John Cougar Mellencamp song.

Did I miss any? Let me know.


  1. GalaxyJane

    Don’t forget “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, or as I like to call it “It’s a Date-Rape Christmas”, not cool, not charming, and not playing in my house this year.

    I actually did a list of 25 of these on my Facebook as a sort of Grinchy Advent calendar 2 years ago and all of these except the Fogelburg made the list.

    The thing that makes me actually physically ill every time I hear “Do They Know It’s Christmas” is that in addition to the fact that it is simply one of the worst pieces of garbage ever recorded or the fact that the bridge was copped directly from the Doctor Who theme, it may have had awful unintended consequences. The money raised is said to have been used by the Derg Junta to help fund resettlement programs, 3 million people displaced and between 50,000 and 100,000 killed.

    1. Jason

      Hey, now I hate “Do They Know It’s Christmas” even more! Merry Christmas, Derg Junta! Here’s a whole bunch of money from guilty white rock stars!

      Also, the sentiment expressed “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you” is not very Christmasy sentiment, when you think about it. “Boy, I’m glad those people are starving instead of me! Pass the sugar cookies!” I’m going to give Bono the benefit of the doubt that he was very young when he first yarked out that line, and he wouldn’t do it again today.

  2. Pingback: The Best Christmas Songs - jason (r) anderson

  3. Pingback: Bruce Springsteen ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ (Video) #MusicSunday | Lee Hernly

Leave a Reply