Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Calling all Grinches

As we approach Advent/Christmas lets do some personal sharing: What is your least favorite Christmas song of all time? You get to nominate one religious and one secular candidate. Please include a brief explanation for your choices. So as not to unduly influence responses, I will reveal my own choices at a later date. Have fun.


Gord said...

I'll play:
REligious: See Amid the Winter's Snow
Secular: I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Quotidian Grace said...

Following Gord:
Religious --It HAS to be The Little Drummer Boy--sentimental, repetitive and you can't get it out of your head.

Pa Rumpa Pum Pum...


~runs shrieking into the night~

Secular--White Christmas

reverendmother said...

As I shared at RGBP home, my very first blog post was a list of Christmas songs, categorized.

Religious songs--hard to choose. I would say that O Holy Night should be called O Holy Schmaltz. Also, the Whitney Houston version of Do You Hear What I Hear is just dreadful.

There are some horrible secular songs--I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is NOT cute. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth--ditto. Grandma Got Run Over... decidely UNfunny.

But the worst secular Christmas song bar none is the Twelve Days of Christmas, with the exception of the version performed by the Muppets.

Quotidian Grace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cheesehead said...

I'm with QG- I want to beat that cute little boy over the head with the drum sticks.

And Mary? You nodded? Are you crazy? Did you want 'God With Us' to wake and start squalling or something?

Bad Alice said...

Well everyone has already called my least favorite secular ones: I Saw Santa Kissing Santa Clause, All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, Grandma.

I haven't thought of a religious one I have a strong dislike for. I'll admit to a fondness for The Little Drummer Boy--no idea why, some buried glowing childhood memory probably--and Oh Holy Night, which was one of my mom's favorites and so I'm attached to it. I'm not very fond of Away in a Manger. I've always been very annoyed with the line "The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes."

Sue said...

I'm with Bad Alice -- I've never been a big fan of "Away in a Manger" -- can't really say why, it just doesn't do anything for me.

Least favourite Secular tune -- definitely "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" -- what idiot thought that would make for pleasant listening? Why not just bring out everyone's worst holiday memories in one catchy tune? Great idea! NOT!

Gord said...

Away in MAnger was a possible for me too. I also thought of one that replaces See Amid. "Mary Did You Know?"

Cathy said...

Ok, I'll take a different twist to this.
Religious -- I really don't like the hymn tune to Joy to the World. That is unusual since I like Handel's music most of the time. I really don't like the bouncing "and heaven and nature sing" that I feel and I can see heads bouncing and folks swooping their voice in parts . . . bleh.
Same goes with the more familiar "O Little Town of Bethlehem" - - I prefer the lesser known tune.

Secular: Twelve Days of's the song that never ends...

reverendmother said...

Aw, Sue, you're no fun. "Please, Daddy" is so bad, it's good. John Denver's "Rocky Mountain Christmas" is the quintessential cheesy Christmas album.

Quotidian Grace said...

No, RM. How could that be worse than the Osmond Family Christmas album?


Quotidian Grace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Quotidian Grace said...

Sorry, my Blogger is acting sketchy--posted twice a couple of times so I deleted the duplicates.

reverendmother said...

Ooh, Grace! I don't have that one! And I *collect* cheesy Christmas albums... Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys (blasts from my past)

[off to search Amazon for the Osmonds]

Oh, here's another one that's so bad it's good, from the Star Wars Holiday Special: "What do you get a Wookiee for Christmas when he already has a comb?"

Songbird said...

Gosh, y'all. What's left?

I really love all the traditional Christmas carols. I would have to work hard to find one I didn't like. And on the secular side, definitely Grandma Got Run Over.

I have a strange fondness for Bob and Doug Mackenzie and their Beer in a Tree, but that would be for a list of things we like.

SpookyRach said...

I'm with Bad Alice and Gord - Away In a Manger makes me grind my teeth. As does Silent Night. (I had forgotten about Mary Did You Know. Now I've got that syrupy tune drilling holes in my teeth. Thanks loads, man.)

Secular: Grandma and her unfortunate accident for sure. Plus any "Redneck" versions of carols, i.e. the Redneck 12 Days of Christmas.

will smama said...

Wow, the drunk daddy is one I am definitely going to have to check out. However, there is no way it could ever, in any lifetime be worse than: Feliz Navidad.

Little Drummer Boy has got NOTHING on this little Spanish nightmare. At least LDB has verses. FN contains a total of 16 words and then repeats - it will now remain in my head until the 4th of July.

Religious: Angels we have Heard on High. I think it is because I so rarely get to hear it done right. Folks mean well, but hitting those high 'gloria' notes is just not everyone's forte. Or how about God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen... not to get all feminist or anything.

SpookyRach said...

Bonus points to Reverendmother for remembering the Star Wars Holiday Special. (Egad!)

What Now? said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who dislikes "Little Drummer Boy"! Great message, damnably awful music.

And I hate "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" also. Really, really hate it.

LutheranChik said...

Worst religious Christmas carol: The Little Drummer Boy, hands down. (Please...hands down. As in, no "pa rumpa pum pum.")

Worst secular song: Jingle Cats. (And I like cats.)

Ciona said...

Religious: "We Three Kings" always sounds awkward when singing with a group. The slight change of rhythm is a bit dramatic and causes a chorus stutter. "Ohhhh-ohhhh . . . St-St-Star of wonder . . ."

Secular: "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" What?!?!?

Mary Beth said...

Religious: I love "O Come Let Us Adore Him," but will never forget a group of Jr. choristers singing it thus: "Lo, He abhors not the Virgin's womb," with the last word pronounced roughly to rhyme with "bomb."

Secular: Anybody know that one that has dogs barking Jingle Bells? Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it...

St. Casserole said...

I love "Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming."
I'd like a Christmas season without: Grandma and the Reindeer,
any Elvis Christmas song, no more Drummer Boys.
I love "Jingle Cats" because my LLS plays it annually.
Favorite recent Christmas movie is, "Love Actually." Not for children.

Kathryn said...

I think I'm going out on a limb here...I HATE Silent Night, specially as crooned over the tanoy in a million supermarkets as people fight over the last stollen on the shelf. And in church, it is always sung so slowly that it's painful. Sorry Herr Gruber, you are the weakest link for me.
I think you have a more entertaining array of secular Christmas numbers in US,- they don't impinge quite as much here, I think, as I'm struggling to think of more than a few...and they're all pretty dire.
Mistletoe and Wine is high on my hate list, though, together with the already listed "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth".

Jane Ellen+ said...

Oh, Elvis' Blue Christmas is one song I could cheerfully do without for the rest of eternity. Ditto the canine/feline Jingle Bells renditions.

I'm hard-pressed to point to a religious song I dislike that badly; but Away in a Manger is not high on my hit parade.

Oh, and Good King Wenceslas. What is that about? People think of it as religious, but it's simply preachy-- a chilly morality play. (I guess the "Feast of Stephen" reference is what earns its place on the Christmas docket).

And besides that, the tune is whiny. "Gathering winter fu-- uu-- elll." Ish! Make it stop!!

Becky Ardell Downs said...

Yep, that 2 front teeth song gets my vote-- but only if I can also vote for the slightly more obscure "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" which for some reason my husband is fond of.
For religious, hmmmm. . . I think We Three Kings is ridiculous and will do about anything to not include it in epiphany worship. I think "In the Bleak Midwinter" is also weird. Also "The First Nowell" (why do they insist on spelling it in old english?).

will smama said...

Feliz Navidad... Feliz Navidad... Feliz Navidad (something, something, mumble...)

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.

Feliz Navidad.... AND SO ON!!!

C'mon people, work with me here.

Admittedly I have a soft place in my heart for the drummer boy since that is the first Christmas Carol I learned to play on the piano. Because of this I would guess my Mom would give you another vote for worst Christmas song.

Purechristianithink said...

Becky--I also have a fondness for "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". Why? Because I played it over and over again as a child while listening to the greatest Christmas album ever: A Captain Kangaroo Christmas.

Can I get a witness??

Bad Alice said...

A Captain Kangaroo Christmas? How did I miss that? I LOVED Captain Kangaroo. Except for Grandfather Clock, who I thought was kinda creepy.

And thanks guys--now I've go Mary Did You Know? stuck in my head, and I only know those FOUR WORDS? AAARRRGH!

cheesehead said...

Cass: I love that movie too! But definitely not for kids, what with the porn stand-ins and all.


Ciona said...

Awww . . . everyone's so hard on the drummer boy. It's a great song! Even Mary nodded (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum). The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)! How can anyone not like this song when Mary was groovin' to it?


I actually do like it. Its dramatic storytelling earns it the Celine Dion Award for Christmas music!

Gord said...

In the interest of being fair and balanced (phrase trademarked by FOX News--who are not fair and balanced) I am seeking to know what your favourites are. COme on over and let me know.

Quotidian Grace said...

Will Smama--

Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad,
Feliz Navidad, Prospero Ano y Felicidads!
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, etc.

And yes it is truly a biligual Spanglish nightmare.

Teri said...

i really dislike "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." I just want to point out that it probably wasn't all that cold. Clear, maybe, but definitely not snow. Although, if our Christmas trip to Bethlehem pans out then I can let you know what the weather's like. pray for stable politics for a couple of months.
as for secular: Grandma takes the cake with bad taste.

reverendmother said...

Wait a minute. Where do you get cold from It Came Upon the Midnight Clear? Clear, yes, solemn stillness, yes, cold and snow, no--at least not in the Presbyterian hymnal; maybe there are alternate versions.

(I have to stick up for one of my faves!)

Maybe you're thinking of In the Bleak Midwinter, which is a song I love in spite of the bad metereology.

SpookyRach said...

Ok, your scurvy rats! Now I have Mary Did You Know Feliz Navidad all running together in my head.

Aayyargh! Make it stop!

Maria is una latina en mi cabeza, ahora. Or something like that.

SpookyRach said...

Feliz, have you met Mary?

Maria es una estudiante in la universidad de Nazareth. Voy a la playa!

Quotidian Grace said...

How could I have fotgotten "Pancho Claus" by Cheech of Cheech and Chong?

Yes, friends, this was popular in South Texas back in the day. It goes "Flying low over the Mexican desert--it's a bird, its a plane--No--It's Pancho Claus!"

Rach, Mindy do you remember that one? Carramba!

Gord said...

Say, did you folks know that there is an animated special based on Grandma Got Run over...? Has to do with Santa being hauled into court. THe quality matches the song.

SpookyRach said...

Pancho Claus?? Ohhh my. Nope. Somehow I missed that one. I also missed the Captain Kangaroo Christmas, which I am way all sad about. I thought Mr. Green Jeans was played by my Grandpa.

will smama said...

QG - there's got to be one in every crowd. Way to go on the Feliz lyrics.

Grandma is slowing winning me over and since some of you are going for random most hated secular song how about "Percy, the Puny Pointsetta" which is on the 'B' side of Grandma got run over...

Oh yes, people. I own that. Please form the jealous line to the right.

Rebel without a Pew - me thinks you struck a nerve!

Songbird said...

"Only a hippopotamus will do!"

What's not to like about "In the Bleak Midwinter?" It's poetry, it's angst-y, and there are no rum-pa-pum-pums. I especially love the last verse:
What can I give him, poor as I am
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise one (yeah, i'm going all UCC on you here), I would do my part
Yet what can I give him? Give him my heart.

Plus, it's Christina Rossetti.

Finally, I will forever associate Feliz Navidad with "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street," an ancient Sesame Street holiday special with a Maria barely out of her teens. Because I watched it so happily with my little #1 Son *so* many times, I have a love/hate relationship with that infernal song. Which will now be in my head all day. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Secular [no contest]: Feliz Navidad. And you know, the Jose Feliciano version is 10 times better than the Celine Dion version [did you know that there's a Celine Dion version running around? It's grim. . .I believe the song embodies the first horseman of the apocalypse.]

Sophia said...

I REALLY enjoyed these comments!

I have 2 coworkers who are already playing Christmas music. I keep telling them that it's not even Advent yet and that they are slowly killing me... :-)

Anyway. I really don't like Blue Christmas (gagging sound) and I HATE Adam Lay Ybounden (if you've never done this one as a choir member in a Lessons and Carols service, consider yourself very lucky!)

I'm also not a big fan of Mommy kissing santa, Rudolph, Silver Bells, or Twelve Things at Christmas that are Such Pain to Me (if you've never heard this little gem, the list includes "putting up the lights" "hangovers" and "finding a Christmas tree"

I LOVE The Holly and the Ivy, Once in Royal David's City, Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. O Come O Come Emanuel, Adeste Fidelas, the list goes on... I like a lot of Christmas carols in spite of their sometimes sketchy theology.

I also really like anything by Trans-siberian Orchestra, Carol of the Bells (ding dong, ding dong...), and All I Want for Christmas is You.

St. Cassarole - My husband and I watched Love Actually for the first time last weekend and LOVED it. Definitely not a movie for the kids but a lot of fun especially for anglophiles. :-)

Oh, and a big THUMBS DOWN for the dreidel song... nothing like reducing somebody else's holiday to a really annoying repetitive nursery school song.

see-through faith said...


you lot are TOO much

Teri said...

I think you are right...In the Bleak Midwinter, not the Midnight Song. in the land of mom-loss my brain isn't functioning quite right (and my hymnal is in Cairo...grr!). sorry.....and thanks for the corrections. I will, however, still admit to disliking the tune for It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. Actually, if pressed, I think I have a mild dislike for most of the tunes of Christmas (when done in the way we most often hear them--over scary speakers in the mall). One day-after-thanksgiving-shopping-trip is enough to make one swear off all Christmas music. However, one Chanticleer concert at my home church in Chicago can bring back the spirit of the season like you don't even know. :-)

peripateticpolarbear said...

I'm bummed to be so late to the party.
Least favorite--that awful Mary Did You Know thing. Argh. On the secular side, anything sung by chipmunks ....what's that one about someone wants a hula hoop? Chipmunks. should. not. sing. Not at Christmas. Not ever.

My family has an abiding love for a very tacky, very cheesy secular song: I Yust go Nuts At Christmas. Yogi Yorgenson. Yah, you betcha. We have an old 45 of it that we play every Christmas eve in honor of my grandfather who would laugh at it so hard that he'd cry. But y'all would hate it.

I love In the Bleak Midwinter. It's actually the only piece of music I've ever arranged chorally. The melody is just haunting. And I do love the alternate hymn tunes to Little Town and Away in a Manger.

reverendmother said...

I must stand up for Adam Lay Ybounden. We sang it every year at the Madrigal dinners in college. The alto line is perfection. Besides, it's short and thus over quickly--less to hate.

My stepmother had the Grandma... CD with about 10 equally hideous novelty songs. My brothers poked a hole in it one night so it wouldn't play. Yes, violence during the Christmas season.

Mibi will have to back me up about the most wretched Christmas song that they play around here: "Christmas Eve in Washington (America's Hometown)." Oh shoot me now.

Amen to the Bleak Midwinter love.

Becky Ardell Downs said...

Okay, you're right, some of In a Bleak Midwinter is okay. I guess it's the snow part that I think is weird. And not needed to make it a good song. And I think Pancho Claus is funny, probably because I think it came out when I was just the right age for it-- like 15 or something. And okay, I'll admit it. I like Feliz Navidad. I went to this restaurant in Houston one time where the waiters do this singing show thing while they serve you? And it was a Christmas theme. The best part of it was at the end when they sang Feliz Navidad and all the dishwasher and busboys came out and sang along.

will smama said...

I just had to get you to an even 50.


Girl said...

Religious: O Little Town of Bethlehem...I like the words, but the hymn itself is rather drab...quarter notes anyone?

Secular: All I want for Christmas... I have a version of this that makes my skin crawl!!