10 Christmas Songs Whose Lyrics Are The WORST

December 18, 2013 — 5 Comments
Photo by Ed Ouimette (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo by Ed Ouimette (CC BY-SA 2.0)

HUMBUG WARNING: If Buddy the Elf best describes you during the holidays, you’re gonna hate this post.

Have you ever paid attention to the lyrics of the songs that are played around the holidays? I mean, really listened to them and considered their meanings? While many of them do a fine job and bringing glad tidings and cheer, some of them are just awful. Here are 10 Christmas Songs Whose Lyrics Are The WORST

10. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Santa sounds more like a shaming stalker than a benevolent elf trying to spur on good behavior. “He sees you when your sleeping / He knows when you’re awake / He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” Santa: putting the “S” in NSA.

9. “Santa Baby”
In case you needed a reminder that the consumer Christmas obsession isn’t new, this 1953 wish list would cost over $1 billion today (platinum mines don’t come cheap, after all). That’s not to mention the double entendre in the refrain . . .

8. “Last Christmas”
The scorned lover in this song hasn’t seen his ex in a year, is still obsessing over the breakup, sending her “I love you notes” and spying on her at parties? That’s enough for a judge to sign out a restraining order. Plus, no one should really want to be with someone who they describe as having a “soul of ice.” Time to move on.

7. “All I Want for Christmas is You”
Folks, it’s ok to be single. Really. Getting a puppy for Christmas is a really bad idea. Getting a boyfriend or girlfriend is even worse. The tone in this song is a bit desperate. If you have to go to these lengths to convince someone to date you, it’s not going to go well. Side note: this song would fit right in with most worship songs if sung to Jesus in a church. That says a lot about the lyrics of most contemporary “worship” songs.

6. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
As far as the kid singing this song knows, he saw mommy having an affair with an older man. Not cool, mom.

5. “Christmas Shoes”
I can’t even.

4. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
There’s nothing that will get you into the holiday spirit like singing along to a song steeped in neo-colonialist condescension. I’m not comfortable with a song about the plight of the poor that encourages the listener to “thank God it’s them instead of you.” Also, contrary to the lyric’s claims, it does rain in Africa and things do grow there. There will be snow in many places in Africa on Christmas, like on the mountains. Africa isn’t some monolithic whole. It is full of thousands of beautiful cultures and peoples, many that are not Christian and likely wouldn’t celebrate Christmas regardless of knowing when it is.

3. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Quite frankly, for many people it’s not. For people who have lost friends and family near the holidays or for other reasons don’t have “loved ones near,” the holidays are just plain hard. Having everyone tell you to “be of good cheer” doesn’t magically transform it into the “hap-happiest season of all.” Fortunately, the holidays don’t have to be about emotional sentimentalism. Advent is a time where we can learn the difference between what it means to have joy over the birth of Christ, even when we don’t feel cheerful or happy. And it’s okay to not feel cheerful or happy during the holidays.

2. “Silent Night”
Ok. Hang with me here. I love this song, but it paints a picture of Christmas that just isn’t true. I’ve been around babies on the first night that they’re born. Not silent. Now, add livestock and overcrowding. Not calm. One of the beautiful things about the incarnation is that God became fully human. That means that the baby Jesus cried. A lot. And I love that. (ht: Sarah Thebarge for her post on inane Christmas carol lyrics)

1. “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Beautifully sung, but horrible message. NO MEANS NO. Men, if she wants to leave, let her leave. Damn your pride.

What about you? What holiday songs drive you nuts and why?

Anderson Campbell


  • paula jones

    Even Christians songs are innate. For example, I think this would be more likely:
    “Angels we have heard on high, and we nearly peed our pants.”

  • paula jones

    How about: “Angels we have heard on high, and we nearly peed our pants.”

  • Rochelle

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside bugs me because it implies: drugging her drink, forcing her to stay, kissing her without permission… AND it has the audacity to be catchy.

    I told my mom last weekend that “Do you hear what I hear” is a fantastic example of how gossip spreads, since what the night wind tells the little lamb is nothing at all like the message the little lamb spreads to the shepherd boy.

  • greg

    Good line! Santa Clause is coming to town makes Santa the “S” in NSA. What a sickening song. I believe it’s getting played ad naseum to condition our kids to the New World Order. Imagine that it’s ok to sell your soul for a bunch of toys. If your politics don’t have such a libertarian bend, the song also tells kids they can let a dirty old man watch them naked in exchange for toys. I despise that infernal song

  • Will Clapp

    Does no one hear the line in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” about “If you catch pneumonia and died…” That song is horrible because of the Continental-esque undertones (I love Christopher Walken) and the threat of impending death due to debilitating sickness. Just awful!!!