Christmas Songs I DON’T Like!

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In case you haven’t noticed, 2020 has been a pretty lousy year. Keeping my tradition of writing about Christmas music around this time of the year, I thought I’d stay with the 2020 lousy theme by writing about a few Christmas songs that I think are lousy. Just my opinion….

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey – This relatively new Christmas standard (Carey co-wrote it and released it in 1994) is one of the best selling singles of all time – reportedly, it had earned royalties of over $60 million by 2017. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019, 25 years after its release – the longest trip to #1 on music history. It’s beloved by many – but I don’t like it, mostly because to me, Carey is the epitome of 90s R&B formula music (though as 90s R&B formula music goes, she is better than most of the artists of that time).

Last Christmas – Wham! – This classic was written and produced by George Michael and released in 1984. Michael played every instrument on the track. It made it to #11 in the U.S., #2 in nine countries, and #1 in three other countries. All proceeds were donated to relief efforts related to the famine in Ethiopia. Again, I dislike it due to its formulaic sound – this time, it’s that 80s blue-eyed soul-pop sound that bugs me.

Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano – In 1970, Feliciano had reached the peak of his popularity, and of course, his record label encouraged him to release a Christmas album. The album covered all of the usual Christmas tunes, and it included one original composition – Feliz Navidad. Initially, Feliciano thought it was impractical to include something original, but he reflected on his childhood in Puerto Rico and quickly came up with the hook and simple lyrics. “Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad” translated to “Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness,” and he included the English lyric “I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.” A 50th anniversary version with 30 guest artists was released in November 2020. The song is one of the best selling Christmas songs ever, and it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. I don’t care for it, probably because I’ve heard it 10,000 times.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy – This novelty song was released by husband and wife duo Elmo and Patsy Shropshire in 1979. You know the story – Grandma gets drunk, stumbles outside into a snowstorm, where she gets trampled by Santa and his reindeer. In 1992, Elmo released a sequel titled Grandpa’s Gonna Sue the Pants Off Santa. How quaint. Easy to not like this drivel.

C’mon – admit it. There are a few Christmas songs that you don’t like either. Watch the video of the worst of them all – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. That’s Elmo playing the role of both Grandma and Grandpa, and Patsy as Cousin Mel.


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