The 10 Most Annoying Pop Christmas Songs of All Time
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New to the Christmas songs pantheon, the internet generation’s Mel Torme recorded “Mistletoe” this year, presumably to capitalize on the number of young girls who want to get caught under it with him. (Also, Bieber is an avowed Christian, and nothing’s more godly than sleigh bells and high production values.) Possibly the first Christmas song that calls a potential love interest “shawty,” but certainly not the last. Bonus points for the line about not buying him a gift, but it’s because all he wants for Christmas is your lips, which is the most sickly cloying ploy for teenaged iTunes buys ever.
Nothing is more disspiriting than being in a discount store with hundreds of weary shoppers searching for last-minute Christmas gifts, when Andy Williams portals in from 1963 to tell you how great all of this is. He’s the ghost of Christmas past gone wrong, singing with his show-host permasmile and completely missing the irony, while somehow shaming the seasonally disgruntled into feeling like dicks for not having a good time. Also, I have a major problem with one of the lyrics: who tells ghost stories at Christmas?! Proof that Andy Williams is actually an agent of Beelzebub.
This horrible band took an actually beautiful song penned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono as a protest song against the Vietnam War and turned it into overproduced, insincere-sounding pablum. All the poignant sentiment that Lennon and Ono imbued the song with is completely sucked out by singer Adam Levine’s reaching aria and overdone vibratos. I’m no “Lennon is God” type of person (I prefer Ono), but others have covered this song and done a much better job. This Maroon 5 version, unfortunately, is the one that gets played everywhere.
This is not a fairytale unless your idea of magic is waking up in a gutter on the Lower East Side. Opening with Pogues singer Shane McGowan singing about Christmas Eve in the drunk tank, what unfolds is an inordinately long romp through a very unhappy couple’s alcoholic brawl, sung in (natural) Irish brogues and boozy aplomb. Even if the voices don’t annoy you, the concept of having to sit through someone else’s dysfunctional holiday arguments will.
A super melodramatic ballad that is essentially a self-help song about self-esteem disguised as a holiday song. Faith Hill, you’re okay in general, but why are you USING Christmas?
Listening to this song, you’re tempted to think there is no way Slade recorded it without being at least drunk in the studio if not jacked up on various regulated stimulants. Singer Noddy Holder’s aggressive iteration of the words “red-nosed reindeer” sounds as though he wants to slaughter the Christmas icon for venison, and though its chorus is telling us everybody’s having fun, it seems like they’re doing so at gunpoint. Perhaps one of the least fun songs about having fun ever! Then again, it was the glam era, everyone was messed up on fame and blow. The moral of this story is probably, never trust a guy who has a neck beard.
Sonically speaking, this is one of the least annoying songs on the list: George Michael’s voice is lovely and sweet, and the synth melodies and sleigh bells allude to tradition without going overboard. But one of the worst things on earth around this holiday season is knowing that some people are utterly alone, and don’t want to be. This song is a constant reminder that someone, somewhere, is crying on Christmas. Because they got dumped. Thanks, Wham! Good vibes.