Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Christmas Songs That Annoy Me

I love Christmas.  I love everything about it.  Even the songs that I've heard every year for the past 50 years still somehow make me feel warm inside.  Every song, that is, except three.  There are three Christmas songs that 1) fortunately only get played once a year, 2) don't really have anything to do with Christmas or the holidays, per se, and 3) are just plain stupid.

The Christmas Shoes
I hate this song so much.  First of all, I can't stand forced sentiment, like when someone writes a song that's supposed to be a tearjerker.  There are lots of country songs that fall into this genre, like Tim McGraw's "Don't Take The Girl" and Kathy Mattea's "Where've You Been?"  But back to these freaking shoes.
So somewhere in the world around Christmas time, a man - and quite possibly other extended members of a family - allow a little boy of undetermined age (let's say 11 or 12?) to break his piggy bank and leave his dying mother's bedside (hospital?  living room sofa?) so that he can go out ALONE to buy a pair of shoes for his mother before she succumbs to whatever illness from which she's been suffering.  She is, I surmise, moments away from potentially "meeting Jesus".  This mother who, apparently, also never allowed her child to believe in Santa Claus since she always "made Christmas good at the house" and "did without" most years. Instead, she chose to teach her child that God only loves you if you sport expensive, material things and show up to meet Him while wearing only your best holiday footwear.  The smelly robe she will most likely die wearing must be inconsequential.
The song even comes with a snooty retail clerk who is not about to demonstrate any Christmas spirit and puts the weight of the purchase back on other consumers when the kid comes up short in the cash department (which we all KNEW would happen). The best part of the song is that the singer seems to have gleaned some kind of Christmas message from the whole experience; an understanding of what Christmas "is all about": sending your kids on a fool's errand to the mall in times of stress so that you don't have to deal with them, thus making them someone else's problem.
Baby It's Cold Outside
Have you ever actually listened to or read the lyrics of this song, specifically the lyrics that are traditionally sung by the woman?  I'll sum them up here: she's being drugged and kept against her will.  Her constant pleas to leave are simply ignored by her selfish date.  She's worried about her family, the neighbors, and her hair.  All he cares about is his pride, his fireplace, and how fast he can dump another "drink" into her.  He won't even lend her a comb!
Yeah, it's a song about date rape and kidnapping. REAL Christmasy, this one.  It's one the creepiest song out there, holiday or otherwise.  And for some reason, it keeps getting recorded by artists and DJ's keep playing it on the radio over and over.  It's in heavy rotation during the holidays and I've no idea why?  "Think of my lifelong sorrow" of having to listen to this song for another couple of decades.

Twelve Days of Christmas
This song is essentially the holiday equivalent to 99 Bottle Of Beer On The Wall.  It's. So. Boring.  And for some reason, it's hard for people to remember.  Which is understandable because it makes no sense.  If my true love showed up at my house at Christmas with a marching band, dancers, and geese, I'd kick him in his holly and berries.   
And what exactly ARE the 12 days of Christmas?  When does it start or end?  And who thought up that Christmas list.  Would the giver really be your true love if they gave you all this stuff?  Is the true love an ornithologist?  What's the fascination with fowl: swans, geese, turtle doves, calling birds, french hens and a partridge??  Can you imagine the stick from all of those things?  How fast would you be packing your stuff and running out the back door?
So that's my cringe-worthy list.  Every time these songs come on the radio, I grunt my best Grinch-grunt and roll my eyes.  I'd love for all three of them to be removed from rotation.  But alas, they are part of the fabric of Christmas.  Perhaps easy to overlook in the grand scheme of things.

But still...