Christmas Music: The Dull, The Tragic And The Legendary
Music3 Minutes Read

Christmas Music: The Dull, The Tragic And The Legendary

December 24, 2021 Share

IT’S that time of year again when the radio waves are full to bursting with Christmas music. You can’t turn on the TV without hearing Mariah Carey or Wizzard belting out their annual money-makers on every other advert.

While everyone has their own guilty pleasures, there are some songs that deserve to be named and shamed. Likewise, some manage to transcend time and space and remain frustratingly enjoyable every single year. This list outlines the best and the worst inevitable entries on your festive playlist.

The Dull

Michael Bublé – Santa Baby

Eartha Kitt’s 1953 classic has been covered by too many artists (Madonna, Taylor Swift, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani, Trisha Yearwood and Ariana Grande), but Bublé’s suggestive number dedicated to Father Christmas, whom he refers to as “Santa Buddy”, takes first prize for hands-down the most boring version. And that’s no easy feat. Next!

Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime

I heard this song for the first time this year about two weeks ago. The instantly recognisable synths transported me back to unwrapping gifts under the tree and I was momentarily overcome by a wave of nostalgia. About 3 minutes seconds later, I was bored out of my mind. Once you realise Sir Paul just repeats the phrases “simply having a wonderful Christmas time” and “ding dong” twelve times each, there’s not a lot more to mention.

Honourable mentions:

Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

David Hasselhoff – Jingle Bells

The Tragic

Justin Bieber – Mistletoe

Bieber’s insufferable acoustic nightmare Mistletoe is about as bad as it gets when it comes to jumping on the Christmas music bandwagon. As he prances around a dimly lit street, snowflakes falling around him, he yearns for the love of his “shorty” under the mistletoe. If the video went on any longer, we’d almost definitely see the neighbours throwing stuff at him.

Maroon 5 – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

Can’t come up with anything new? Why not butcher a classic! I imagine this is a similar thought process to the one Adam Levine and his band of merry men resorted to in 2007 when they decided to soil John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s tender original. Levine’s signature warbling becomes embarrassing after about 30 seconds when he tries to sing the parts of John, Yoko, and a whole choir all by himself.

(Dis)Honourable mentions:

Lady Gaga – Christmas Tree

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

Jessica Simpson & Ashlee Simpson – The Little Drummer Boy

The Legendary

Wham! – Last Christmas

Now here, we have a genuine Christmas classic. A spellbinding tale of lust and heartbreak, George Michael’s ethereal voice cannot help but steer your thoughts toward that special, special someone. What’s more, the iconic ski-lodge getaway video has been shaping knitwear fashion since 1984 – proof of this ballad’s enduring legacy.

Bing Crosby – I’ll Be Home For Christmas

While this might not be the jolliest of tunes to play while you’re opening presents in the morning, Crosby’s bittersweet ode to the Yuletide season from the perspective of a soldier in World War Two has to be up there with the best Crooner Christmas music ever made. It was actually banned in the UK in 1943 by the BBC for fear of disheartening British troops, but today it remains a heart-warming favourite for an after-dinner playlist.

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

This one is tricky because while it most definitely holds legendary status, Mariah Carey’s omnipresence in all things Christmas can become a bit too much for some people. Its synonymity with shopping malls and consumerism is also ironically at odds with the song’s original intentions. However, this is not Mimi’s fault – she just made a great Christmas song – so for that reason, it remains on the legendary list.

Honourable mentions:

The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York

Bing Crosby – White Christmas

José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad

SEE MORE: The Most Festive DIY Cocktails

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