Dec 22, 2010–Just as “fruitcake” is an affront to both fruit and cake, “Christmas music” often insults both the season and the sound.

Not to strangle the spirits of Christmas, but even as the pageant at the Baptist church brought tears to my eyes, some of the drivel that passes for holiday music brings phlegm to my sinuses.

This is not about the usual suspects in this category – Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer, or The Chipmunks’ Christmas Don’t Be Late (we wore out our 45 of that song back in the 1960s).

This is about the most egregious offenders to the holiday season – songs that would make even Santa scurry back up the chimney. Herewith, some of the tunes that dreck the halls:

Cyndi Lauper’s The Christmas Conga
Comes with a video complete with dancing avatars out of the Star Wars bar scene. Someone noted this is the music you hear when you are on hold in hell.

Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time
How a Beatle could compose and perform this insipid ditty makes me wish Paul really was a Walrus.

John Denver’s Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)
This fits with Larry Nestor’s Santa Doesn’t Smoke Anymore, but it’s even worse.

The lyrics are…
Please, Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas
I don’t want to see my mamma cry
Just last year when I was only 7
Now I’m almost 8, you can see
You came home a quarter past 11
And fell down underneath our Christmas tree

(Sorry that’s as far as I got – I couldn’t even listen to the rest of that song)

Ten-year-old Gayla Peevey’s I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Okay. That title alone qualifies this one for the Elfin hall of shame. But the lyrics firmly plant it in any “the worst of” category.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a Hippopotamus will do
Don’t want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy
I want a Hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind do you?
He won’t have to use a dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door that’s the easy thing to do

It gets worse…

No crocodiles or rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

…and worse.

There’s lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I’d feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage

I’ll stop now.

What would possess anyone to even think of the idea of getting a large African beast for Christmas? Let alone giving him a massage. (Besides, how would you wrap it?)

Readers know of my dislike for marathon songs such as Little Drummer Boy and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Apparently there is another offender titled 100 Bulbs, that shares the tune of 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall and runs over 15 agonizing minutes.

Let’s not leave out our Jewish friends. The Klezmatics play a Woody Guthrie tune called Happy Joyous Hanukkah, and Gefilte Joe & The Fish play Hanukkah Rocks. I’m not sure if those are good or bad songs, I just love the names of the bands.

Speaking of Jewish singers, Bob Dylan qualifies for “the worst” list for singing Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, Must Be Santa, or any song on his Christmas album. Dylan is the only guy who can make I’ll Be Home by Christmas sound like a threat.

But topping the list is a song introduced by NPR’s Annoying Music expert Jim Nayder. It is the story of Mary and Joseph sung to – are you ready for this – the Brady Bunch Theme.

Hum that hymn in your head while you sing these lyrics:

Here’s a story of a girl named Mary
Who was told that she would bear God’s only son
By an angel of the Lord, though she wondered
She said, Thy will be done

Here’s a story of a man named Joseph
And God told him that the marriage should begin
For her baby was conceived by the Spirit
And He was saved from sin

Till the one day she gave birth in a stable
And the shepherds came and heard the angels sing
Their baby Jesus became our Lord and Savior.
That’s the way we all became kids of the King!

One commenter noted this rendition hit the holy trinity of awful Christmas music: bad TV show, sickening lyrics, and poor singing.

(Hear it yourself at


Merry Christmas. May the sounds of the season be sweet; may your Daddy not get drunk.

And may you never ever wake up and find a hippo under your tree.