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Deck The Halls Part 2 – The Worst Christmas Songs of All Time

So, with part one, we’ve opened the Wii, the Northern Soul compilation is on the stereo and you are changing into the designer duds. Now, with part two, it’s the Ronco Buttoneer, the Best of Chris Rea boxset and the jumper your Gran knitted you which looks as though it was made for Michael Phelps. Yes, it’s the worst Christmas songs ever. Be they rubbish of tune, banal of lyric or performed by an arsehole, these are the seasonal monstrosities that we can all live without, but are not given the opportunity. Like the poor and serious illness, they will always be with us.

Band Aid 3 – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

It’s easy to forgive the incredibly stupid lyrics of the first one because it’s a corking great tune and it really and truly did a lot of good. It’s easy to ignore the second because almost everyone who featured on it now drives a taxi. But this howling whore of a thing can be granted no mercy. From Chris Martin’s insincere over-sincerity at the start, to Joss Stone shrieking like a lactating cat at the end, it really is a soulless hotchpotch of empty morality. The morass is completed by Bono. Say what you like about him – because he’s a twat – but on the original, he sung with passion. On this version, he sings with smugness. Oh, and you clearly dye your hair, you shortarsed gimp.

Mel and Kim – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Nothing wrong with the song, particularly, but the whole concept. In the 80’s, there was a mildly successful pop band called Mel and Kim. So, what comedian Mel Smith did, hilariously, was record a duet of an old Christmas classic with 80’s popstrel Kim Wilde. Mel and Kim! Geddit? Featuring a video which was as funny as shingles, the fat comedian gurned his way through some lame set-pieces while Wilde wondered where her career had gone. Why does it still get played?

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Merry Christmas (War is Over)

By then deeply into his tiresome peace campaigner, Lennon recorded this horrible little diatribe along with his musically ‘gifted’ Missus and still, after almost four decades, its charmless hippy sentiments still grate. Featuring an accusatory opening line which sets the tone (“So this is Christmas, and what have you done?”) it’s a terrible example of middle-class guilt and the sixth form poetry level lyrics which increasingly came to mark Lennon’s solo period. In terms of trite sentiments “War is over if you want it” has got to be among the worst. Shockingly bad. Still beloved by hippy idiots. Still why John Lydon was right.

Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas

Duuuuuulllllllll. One third of the famous apocryphal Man City midfield, Greg Lake basically bastardised the lovely ‘Troika’ into this indulgent whine about how Christmas isn’t as good as an adult as when you are a kid. Revelatory. Also, only people who own an Aga refer to Santa as Father Christmas. He also bears an uncanny resemblance to Tom Chaplin from Keane, who certainly appears to have inherited his musical talent, if indeed the errant ELP guitarist ever humped his Mum. Which he almost certainly didn’t. Still.

East 17 – Stay Another Day

Whoah, Nelly. Four faux-tough cockernee bad lads record a ballad of such astounding banality it makes the listener sad to be sentient, then record a video in which they were white fur coats and great big cossack hats, looking like a gang of gay Communists being sent to the gulag and annoy a nation. Looking back, people who say the 80’s were worse than the 90’s were wrong; they were as bad as each other, frankly.

Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine

Poor Cliff. he takes a kicking, but then, does he care? I sincerely doubt it. This brutally cynical piece of Christian codswallop is now so ingrained into our souls as to be a new piece of the human psyche. Prancing about a fake Christmas scene alarmingly while children frolic, Cliff delights and frightens in equal measure. Check the jumper. You wouldn’t let him babysit, it’s all I’m saying.

So there we have it. the good outweighs the bad, which is how I’d describe Christmas. Break that tinsel out and let’s get festive!

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12 Responses

  1. You LIKE Wonderful Christmas-time by McCartney, but HATE War Is Over by Lennon? I’d say this was controversial, but you clearly haven’t thought this through properly.

  2. Wally, I fucking loathe the shit Lennon gets away with while McCartney gets pilloried.

    The Lennon song is trite, pointless and there is nothing worse than being lectured by a Champagne Socialist from a stultifyingly middle-class background. The guy would be an ardent Plane Stupid supporter if he was about today. War is NOT over if you want it, and sitting in a fucking bed isn’t going to do anything except give you bedsores.

    Their debut singles are a great case in point; Lennon writes a song called ‘Power To The People’ saying how, y’know, power should go to, like, the people and we need, like, a revolution. Five stars, garlands, what a poet etc.

    McCartney writes a beautifully sketched song called ‘Just Another Day’ about the banality and pointlessness of modern existence, of how we lose in our individuality in the 9-5 grind. Crap, trite, boo hiss etc.

    But what says more to more people about their life?

    McCartney has written a helluva lot of absolute shite in his life, but it seems the stinking pile of horse manure that was the vast majority of Lennon’s solo career is to be forgiven because he got shot? Nah, not having it.

    A final thought; McCartney set out to write a song about Christmas which was a cracking pop song families could enjoy. Lennon set out to convert the world to peace and love and all that. Who was most successful?

  3. A mildly belligerent way of making an almost valid point. Lennon is unfairly canonized on account of his early death (and Yoko is unfairly demonized on account of being his wife, but that’s another story), and almost everything post Beatles is pretty awful (1st solo album and some singles aside) but McCartney lost it way before Lennon ever did i.e. about halfway through the White Album.

    See, I don’t think Lennon ‘get’s away’ with anything – nobody ever plays his records post-Plastic Ono Band / Imagine, and rightly so. But to hold up McCartney’s Xmas filth by way of making this point is just a absent nose on a spited, disfigured face. And wary as I am of pulling out Kintyre yet again, I am still certain this is popular music’s lowest ever ebb, a cultural black hole we as a people are still gingerly edging away from. Lennon never stooped as low as that.

    As for protesting – I don’t understand what being ‘privileged’ or ‘middle class’ has to do with having the right to state relavant opinions on important matters. These are just kneejerk statements and have no bearing on the matter. It’s an artist’s responsibility to observe and react to their world – however ‘sophisticated’ they choose to make this response is up for debate – and whatever your view on Lennon’s poltics (or lack of), they were very much a reflection of real life ideals happening in the world at the time of writing. Meanwhile, McCartney contemplates his navel, his wife, his dog. Ho hum.

    Personally, I find War Is Over, with all it’s oversimplifications, rather more moving than McCartney’s cynical, caned, 20 minutes of ‘will this do?’ just-popped-out-for-a-kebab nonsense.

  4. It can do, but Lennon often strayed into the realm of the patronising. And I just don’t see that something as trite as ‘Power to the People’ or ‘Imagine no possessions’ deserve the gushing praise that they get.

    I’d disagree with your McCartney assessment – ‘Band on the Run’ is an excellent album, as is ‘McCartney’ and ‘Flaming Pie’ Yes, he lost his way in the 80’s, but name me a 60’s act who didn’t?

    McCartney made some great pop – which is all ‘SHAWCT’ is, and all it is supposed to be – and a lot of garbage ‘Hi Hi Hi’, ‘Give Irealnd Back To The Irish’ but he’s inversely demonised to Lennon’s cannonization. I’m not anti-Lennon – I’d say 15 of my top 20 Beatles songs are his – I just don’t think it’s fair.

  5. I agree about Imagine as it happens, but arguing against it is like crying into a hurricane. Lots of people like terrible music, so it goes.

    I think we can agree that both of the lads have made equally loathesome music, though I challenge you to go and watch the video for Wonderful Xmas and maintain the ‘great pop song’ stance. Seriously, go and try it. You’ll be hurtling back to ‘Jealous Guy’ before you can go DING DONG DING DONG DING DONGGGG

  6. Nah, it reminds me of being 7 at Christmas, which is the best feeling in the world!

  7. Lets agree that they’re both cunts, shall we. I hate the Beatles and everything associated with them.
    The Clash piss all over them.

  8. Have to agree with the Whippet here; most oevrrated band on earth. I can see why they were important and understand their place in history but never, ever listen to them.

  9. Overrated? Come of it. They were magnificent until about half way through the White Album.

    The Clash? All posture and rhetoric. Only hit their stride with Combat Rock and then dropped the ball.

  10. I love both The Clash and The Beatles.

    But to say the Beatles were overrated…nah. you can say you don’t like them, you can say they are cunts, but they have mattered too long to too many people for the epithet overrated to be even remotely accurate.

  11. Gies peace. Whether you like it or not, the beatles were the most important and influential group of the 20th century. Not the rolling stones, not some jazz pish, and certainly not the fucking clash. Except rudie can’t fail. that’s a good tune.

  12. The Beatles were certainly influential , I can detect their sound in some of those albums by The Rutles.

    Then again , without bob dylan……..as john lennon was wont to say .
    And without Woodie Guthrie as Bob Dylan was wont to say……

    Is it Leadbelly next ?

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