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5 Things I Don’t Get: Christmas Songs Edition

It’s been a long time since I wrote one of these, but it seemed like a good point to trot out another edition of 5 Things I Don’t Get. It’s simply a moment for both me and you to unburden ourselves of the things that make no sense to us, drive us crazy, and/or make us scratch our heads in befuddled wonder (if you’re interested in more of these, click here if you dare).

And it has nothing to do with the fact that my brain is past capacity and a serious/coherent thought is harder to find than Michelle Bachmann at an Elton John concert (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

And as always, I even have a Biblical precedent for this: Proverbs 30:18-19. Go check it out. It’s legit.

This time I wanted to take on Christmas music because there are more than a few head-scratchers in that long list of favorites. Enough of the overture, let’s get to the main event!

  1. Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town. Surely, I’m not the only one who’s heard the angry overtones in this song. The whole thing sounds like a threat set to happy-slappy music. You better watch out (or what exactly?) / You better not cry (what if I cut my finger off with a skill saw?) You better not pout (okay, I can get behind that one) / I’m telling you why…Santa Claus is comin’ to town (and he’s packing apparently).
  2. Away in a Manger. This is a beautiful song that I love, but one part bugs me: The cattle are lowing / the poor Baby wakes / but little Lord Jesus / no crying He makes. It’s just that weird idea that Jesus wasn’t a real baby. If He got startled or hungry, I’m sure He cried. Jesus was fully human–that means He even pooped… Okay, you get my point. You’ve got mooing and a chaotic barn with all kinds of animals, it doesn’t take away from His divinity if He cried.
  3. Santa Baby. I never really realized the overtly sexual overtones in this song until a few years ago. Since then I really can’t listen to it without a mental, “yuck”  and headshake. It sure sounds to me like she’s wanting lots of goods in exchange for Santa “coming down the chimney” (I can’t believe I just typed that). And this was written in the early 50′s! You know, the good old days when everyone was pure and chaste. There goes that theory. Just nasty.
  4. O Holy Night. This song is probably my ultimate favorite. I love singing it and love the message. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. In fact, I’ve heard so many different versions and styles of it and I can appreciate the beauty in every one of them. Well, that is until I heard this version. It’s been floating around the internet for many moons, but I can’t believe a studio let this guy record and butcher this amazing song. It is hilarious though (bless his heart).
  5. Jingle Bell Rock. This song is so insidious, so sinister. It’s the Christmas version of those ear worms from Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan (called ceti eels apparently). It burrows into your brain and won’t let go. You can’t really do much with the arrangement so every version sounds pretty much the same: terrible. And what the heck is dancing in the “new old-fashioned way”? I have never seen this in real life, but we except it from our evil holiday songs I guess. Editor’s Note: I am not grumpy, just confused (don’t want to provoke Santa to hunt me down).

    Don't get me started on that Justin Bieber fake Reggae Christmas song that sound way too much like Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours."

     

Your turn! What’s your favorite Christmas song? Which one bugs you or makes you want to bash your radio with a baseball bat? Confession is good for the soul!

26 Comments

  1. O Holy Night is probably my favorite if sung (or sang--I never can tell which is right) good (or well-another one I mess up on a lot).
    seekingpastor recently posted..This and ThatMy Profile

    • ‘Good’ and ‘well’ are hard sometimes! I know what you man though. Thanks Matt. :)

  2. O Holy Night is probably my favorite if sung by someone who knows how to sing and sings within their range. Songs on my hit list (as in get rid of them): Holly Jolly Cmas. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Away in a Manger (a yawner). I Saw Mommy Kissing SC. There are more but I don’t want to sound like a Scrooge. :) Love your list jason. Thanks for the chuckle.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..AStoryMy Profile

    • Ha! No Scrooges around here, just honest people who are honestly sick of certain Christmas songs! Thanks Bill.

  3. My favorite is Come Let US Adore Him I remember one year when the conference use to be held in Tulsa we sang
    For You alone are worthy
    For You alone are worthy
    For You alone are worthy
    Christ the Lord

    We’ll give you all the glory
    We’ll give you all the glory
    We’ll give you all the glory
    Christ the Lord

    And the presence was in the Sheraton ball room when we were declaring this.

    But to be honest I really get annoyed when secular artist twist some of them around. and it really kills the mood.
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • That’s one of my favorites too! It just builds so fantastically. You feel the swelling of the Spirit and the simplicity of the praise. And I know what you mean, you can appreciate the beauty of someone’s voice or style, but it’s not the same as someone who knows Him and sings it in true worship. Thanks Andrew!

  4. I feel pretty good about my singing now… that I listened to that disaster!

    I too loathe Santa Baby…

    My favorite Christmas song is probably O Holy Night, with Bob Seger’s The Little Drummer Boy a close second, depending on the year. The thought of God smiling at us for using with sincerity the gift that He blessed us with is enough to make me smile.
    floyd recently posted..THE STINGMy Profile

    • There are lots of ways to receive encouragement--some better than others. :) I love the song, Little Drummer Boy too. It was the first Christmas song I learned on the piano and I played it over and over and over! Thanks Floyd.

    • I couldn’t get more than halfway through that “Oh Holy Night”. My ears hurt.
      Helen recently posted..Wild Card PartyMy Profile

      • If you get through the whole thing though, a double rainbow opens up and Barry White wishes you a very groovy Christmas. Unfortunately, you can’t hear it with all the bleeding from the ears (yes, I’m weird).

  5. I might need to turn in my Man Card after this, but my favorite Christmas song is O’Holy Night as done by Mariah Carey. Absolutely love it.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Called Very GoodMy Profile

    • Why is your man card in question? That’s a great version! Men can appreciate beautiful music too. If not, I am definitely in trouble because music moves me especially powerfully. Thanks Jason. :)

  6. My FAVORITE is “Mary’s Boy Child”

    I like Jingle Bell Rock, but I always wondered what the “New Old Fashioned Way” was also.

    I don’t get why the third verse of Joy to the World is ALWAYS skipped!
    Helen recently posted..Wild Card PartyMy Profile

    • I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song! And those are quite the outfits. My problem with Jingle Bell Rock is that it gets stuck in my head and I can’t get it out for hours and hours and hours. It’s maddening!

      Joy to the World has a 3rd verse? I had to look it up, but they’re good lyrics. That is bizarre! Thanks Helen.

  7. My favourite Christmas song is “Go tell it on the Mountain.” I like it so much that I sing it all year round. :)
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..Teaching your kids to serveMy Profile

    • Great song! This is my favorite version--from the band, Needtobreathe. Thanks Kevin!

  8. Any post that mentions “Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan” already wins with me!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..The House-BandMy Profile

    • What can I say? I know what the people want! :) Thanks Jay.

  9. My favorite is: Baby it’s cold outside by Sammy Davis Jr. He starts singing with a ridiculous voice and almost makes the lady singing mess up.

    Least favorite is: Santa Claus comes tonight. It’s just odd. One line in the song is “Santa knows that we’re all God’s children and that makes everything right”

    Mixing Santa and Jesus in some strange way. I love Jesus and I like Santa but let’s keep them away from each other.
    David Knapp recently posted..Why Can’t Tim Tebow Just Shut Up About His FaithMy Profile

    • I love ‘Baby, It’s cold outside’ too! I’ve never heard that version. I’ll have to look it out. Love when they sing it in Elf.

      And yeah, I get what you’re saying about the other. I forgot about that song, but I remember that weird line now. Thanks for weighing in, David!

      • Sorry to be disagreeable, but I LOVE that line! :-|
        Helen recently posted..Feeling DownMy Profile

        • You are certainly free to hold that opinion, Helen Joy. No judgment from me. :) I just don’t get it exactly. He’s knows we’re all God’s children so how does that make everything right though? And we give thanks because Santa comes? I guess we are supposed to give thanks in ALL things. Just an interesting way to express it.

  10. The song sounds similar to a lot of church specials I have heard ;-)

    • I’ve heard some bad specials, but none that bad! Ha!

  11. Who leaked my recording?!?!?!?!! KHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I knew I recognized that voice from somewhere! :)