Holiday Horrors: “Last Christmas”

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George Michael has much to answer for. When I was a kid, I recall his Faith album being a hot item amongst the sixth grade set for its SHOCKING videos, and providing much preteen giggle fodder with songs like “I Want Your Sex”. Who let him write a song with that title? Has anyone whose first language is English ever said that out loud? Was the alternate title “I Am Liking to Make Fuck Party”?

Last_Christmas.jpgBut one of his biggest crimes is the execrable “Last Christmas”, a horrible little tune that, much like “Wonderful Christmastime”, has received an unwelcome revival in the last few years. I blame those 24-hour holiday radio stations that pop up right after Thanksgiving. Even they can’t play “Jingle Bell Rock” every hour, so they had to dig up semi-forgotten Yuletide songs to fill up the spaces between “Blue Christmas” and Ronnie Spector’s “Winter Wonderland”.

Maybe it’s just me. I associate Christmas with being with my family. I don’t associate it looking for luv. But in the world of George Michael, Christmas is the day he gives his heart away. Unfortunately, the object of his affection regifted it the day after.

Here’s my question, George: What exactly did you expect from someone you met on Christmas? That’s not exactly the best day to forge a lasting, loving relationship. “I can’t believe someone I met while hanging out at a bar by myself on the biggest family holiday of the year turned out to be a skeeze!”

The original recording of “Last Christmas” is extremely fey and bloodless and full of wimpy synths. But Wham! sounds like the MC5 compared to its cover versions. Just peep the song’s Wikipedia page to see some of the winners who’ve taken on this tune. I defy you to defend any more than three people listed there.

Two stand out: 1) Crazy Frog, because apparently the demon-spawn who created him owned the rights to every song on the planet. 2) Carrie Underwood, because she performed it at the White House. “Merry Christmas, Mr. President! Here’s an uplifting song about getting railed during the holidays!”