Three years ago, I used this space to rail against “The Little Drummer Boy.” It still ranks as my all-time most hated Christmas song, because it is an enormous steaming log of bullshit drenched in sticky-sweet sentimental syrup. It’s a holiday song for the same kind of people who believe in angels: they want something quasi-religious that doesn’t ask you to actually believe in anything (except kindly, poor drum-playing shepherds).
Two years ago, I took “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to task for being misguided, self-congratulatory, and ultimately mean spirited. “Thank god it’s them instead of you”?! Go fuck yourselves, British do-gooders.
Last year, I was too busy changing diapers to get too upset about Xmas music. This year, I don’t have any specific song to lambaste (although if you’re in that kinda mood, I recommend Patton Oswalt’s takedown of “Christmas Shoes”). [New site update 12.21.08: There used to be a video of this on YouTube, but it has sadly passed into the Intertubes Graveyard.] But there is a genre of Christmas songs I despise, one whose ranks have been swelling in recent years. If I could somehow give these songs to life, I would, just so I could give each of them a debilitating case of food poisoning.
I’m talking about the rocking and/or soulful Christmas song. I suppose there is no reason why a Christmas song can’t rock or have soul, although scientists have yet to confirm his hypothesis.