Humpday Hate: The Anti-Christmas Carol.

It’s your birthday.  Everything is *perfect*.  There are colorful balloons and streamers playing about in the wind, and Memaw came all the way from Bloomington just to pinch your cute widdle cheeks.  You’ve got all the trimmings:  a magician, cotton candy, one of those big inflatable jumpy bouncy house things, a stripper —everything.

And then in comes the cake, and everyone in attendance breaks out in a spirited chorus of “Tears in Heaven,” promptly followed by “The Drugs Don’t Work.”

…You’d be pretty bummed, right?

We pretty much do this to Jesus every single year.

I absolutely love every cheesy thing about Christmas, carols included.  One thing I have absolutely no tolerance for is sad Christmas songs.  I completely don’t understand the point.  This is supposed to be a joyous time of year!  We’re supposed to be deckin’ them halls and all that jazz!  Who can do that when  you’re too busy crying into your Cheerios about famine, pestilence and plague?

Here are 5 songs that you’ll want to avoid like a bearded man in a van with no windows asking you to help him find his lost puppy dog:

5.  Someday at Christmas – Stevie Wonder. Okay, hear me out.  I love me some Stevie.  And I guess this song is supposed to be more hopeful than it is sad.   But there’s just something about this song that keeps it lingering riiiight under the ‘inspirational’ threshold.  Thinking about and listing all the things that are wrong with the world kind of makes it hard to begin thinking about how great everything will be after all the sucky stuff is gone.  And the constant repetition of the phrase ‘someday’ makes it hard, too.   Someday we’ll all have a life worth living.  But today?  Heh!  Just go ahead and off yourself because this stuff really blows.  Not only is ‘someday’ not now–we don’t even know when someday is.  So we’ll be stuck with the sucky stuff for an indiscriminate number of days/years/eternities.  He even stomps out all hope of someday being soon by saying at the end ‘maybe not in time for you and for me/but someday at Christmastime.’  Well.  I feel buoyant and cheerful.

4.  Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon. Y’know?  Listening to this song, I get the sneaking suspicion that John Lennon isn’t really all that excited about war being over.  Or that war just really isn’t over.  He clearly went to the Stevie Wonder School of Christmas Song Writing and got an A in reminding everybody of how much things really suck.  Looking at the title, you expect some kind of joy, right?  And I guess he tries, for what it’s worth.  He does sing, ‘a very merry Christmas/and a happy new year/let’s hope it’s a good one’ and all that.  But, like:

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

…I kind of feel like “the world is so wrong” doesn’t belong in a celebratory song about happy times.  Maybe it’s just me.  But if I made a Christmas song about war being over?  It would go something like this:

The war is over!
Hip hip hooray!
Now no one will blow up santa’s sleigh!
This is the best christmas ever!
I’m so so happy!
Let’s go get some barbecue and get busy!

3.  Christmas Carol – Skip Ewing. This is one of those Christmas songs that literally makes me violently angry when I hear it.  My mother and I have gotten into actual wrestling matches after I’ve tried to get to the radio to turn it off.  This song makes me want to die.  It’s about a little girl, aged 3 or 4, named Carol who has no parents.  She finds a guy playing Santa Claus at a mall or something on Christmas Eve, sits on his lap and asks for someone to take her home for Christmas.

First of all, why is this three or four year old little girl wandering the streets ALONE??!  And I’m sorry, but I feel some kind of way about a little girl sitting on a strange man’s lap and asking him to take her home.  Or to find somebody to take her home, whatever.  And true enough, at the end of the song the man goes to find the little girl…I can only HOPE he adopts her and raises her well after taking her to his house.  But still.  Too depressing (and child prostitutiony) for my liking.

2.  Christmas Eve Can Kill You – The Everly Brothers. I’m just going to put a piece of the lyrics here.  No commentary necessary.

The cold and empty evening hangs around me like a ghost
I listen to my footsteps in the snow
The sound of one man walkin’ through the snow can break your heart
But stopping doesn’t help, so on I’ll go

And Christmas Eve can kill you
When you’re trying to hitch a ride to anywhere

Read the rest here if you’re sure you can do so without slitting your wrists.

1.  Christmas Shoes – Newsong. I intentionally saved this song for the number one spot because it is simultaneously the saddest and most infuriating Christmas song that I have ever heard in all of my life.  This is another song that my mom and I have come to blows over.  The last time we got into it, I ended up with a vacuum cleaner cord around my neck (don’t ask).

I fucking hate this song with everything in me.  It’s about a kid out shopping for a new pair of shoes to give to his mother on Christmas Eve—BECAUSE SHE’S DYING AND HE WANTS HER TO LOOK PRETTY WHEN SHE GOES TO MEET JESUS.  I AM NOT KIDDING YOU.

Oh, and at the end of the song, the guy narrating the song is joined by an entire chorus of children singing about needing shoes for their dying moms.  I’m not the only one who hates it, either (thanks to Nichole for that link).

So screw you, sad Christmas songs.  You’re totally blowing Jesus’s high.

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

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  • tedra

    Boo. I loooove sad Xmas songs. “2000 Miles” is one of my favorites.

  • Cap’n Crunch

    I feel you. I’ve never been big on sad Christmas songs. HOWEVER, I listen to Prince’s “Lonely Christmas” year-round. Very stadium rockish.

  • Adams

    …now imagine that, like Jesus, your birthday is on Christmas Day and you have to hear this monkeyshines warbling from every gatdamn store PA from about October 15 onwards.

    Makes the lead up to your birthday less anticipatory and more “oh, hell naw.”

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