And now for a little touch of Scrooge.
Here are five celebrity Christmas songs I wish would just go away.
Merry Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
It starts out strong enough (“And so this is Christmas…”) but has there ever been a dopier lyric than “Let’s make it a good one / Without any fear”? God bless John Lennon and all, but this is not his strongest effort. Toss in the piercing kiddie backup voices, and this gets my vote for the most irritating holiday song ever.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen
It was undoubtedly — undoubtedly! — a wonderful moment if you happened to be at a Springsteen concert in December 1984 and he broke out this song. Tons of fun! But please, no more. The spontaneity only worked in the concert setting. Besides which, Springsteen ripped off the syncopated riff from the Jackson Five.
Santa Baby, by every female artist ever
Had Marilyn Monroe been singing to Santa Claus instead of JFK on the podium at Madison Square Garden in 1962, this song would have been the result. (“Happy birrrrrthday, mister Saint Nicholasss…”) It was a hit for Eartha Kitt in 1953, and she’s the only one who ever should have delivered it. Every other singer can’t resist the urge to go cutesy-poo-baby-voice, with tragic results. And while we’re picking nits, those 1950s ideals of lavish gifts (like “fill my stocking with a duplex”) just don’t hold up.
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney
Sleigh Ride by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
Arthur Fiedler still counts as a celebrity, doesn’t he? There’s nothing in particular to dislike about this instrumental, except that I’ve heard it 48 years x 43 times a year equals… 2064 times. How did this version, with the slap-board “whip” and the horsey trumpet “neigh,” get to be the only version ever played? Even “Santa Baby” was covered by Shakira and RuPaul. Needs to be put out to pasture.
Four other songs that are really pushing it: “Christmas in Killarney” (Bing Crosby), “Merry Christmas Darling” (The Carpenters), “Frosty the Snowman” (by anybody), “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (Johnny Mathis).
Songs I never really get tired of: “White Christmas” (Crosby, natch), “The Christmas Song” (Mel Torme version only), anything by Barbra Streisand, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (the whole album, and god bless you Vince Guaraldi).
For that matter, I will be willing to listen to any of my blacklisted songs again in 2019. Just a 10-year moratorium, that’s all I’m asking. Are you listening, ASCAP?