Friday, December 18, 2009

Seven Sad, Sad, Sad Christmas Songs. You're Welcome.

I know ... you're going to think I'm hard and crass when you read this post, so if you're not in the mood for Christmas song tongue in cheek humor (satire alert!) click away. I understand.

OK, for those who remain:

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... for some people. Other people, not so much. Here is my tribute, which I thought was an original, creative idea until I Googled it of course, to the saddest songs of the happy Christmas season. Enjoy.

Or suffer, whichever you prefer.

7. Last Christmas - WHAM! Because what is a 2nd Cup post without the occasional reference to WHAM!?

I'm abridging these lyrics because basically, they're the same throughout the song. But the odd stanza about friends with tired eyes and souls of ice grabs the old ticker, especially with the irreverent use of God's name thrown into a Christmas song. Way to go, George. (Not Crow. Although George Crow also happens to be named "George Michael.") And I have always maintained that the 3rd line should read, "But the very next day, you tore it apart." Better, yes?

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special

A crowded room
Friends with tired eyes
I'm hiding from you
And your soul of ice
My god I thought you were
Someone to rely on
I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

6. Happy Christmas (War is Over) - by John Lennon.
Great. A hippie song for Christmas. Oh, OK, peace on Earth and goodwill toward men; I get it. I'm just not a huge Lennon fan. What starts ostensibly as a happy melody gets quickly dampened by these lyrics:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over

And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

Yikes, John. You have to bring fear into a Christmas song? And the first two lines sound like my mom after I ripped the wrapping paper for a peek when I was a kid: "What have you done??!!" You gotta be careful when you copy lyrics. One version of this said, "The near and the dim ones."

5. Blue Christmas - Elvis and the back-up "owl" quartet with the "oooh oooh, oooh oooh" skilz.

I'll have a Blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't be the same dear, if you're not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start fallin'
That's when those blue memories start callin'
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas

We get it. BLUE. Blue, blue, blue Christmas [insert owl hoot].

4.I'll Be Home for Christmas - various artists

This one also starts out OK but quickly deteriorates into a sarcastic "dream on" in the mind of the listener.

I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love
Even more then I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams

"So what you're saying is, you want me to go to all the trouble of arranging snow and mistletoe, but you don't know if you can actually make it. Well that's just great."

3. Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles

Nothing like begging someone not to roam to bring on the warm Christmas fuzzies. And somehow "sorrow, grief and pain" are not conducive to egg nogg drinking. At least not Baptist egg nogg.

Bells will be ringing this sad sad New Years
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
My baby's gone I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again
Cries will be singing Silent Night
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Years night
Friends and relations send salutations
Sure as the stars shine above
But this is Christmas yes Christmas my dear
The time of year to be with the ones you love
So won't you tell me you'll never more roam
Christmas and new Years will find you home
There'll be no more sorrow no grief and pain
And I'll be happy, happy once again
Oh there'll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain
And I'll be happy, Christmas once again

2. And here's one I had never heard until this week: Roy Orbison singing, "Pretty Paper." Like some others, this one starts off in a haze of sepia sentimentality which quickly turns to an oppressive, guilt-inducing fog by the 2nd stanza. If you make it past the 3rd stanza without doubling over in remorse, then your heart is 2 sizes too small, like the Grinch.

Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write “I love you”
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue

Crowded street, busy feet hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won’t pass him by

Should you stop? Better not, much too busy
You’re in a hurry, my how time does fly
In the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter he cries

Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write “I love you”
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue

And if you think lyrics about ignoring a homeless man are sad, the melody is even more morose.

But the Number One Saddest Christmas Song Ever: The Christmas Shoes recorded by several artists, but the one I've heard is by Newsong.

No, the Christmas shoes do not look like the snazzy one in this picture. These are "Come to Jesus" shoes. A little boy wants his mom to look nice in case she passes away that night.

Part of my problem with this song is that I do not like story songs in the tradition of the worst song ever: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. My other problem is that listening to it on Youtube just made me want to drop my forehead on the computer desk and cry until I warped the fake wood. I can't imagine slipping this song in between Joy to the World and Frosty the Snowman. It's torturous on many levels. I do have a heart, but I dislike story songs immensely. (Kind of like musicals.)

It was almost Christmas time
There I stood in another line
Trying to buy that last gift or two
Not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me
Was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing around like little boys do
And in his hands he held
A pair of shoes

And his clothes were worn and old
He was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn't believe what I heard him say

Sir I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry Sir?
Daddy says there's not much time
You see, she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes will make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful
If Momma meets Jesus, tonight.

He counted pennies for what seem like years
And cashier says son there's not enough here
He searched his pockets franticly
And he turned and he looked at me
He said Momma made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir
What am I gonna do?
Some how I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

So I layed the money down
I just had to help him out
And I'll never forget
The look on his face
When he said Momma's gonna look so great.

Sir I wanna buy these shoes, for my Momma please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry Sir?
Daddy says there's not much time
You see, she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes will make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful,
If Momma meets Jesus tonight.

I knew I caught a glimpse of heavens love as he thanked me and ran out.
I know that God had sent that little boy to remind me
What Christmas is all about

Sir I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry Sir?
Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes will make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful
If Momma meets Jesus tonight

I want her to look beautiful
If Momma meets Jesus tonight

OK, these are my nominations. Do you know any sad Christmas songs?

PS: Where's the non-Baptist egg nogg?


Anonymous said...

I feel bad but I laughed through this whole is so true though!

Have you heard Steven Curtis Chapman's All I Want song? It's from an orphan's perspective. It makes me cry every time because it is so sad.


Carmen said...

You're so right! Terrible Christmas songs! It's interesting that we just sing along happily-until one day we realize the words we're singing. Now if we could only apply this kind of wisdom to every area of our lives...

Merry Christmas Lid...and thank you for your blog. I don't always comment, but I often visit!

Debbie said...

WHAM! singing any kind of Christmas song is just, just so wrong!

And "Baptist egg nog"....hilarious!

Anonymous said...

The clincher on the "Christmas Shoes" song - at least the version I know about - is the little kid's voice singing the words of the boy. Major CRINGE every time!!!

Anonymous said...

Terrible, sad, but what would we do without these songs? Don't forget "Merry Christmas Darling" "Merry Christmas darling
We're apart that's true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I'm Christmas-ing with you."

Jill said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm glad someone else thinks these songs are so stupid!!!! I absolutely hate the begging in "Please Come Home for Christmas" and I refuse to listen to "Christmas Shoes". : ) This was such a fun post.

Oh! I also hate "Do They Know It's Christmas Time" by Bandaid. I've lived in Africa, and even though it doesn't snow there, they know it's Christmas.

The Bug said...

Now why did you have to go & make me cry at work? I love that song because it gives me an excuse to cry...

My husband laughs every time "I'll be home for Christmas" comes on - I have a question about it that he thinks is funny. Are you dreaming more than you usually do? Or do you love that place more than you usually do? It makes a difference to me!

Thena said...

I had forgotten about some that you mentioned. Please Come home for Christmas reminds me of my oldest brother. He's about 5 hours from us and never comes home for Christmas. I like So This Is Christmas even though it is sad.

Big Mama said...

Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton. Who wants to hear "I'm barely getting through tomorrow" in a Christmas song?

But I have to admit I'm a fan of some melancholy Christmas music, hence my love for Sarah McLachlan's Christmas Album.

Kelly said...

Hi Linda! Its Kelly. Have you heard the song I Hate Christmas Parties by Relient K? It is a very sad Christmas song and I think it would be a good addition to the list.

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Oh, but you've got to remember the 80's Dan Fogelberg classic, Same Old Auld Lang Syne. The former lovers meet up on Christmas Eve in a grocery store, compare their horrible lives and when they depart...the snow turns..into...rain....

Mocha with Linda said...

You are hilarious. And don't forget about Dan Fogelber's Same Old Lang Syne when he runs into his ex at the grocery store. That combines your favorites: a story and empty, pitiful lyrics!!

Mocha with Linda said...

Oh, and come see the song on my blog today - it's exasperating and funny!!

Mocha with Linda said...

Last comment - I promise! (maybe!)

It doesn't make me particularly happy to hear that Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, either!!

skoots1mom said...

you're right, many songwriters tug big time on heart strings during an already-stressful time...but, i love my on/off button for that reason.
Sometimes I'm in the 'down' moment and want to hear them, but when i'm 'up' they go 'off'!
Wishing you and your family the MERRIEST of Christmases...may you not see ANY musicals, hear any story-line songs and may ALL the calories in buckeyes magically disappear should someone give you more throughout the Season.
You're special to us in the blogland and we want you to ENJOY every moment of our Lord's birthday celebration :)

Liz said...

Hey, you listed 5 of the songs I hate MOST at Christmas. If they come on the radio, I will turn it off.

Sara said...

Every time that Wham song comes on I have to turn the station, it drives me NUTS! Why in the world would you stay with someone SO long if they treated you so poorly!?!?!? Last Christmas I gave you my heart...
You're a moron if you gave "it" LAST Christmas and you are still whining over "it" THIS Chirstmas, go out there and find someone NEW. And While you're at it get some NEW FRIENDS, who wants to be around a bunch of cry babies that sit around and whine about their poor choice on love? ARGH!
(on a side note, I DO like Glee's snazzier version.)

SouthLakesMom said...

I dislike story songs as well which is why I turn off Mark Schultz most of the time when he comes on the radio.

I think one too many times listening to "Billy don't be a hero" in my youth caught up with me...

Merry Christmas, Lid!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Classic Linda.
So much to comment on here.

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Now you've got me headed for the egg nog!

Lisa Laree said...

I've been known to turn around and walk out of a store in a mall because 'Christmas shoes' came on the PA.

And I remember clenching my teeth in a Hallmark store a year or so ago because I had to buy my mother a birthday card (her birthday is Oct.21, right???) while 'Blue Christmas' blared in my ear. Just wasn't ready for that...

Carol said...

I practically wet my pants!!! Too funny. How about "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"??! HAte that song. ugh.

2cats said...

This was a great post. All of these songs choke me up but at Christmas time I get a little melancholy. They give me a valid reason to have a lump in my throat.
And can you imagine anything sadder than Christmas without Gramma? I mean really she did get runned over by a reindeer.

Tammy said...

Totally agree with your list! And the Christmas shoes song gets a big ol' SKIP on my radio. It's too much.

(I've missed being around here and reading your posts, they are ALWAYS fabulous....I'm trying to get back to commenting and not just lurking).


Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Dude, what about the saddest one of all, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer??

Cara and Jenn said...

I can't even look at that video cause I HATE that song and turn it off whenever it comes on the's horrid. I blogged about that the other day too. I also hate the Snoopy Flying Ace Christmas song. What the heck does Snoopy as a pilot have to do with Christmas! ick.
Ok I am done now. Fa la la la la (I like that

Jodi said...

Thanks for the Elvis picture!! (some things never change..LOL)

Don't forget that Auld Lang Syne song from Dan Fogelberg.

Hope all is well with you Linda. I've really stunk as a blogger these past few months.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Ok, so this is true, classic Linda Crow. Love this post! You have a way of taking things I have thought and collecting them into something that makes sense. Those first two (WHAM and Lennon) my husband nearly barfs every time they come on. Can't stand them. There's another Dan Fogelberg (I had to look up the name) and it's called "Same Old Lang Syne" (huh?)

"Met my old lover in a grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn't recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried"


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Oh. I just read Jodi's comment.


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Okay, you don't have to publish all these, but seriously, I just read Melanie's comment: "classic Linda"

too funny

Deb said...

Hi Linda! Loved this post...I think the one song that makes me cringe the absolute most is Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers singing "A Christmas to Remember". Its basically about two strangers hooking up for the holiday! Yuck!

Bekah said...

That stupid shoe song was my answer to your random dozen question about Christmas songs you don't like or are sick of. Yuck!!

Deb said...

Just getting caught up here. You hit the nail right here on the head with all the Christmas songs. My oldest daughter likes rap music & she found something called, "Rappin' Santa"....just horrible! She also likes "Santa Baby" a lot.

Give me Bing Crosby & Nat King Cole anytime!

Speaking of Lifetime movies, you mean you didn't watch the movie Christmas Shoes with actress, Kimberly Williams-Paisley (from TV show Life According to Jim)? It was several times Christmas week.

Thanks for your wonderful blog. I'm looking forward to more in 2010.

You can pass the Baptist egg nog now.