Because of my day job, I have to listen to a lot of Christmas music.  And the thing about Christmas music is that it sounds sweet and fun…for about an hour or two.  But the way they organize playlists at most Christmas radio stations, you hear a LOT of the same stuff over and over again over the course of an eight hour work day.  There’s only so many Christmas songs available to record, and only so many artists who have recorded them.  So it gets old real fast.  Most of the time though, you can tune it out…but then there’s that one Christmas song every hour or so that turns your spine to glass and makes you swear you’re going to throw a trash can through a window if you hear it one more goddamn time.

So to blow off some steam, here are my 10 most hated Christmas songs.  If I never hear any of these songs ever again, it’ll be far too soon.

#10 – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid
I put this one pretty low on the list because the song itself isn’t that bad.  In fact the most recent version, recorded by Band Aid 20 in 2004, is actually rather pleasant sounding, no doubt helped by the addition of smooth female backing vocals.  But that highlights the main problem with the 1984 original; not just that it was all male singers, but all rich, white, first-world male singers writing a condescendingly dark charity single mired by cheap-sounding production and a heaping helping of smug.  There was genuinely good intentions behind this song, but that doesn’t make it any good.

#9 – “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy
When I was a kid this song was kind of funny in a “Jingle Bells/Batman Smells” kind of way, but listening to it again as an adult is slightly horrifying.  Santa is basically guilty of Yule Tide Homicide in this song!  All because Grandma got drunk on egg nog and forgot her pills!  Why was he even flying at street level??  And there’s Grandpa drinking beer watching football, cool as you please.  Does he have an alibi?  I think we need to have a CSI Christmas special to figure this one out.

#8 – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Various Artists
The original date rape anthem!  It’s become common for me, along with my friends and co-workers, to invent new lyrics imagining darker scenarios than what the song suggests (dungeons and chains have been mentioned, FYI), but the original itself still raises tons of alarm bells.  Forget the implications of roofies (“Say, what’s in this drink?”), at one point the male says “your lips look delicious” (serial killer talk if I ever heard it) and the female protests “I wish I knew how/To break the spell”.  This dude is using roofies AND black magic to get into your pants?!  Remember guys, no means no!

#7 – “Merry Christmas” by Fall Out Boy
There’s no love lost for me when it comes to Fall Out Boy, with Pete Wentz being a douche-nozzle of the highest order in my eyes.  But this song is a new low, unleashing their smug, snarky, anti-romantic Christmas piss-off single upon the masses.  Actually blaming the former Mr. Ashley Simpson may be a bit much, since I’m not even certain he even appears on this track.  The whole song sounds like Patrick Stump alone in his bedroom recording a demo with just his acoustic, and later someone thought “Hey!  Let’s put this mean-spirited dreck out and make a quick buck!  God bless us everyone!”

#6 – “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Like I said earlier, covering Christmas standards can get old really quick since there’s only so many songs to choose from, and they’ve all pretty much been done to death.  So why is it original Christmas songs by pop singers usually seem so much worse?  It’s probably because most of them sound not only lifeless, but also tuneless, like they weren’t even pretending they didn’t release this track just to make a quick buck.  “Last Christmas” has been covered a fair bit over the years, but oddly the original version by Wham! is probably the worst.  It’s bad enough the song’s melody is pretty much the chorus and nothing else, but the music sounds like it was banged out on a Casio and a drum machine in less than an hour.  For all I know it was probably written that way.

#5 – “Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney
…Then again, maybe George Michael and Andrew Ridgely just took their Christmas pop song cues from the master.  The Beatles already flirted with Christmas music once before with the equally repetitious “Christmas Time is Here Again”, which just gives up on the melody in the last third of the song and just has the Fab Four flatly wishing you a merry holiday.  Sir Paul apparently wasn’t satisfied though, so he wrote another equally awful Christmas tune once he formed Wings.  If you thought it couldn’t get any worse than “Ebony & Ibony” with Stevie Wonder, try giving this a go.

#4 – “Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers
If you work retail, there are two songs that make your boss tell you to change the station ASAP: “The Channukah Song” by Adam Sandler (you can’t risk it), and this one.  It doesn’t really have any bad language per se in it, but the image is paints of the holidays is unnecessarily gruesome and mean-spirited for a family-friendly business.  During the first half of the song you might groan or chuckle a bit when it references common gripes about the holidays, but by the end it just degenerates into random sounds of kids screaming and breaking things.  Who thought this would be funny?

#3 – “Santa Baby” by Taylor Swift
I admit it doesn’t make a lot of logical sense, but the Eartha Kitt version of “Santa Baby” is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs.  Yea the singer is basically prostituting themselves to Santa for increasingly ridiculous amounts of stuff, but the good Ms. Kitt sells it with her coy, smooth attitude and coquettish demeanor, as only Catwoman could.  Taylor Swift has none of these things.  I don’t think the girl would know coy and coquettish if it bit her on the ass.  The girl is too open and earnest in her music to convey any of that.  And while that works for her own music, it just sounds flat and lifeless in this version.  Ms. Swift ends up sounding like a petulant teenager demanding a lot of insanely expensive stuff for Christmas, and that’s no fun at all to listen to.  Even the Madonna version is better, and she sounds like Harley Quinn on that recording!

#2 – “Let It Snow” by Jessica Simpson
I worked at a Homegoods before I left for college, and this was around the time people still cared (for whatever reason) about Jessica Simpson.  After having to listen to almost all of her singles on a daily basis, I can save from an empirical standpoint that THE BITCH CAN’T SING.  But this song has a special dark, hate-filled place because of how she absolutely mangles it.  If the last note doesn’t make your head explode from awfulness, nothing will.

#1 – “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte
Any retail scrub worth their mettle feels their asshole pucker when they heard the first few bars of this song, because they know they’re in for two-and-a-half minutes of pain.  And they fear it because it’s one of the most frequently played, so there’s no escaping having your ears randomly sniped every hour on the hour by this Guido dreck.  Stuffed to the gills with Italian stereotypes and an annoyingly catchy melody, the song also makes no sense in terms of Santa folklore.  Why is there concern about the reindeer climbing the hills of Italy?  Santa’s reindeer can FLY!  We should have been spared Dominick’s services from the get-go, and it would have spared us this abomination of a song!

Whew. There. Got that out of my system. Stay tuned for a more positive version soon, with my 10 Most Favorite Christmas songs!