Christmas/Holiday Cheer(?): These Are A Few Of My Not-So-Favorite Things

I’m pretty much a true believer in the no-Christmas-music-until-after-Thanksgiving thing, and probably just as happy to wait until the calendar turns to December.  Maybe part of this is wanting to delay having to endure the multiple versions of songs I’d just as soon not hear again.  Here’s my list of popular Christmas tunes I could easily do without:

“Last Christmas.” I don’t know that I heard Wham!’s contribution to my post until many years after it was recorded—was it a big thing in the US in the 80s?  If so, I just flat out missed it.  It’s possible that I would like this better if I knew it from then, but the holidays are a time for songs about happiness, not heartbreak and the subsequent whinging.

“My Favorite Things.” I suppose my primary objection is that this doesn’t seem to be remotely about the holidays or winter (sorry, liking snowflakes and packages tied up in string isn’t enough for me).  A bit of Internet sleuthing shows that it’s been included on Christmas albums for about as long as I’ve been alive (plus, Julie Andrews first performed it on a Christmas special), so I guess I’m being rebuked on this point.  Nonetheless, I cry foul.  Perfectly fine song in The Sound of Music, though.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I just don’t need to hear this argument, regardless of whether or not she’s protesting overly.  Plus, it goes on for far too long in most takes.  You might get me to listen to the Zooey Deschanel/Leon Redbone version from Elf almost willingly.

“Santa Baby.” This one also regularly suffers from being taken at too slow a pace.  As annoying as Madonna’s vocals are on her version, at least she knocks it out in fairly short order.  I guess I hear only the greed.  I’ll concede some of the rhymes are clever, though (this is also true of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”).

Given how many recordings exist for all of these, it’s possible I’m being too much of a Scrooge.  Don’t think I’ll be backing down from these positions anytime soon, however.  Feel free to let me know how wrong I am or what you’d add.

2 thoughts on “Christmas/Holiday Cheer(?): These Are A Few Of My Not-So-Favorite Things”

  1. Of the songs you listed, I’m sorta with you on “My Favorite Things” though it is my Mom’s favorite Holiday hit so hearing it always reminds me of her and I’m not prepared to give that up.

    “Santa Baby” has to be the Earth Kitt version. There’s no room at the inn for any others.

    “Last Christmas” was part of a bumper crop of personal Christmas favorites from 1984 that included Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, Prince’s “Another Lonely Christmas”, Queen’s “Thank God It’s Christmas” and the “Christmas Time” b/w “Reggae Christmas” single from Bryan Adams. I picked up the import twelve-inch single of Wham’s “Last Christmas (Pudding Mix)” b/w “Everything She Wants” in December 1984 maybe a week or so after buying half a dozen copies of the Band Aid single on the day it was released.

    The growing complaints and concerns over “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has made me rethink the song as one of my perennial favorites. I especially enjoy the version from Elf you mentioned but my favorite take on the track is the Dean Martin one from his 1959 album A Winter Romance.

    As for me, I can only count two songs and one artist I’d prefer not to hear during these Winter Holidays:

    “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” – Dr. Elmo/Elmo & Patsy
    I first heard this one shortly after it was released but before it became ubiquitous and at the time my Nan Nan (my Mom’s mom, my grandma) had just found out she had cancer so I thought it was in horrible taste and have not gotten over it though under different circumstances I would have appreciated the dark humor. But only for the first three times I heard it.

    “The Christmas Shoes” – NewSong
    I’m more charitable than some (and obviously modest, too) but this song just rubs me the wrong way. I just wanna scream “Kid! Go home and spend time with your dying Mom. Material things don’t mean jack.” The fact that a novel and a made for TV movie were later developed from the lyrics boggles my little mind.

    Kenny G
    My wife, my mother, my sister, my daughter – in short, every woman I know – loves the saxy Holiday stylings of Kenneth Bruce Gorelick. I do not. Very little music does not appeal to me but Kenny G’s Xmas stuff just does.

    YouTube links:
    “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt
    “Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed The World mix)” – Band Aid
    “Another Lonely Christmas?” – Prince (not on YT but on Spotify)
    “Thank God It’s Christmas” – Queen
    “Christmas Time” – Bryan Adams
    “Reggae Christmas” – Bryan Adams
    “Last Christmas (Pudding Mix)” – Wham
    “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin

    Like

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