Every year the same 15 to 20 Christmas songs return to our lives, but while radio stations might stick to the tried and true classics every holiday season, there are tens of thousands of other seasonal tracks out there. Musicians of every genre love recording covers of classic numbers, or adding their own original songs to the overstuffed Christmas catalogue.
Those original attempts range from pretty forgettable to strangely catchy, from absolutely horrific to sincerely delightful, and on rare occasions they are genuinely fantastic and become yearly staples themselves.Most though are so inexplicable we don’t understand why they even exist. These are songs that either don’t sound like Christmas tracks, hate the holiday, or would never be something we want to actually hear during Christmas. They leave us completely baffled, asking questions like, “Who was the intended audience for this?” and “Who would willingly listen to this while decorating their tree?” They make us wonder why anyone thought it was something the world needed, let alone during the most wonderful time of the year.
Well, we’re tired of dealing with this existential holiday crisis alone, so here are 9 of the most incomprehensible Christmas songs ever recorded.
The Killers – “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”
What. The. ****. Is. This? It makes “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” seem reasonable. The lyrics, the premise, the spoken dialogue, it’s all so weird. The actual music is okay, but not so good it justifies the rest of the song. In fact, why did the Killers release an entire Christmas EP of weird holiday songs? Who was it for? Has anyone ever said, “You know what Christmas album to put on? That totally bizarre one from the Killers!” No, they have not. You’d rather be shot by Santa.
Blink-182 – “Won’t Be Home For Christmas”
This isn’t just a terrible Christmas song, this is a bad Blink-182 song. It’s repetitive, uninspired, and boring. But you know what’s even more inexplicable than its mere existence? It’s the band’s only number one hit ever in Canada. C’mon Canada! Put down the eggnog and get your act together!
No Doubt – “Oi to the World”
If you’re surprised to see this on the list, we’re surprised you’d try to justify this song’s existence for one very good reason: why is this a Christmas song? Why isn’t this just a normal No Doubt song? It’s pretty good, if not for the fact it’s about a violent drunken fight…and God…and Santa, or something? We don’t know. WE JUST DON’T KNOW.
Def Leppard – “We All Need Christmas”
For a moment let’s put aside how inherently absurd it was any functioning human thought it was a good idea for Def Leppard to record a Christmas song. FINE, they decided to do it. In fairness, Twisted Sister made a whole album of inexplicable Christmas covers. But how in the here did anyone then decide Def Leppard (DEF LEPPARD!) should make a super sincere, super sentimental, super saccharine slow song. Was it for their fans? Non-fans? Seriously, who wanted this? And it never ends. It just never ends. Forget Christmas, what we all need is a drink midway through the song.
John Denver – “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”
…………………………………………………………..But like, why though?Let’s…..let’s just move on.
Sting – “Christmas at Sea”
“Sure Sting, an overly pretentious folk song based on an old poem, featuring Enya-like backing vocals that doesn’t sound anything like a Christmas song, a track that will make people want to walk into the sea and never return rather than ever hear it again, sounds like a surefire winner.” –Sting’s former agent, probably.
Sonic Youth – “Santa Doesn’t Cop Out on Dope”
Kids, don’t do drugs, because if you do you might accidentally listen to this song. Or rather, you might accidentally listen to this “song,” which is just some inane blathering set to feedback and a space ship.
Set It Off – “This Christmas (I’ll Burn it to the Ground)”
No hyperbole: this is utter garbage. It’s like deathcore done by a kitty cat. It’s like if you took everything great about the music from The Nightmare Before Christmas and did the opposite, then poured acid in your ear. This wouldn’t play at the holiday party in here because Satan would be too embarrassed by it. We’d rather cancel the entire month of December than listen to it. Aside from that it’s terrible.
Dropkick Murphys – “The Season’s Upon Us”
Musically this sounds like a Christmas song, and if you like the Dropkick Murphys, it’s a pretty fun track from them that combines their punk-infused Irish folk style with a traditional holiday track. But the more you think about it and its vile lyrics about horrible people that don’t actually exist anywhere, the more you have to ask the only question that matters: “Why?” Why was this the angle for a Christmas song? Why do we want to hear about this awful person’s awful family doing awful things again and again? The joke isn’t that good, and once it wears off you just have a tale about the worst family ever.
The season should be enjoyable, and Christmas should help make that possible, not send us into an existential pit of despair. Maybe the radio station’s are right to stick with the same 15 to 20 songs. Even if we get sick of them, at least we know why those exist.
Featured Image: 20th Century Fox