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Weekend Earworms: Annoying Christmas Catchiness Of Retail Repeats

Weekend Earworms: Annoying Christmas Catchiness Of Retail Repeats

An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!

Hey there, dear reader! I’m sorry to have to do this, but I can’t be alone in having these next few songs stuck only in my head. The tunes I share today have a weird place in my heart and mind as a strange guilty pleasure. I find myself gravitating toward these every holiday season because they’re songs that I unwillingly know by heart and I find them impossible not to sing along to. All of them became hard-lined in my brain from years of working retail so I say this without exaggeration: I hate these songs. If only there were some sort of common phrase to sum up my, well, let’s call it relationship, with both hating and loving something.

Wham! – “Last Christmas”

This song causes what could be considered wartime flashbacks to my years in retail and actually combines multiple jobs into one terrible memory. Hearing the boys ‘o’ Wham sing about Christmases gone by, gifting vital organs, and the subsequent re-gifting of those organs brings me back to a combination of walking the aisles of Brook’s Pharmacy facing products on shelves and being yelled at by cell phone customers who I couldn’t help after they dropped their phones in slush puddles. Thankfully, the Jimmy Eat World version of the song helps me out of that funk a bit since it, at least, leads to listening to “Sweetness“.

[Note: My own mention of “Sweetness” led to a listening tangent and it is now an hour and a half after I typed that last paragraph. So, hey. It worked]

The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping”

If there’s a hell and I go there [I’m probably going there], the droning non-singing of this song looped for eternity will be the soundtrack to my stay there. In fact, I’ll probably be stuck in the strip mall pharmacy I worked in as a teenager constantly having to straighten a messed up shelf of deodorant and wobbly off-balance band-aid boxes. Wait, did I say the song needed to be looped? It actually doesn’t since the song, as far as I can tell, goes on forever. SAX CHORUS! “Bwanna nah nah, Bwanna nah nah, Bwanna nah nah nah nah nah nah nah!”

Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmas Time”

“There’s siiiiimply, noooo way, that anyone likes this song!”

If you’ve worked retail, you probably hate this song more than most. I worked for a cell phone company for 10 years that, instead of using a radio like normal human beings, would require CDs of approved music to be looped throughout the day. This was normally fine during the year because we had a few dozen CDs to change out but during the holidays? Ten songs. On loop. All day. Every day. From Thanksgiving to New Years. “Wonderful Christmas Time” was the first track on that CD so it served as the harbinger of doom indicating everything was starting all over again.

Gayla Peevey – “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”

With this one I actually lean more toward love than hate basically because it’s such a happy and cuckoo-bananas song. I suppose it also has something to do with associating it with the best retail experience I’ve actually ever had, which was working in a liquor store. And I suppose that has something to do with the occasional sampling of the products. Especially during the holidays. It’s impressive that the song has had such staying power over the 60+ years since being recorded despite being wholly inaccurate to how vicious and bad-ass hippos actually are.

The song remains a fan favorite around the holidays and I think it may be due to it being an auditory palate cleanser of sorts between all the mellow, religious, or sappy holiday tunes. Plus, violent or not, a pet hippo would be stupendous. I’d ride him around town all the time.

What are your favorite love/hate holiday songs? Let’s annoy each other in the comments below!


Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

Image: The Ed Sullivan Show/CBS

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