I love holiday songs. The playlist put together by L Mag music maestro—oh yeah, I just called Mike Conklin MAESTRO, and I'd do it again, even to his face—is definitely one of my favorite things about this particular holiday season. But not every song is as pure and wonderful as "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Oh no. Many, many Christmas songs are incredibly disturbing. Just today, The Atlantic proposed changing the lyrics to the date-rapey "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in an effort to redeem that superficially charming, profoundly creepy Christmastime classic. But whereas that song really doesn't hide the fact that it's about some dude pressuring a lady to sleep with him by plying her with roofies, there are some other holiday songs that are much more subtly creepy. Here's a list of songs to avoid if you want to actually be cheerful this season and not confirm the statistical likelihood that you'll jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and into the icy depths below.
This song claims to be bringing "tidings of comfort and joy" while also referencing "Satan's power" and the scorn facing Mary, Jesus' unwed, and debatably virgin (ok, not debatable at all, I mean, c'mon) mother as she looked for a place to birth her son. But it doesn't matter that this song's chorus keeps invoking "comfort and joy" because it is one of the more ominous holiday songs out there, sung in a relentlessly minor key, never giving any respite from the feeling that, despite the savior's birth or whatever, Satan will still get us, and he's getting us NOW through this song. Ah. Well. It's still one of my favorites.
I mean, first of all, reindeer bullying. That's disturbing. But much more subtly disturbing is the fact that, as Mike Conklin pointed out to me, the song refers to Rudolph in the past tense. It's "Rudolph HAD a very shiny nose." Doesn't he still? What happened to Rudolph's nose? WHAT HAPPENED TO RUDOLPH? Did he die? Of natural causes? Or did his nose go dark and he was put out to pasture and shot in the head like a horse with a broken leg? Never mind. I don't even WANT to know.
Okay. So this one isn't so subtly disturbing. It's just flat-out disturbing. I grew up listening to the Eartha Kitt version and while I love Eartha Kitt I hated this song almost as much as I hated "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" because, seriously, stop trying to make holiday songs up out of role-play involving father's wearing detachable beards and stomach-padding. No one should ever have to think about that. Also, don't whore yourself for Santa, people. It's not worth it. Especially not for a fur coat. Have some pride.
So, basically this whole song is like a musical version of a snuff film? I mean, we know how it ends. Frosty dies, you guys. He brings all these kids a bunch of happiness, frolicking around town, and then has to escape from the authorities, so he runs away, never to be seen again. I mean, he "promises to come back again some day," but I don't know. I'd say that too if I was trying to reassure some kids that I wasn't destined for my own imminent demise, even though I knew better. No need to make them any more upset. But, yeah. Frosty dies.
So, this song contains the lyric "I'm Mister Heat Blister" which, gross. It does kind of look like the Heat Miser is one of those little stuffed herpes dolls that you can buy, right? Which, nothing against herpes, it's very common! But is there really a need to reference it in a Christmas song? Happy holidays, I guess? Wear condoms? That's an odd lesson to be imparting to the youth of our nation, but there you have it.
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