Little Bummer Boy

By Peter Gerstenzang

Bad Christmas songs are a lot like the herpes virus. Most of the year, they lay dormant and you think you’re free of them. Then wham, right after Thanksgiving, you break into a tropical fever, red spots appear everywhere and you tell your girlfriend you can’t have sex with her till St. Swithin’s Day. But, unlike this STD, there is no medication to stop the disgusting discharge that emerges from the blackhearted souls of Elton John and Jose Feliciano. Here are six of the most terrible tunes of the season. Creepy enough to make you check out that recruiting literature from The Church of Satan.

Paul McCartney: Wonderful Christmas Time: As a solo artist, McCartney has committed so many atrocities, there’s a special section about him in The Geneva Convention. And musically, this is his Pearl Harbor. The vocal is uber-wimpy. The lyrics as smart and pithy as a Hallmark Card-read by a dyslexic. The synths sound like they were made by Fisher-Price. Instead of seasonal cheer, this record makes you want to burn down your neighbor’s manger.

Elton John: Step Into Christmas: So that’s what he stepped into. I’ll bet that’s not it. This 12 String Guitar-driven drivel, is really like stepping into something else. And if you hear it in the car, it’s possible to track it into the house. Since I heard it, I’ve been spraying for weeks. And nothing. A few more days and I’m calling the Orkin man.

John Denver: Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas): I’m all for drinking in country songs. Now that Taylor Swift has turned the genre into a haven for weepy girls who draw little flowers on top of the letter “I.” But this maudlin song about a pie-eyed daddy who comes in and falls down drunk, doesn’t make you cry. It makes you want to empty a bottle of Jagermeister and put on “A Death Metal Christmas.” And yep, burn down your neighbor’s manger.

Trans Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Canon: I hear their slogan is, ‘You think our name is bad? Listen to our music!’ But it wouldn’t fit on the T shirt. Here, doing Pachelbel’s “Canon” (the “Louie Louie” of classical music), TSO makes you long for John Denver. And if the melody and descending chords aren’t bad enough, check out the video. Endure the horror of a bunch of kids, dressed in white and singing in those crime-against-nature soprano voices. It’s like a musical version of Children Of The Damned. Without the laughs.

Jose Feliciano: Felice Navidad: According to the new national guidelines, you’re only allowed to like one song by Jose Feliciano. I enjoy Chico And The Man, so I’m already maxed out.  This repetitive, melodically-challenged little song, raises questions so deep the Dalia Lama couldn’t answer them. For instance, why is the chorus the only part of the song you can remember? Does it even have a verse? And, who is this chick, Felice, anyway? I’ll give Jose this: I bet you’ve never thought that hard about a Bob Dylan song.

Mannheim Steamroller: Joy To The World: The only band in the world who can make you long for the nuance and subtlety of Trans Siberian Orchestra. Hearing this synth-driven stinkburger brings back fond memories. But only for WWII buffs, who think it would be fun to be run down by a Panzer attack. Lots of noise, the feeling of battle, but you don’t get decorated when the song is over. Still, like war, just surviving it is achievement enough.