7 Christmas Songs That Have Absolutely Nothing to do With Christmas

A radio station near me started playing ONLY Christmas music recently. It must bring ratings because I feel like it gets earlier every year. But I think this kind of extended Christmas season has had a downside. The classification of "Christmas music" has been a bit liberally assigned.

So CMR has hired fourteen high school dropouts, three winos, and two former game show hosts to listen to Christmas music all day and classify those songs which actually have nothing at all to do with Christmas. And I don't mean having nothing to do with the birth of Christ because we're all used to Christmas songs having nothing to do with Jesus' birthday. I mean these songs have absolutely nothing to do with anything even close to Christmas. I mean, no mention of Santa, Christmas trees, gift giving, nothing.

Here's what they came up with:

1) Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg - OK. Here we have a song about a rock star who's out roaming around a grocery store at some odd hour (probably looking for booze) and he happens upon an old girlfriend. She doesn't recognize him at first glance which probably ticks him off because he's a big time famous rock star and she's the high school girl he dumped. When she recognizes him, she drops her purse causing them to laugh until they cried which probably means they're both drunk as heck already. So what do they decide to do? They hop in their cars, drive around and can't find an open bar and decide just to sit in the car and drink themselves happy and maybe forget how miserable they both are.

They toast to their innocence which is kind of ironic as they're sitting in a car drinking and likely contemplating adultery and they soon realize that they're so drunk they can't figure out what to say to each other so she starts kvetching about her marriage and he says how much he hates touring because you know the life of a rock star is just sooooooooo unbearable.

And you just know that all the great Christmas songs are really about rock stars complaining in the frozen foods aisle.

Anyway, after all the beers are gone he allows this past flame who just drank her face off and is so completely emotionally unstable that she was laughing and crying over spilling her purse to hop into her car and drive away probably to run someone over.

Now that's Christmas.

2) Jingle Bells - Jingle Bells is one of the most famous Christmas songs in the world but unfortunately it actually has nothing to do with Christmas. It was written by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in 1857 about Thanksgiving. Yup. Thanksgiving. But nobody wants to hear a Thanksgiving song so it's now a Christmas song.

The dude has "Lord" in his name but that's about as close as the song gets anywhere near God.

Everyone knows the first verse but not many know the second verse which seems to be about...well you be the judge what it's about.

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.

So he got Miss Fanny Bright to get in the sleigh with him, he went a little fast (if you know what I mean) and crashed into a ditch. That's the 1850's version of "I ran out of gas" I guess.

And then the fourth verse consists of some dude sleighing by and laughing at the idiot who crashed his sleigh and then driving off. Nice.

Doesn't sound much like a Christmas song at all does it?

3)Jingle Bell Rock -Adding the word "rock" to nonsensical words doesn't really make it more Christmasy does it?

4) Sleigh Ride - It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. It's about eating chestnuts, eating pumpkin pie and drinking coffee and that's it. No Christmas.

5) Winter Wonderland - It's a song written by a guy with tuberculosis sitting in a sanitarium writing about a snowy day. That's it. A snowy day.

6) Baby It's Cold Outside - I have zero clue how this song worked its way into Christmas airplay. Just to give you some idea, it's a duet about a girl who keeps insisting she must go home while the guy uses every excuse to keep her there saying that it's cold outside so she should really stay. The female voice in the song is called "The Mouse" and the male "The Wolf." I mean, this song is about one step short of the guy slipping something into her drink and her waking up three days later shackled up with a ball gag.

7) Let it Snow - Oh the weather outside if frightful but the fire's so delightful. Yup. Pretty much the same thing is going on here as in "Baby it's Cold Outside" but at least here it seems mutual and the police won't need to get involved. But while a lack of necessary jail time is a plus there's nothing real Christmasy going on here.


  1. Don't forget the line in "Baby, It's Cold Outside" where the woman actually asks "Say, What's in this drink?"

  2. Hahaha! I used to love that cheesy Dan Fogelberg song, don't ask me why. (By the way, the night they hook up and end up driving around drinking, it's Christmas Eve. So technically it *could* be a Christmas song.)

    Once I heard someone call Baby It's Cold Outside "The Date Rape Song."

  3. I've never heard of that Fogleberg song until now, so I searched it and listened to it...yeah, I wasn't missing anything.

    Hey Archibald, you should do something about

  4. ...igonore my last sentence, I was going to suggest something but decided it was stupid.

  5. what is a 'ball gag'?

  6. Same Old Lang Syne: There is a small, brief reference to Christmas: "Met my old lover in the grocery store/ the snow was falling Christmas Eve..."

  7. The one that always irks me is My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music. No Christmas mention -- just snow.

  8. Have to add the one that irks us the most around this house... "Believe"

    Believe in what your heart is saying
    Hear the melody that's playing
    There's no time to waste
    There's so much to celebrate
    Believe in what you feel inside
    And give your dreams the wings to fly
    You have everything you need
    If you just believe

    Believe.. in what? OH that's right.. what you feel inside!! Well there it is!! That's what Christmas is all about, right?

  9. That dan fogelberg song is by far my most hated song to hear around Christmas; it is probably the most depressing song ever (even in the end, the snow turns into rain!) Yuck, yuck, yuck!

    The Believe song is from Polar Express in which the boy spends the entire show just wanting to believe in Santa Claus but doubting even his senses. Eventually, he has to make the decision to just believe and it is at that point that he is finally able to see Santa (his view is blocked until then). I think that is the point of the song and if we generalize it a bit more, it is about believing in yourself and making your dreams a reality.

  10. My biological mother is a Jehovah's Witness (ex-Catholic.) When I first met her in the winter, she had a tape playing in her car with most of the songs on your list. I was like "What's up with that? You don't celebrate Christmas!" Her response was that these songs aren't Christmas songs. So there you have it. If a JW is listening to them, you are right.

  11. And also: The River by Joni Mitchell. "It's coming on Christmas...I wish I had a river I could skate away on." Not really a Christmas song.

    And I can only describe "The Christmas Shoes" as emotionally manipulative, treacly garbage. Ugh. I change the station every time I hear it. The kids sang it at our school's Christmas concert last year. It took all of my self-control not to vomit.

  12. There's also the less common "We Need a Little Christmas" which, in the original, includes the information that it's "one week till Thanksgiving day, now".

  13. ---does this radio station play Christmas songs until Epiphany/Theophany?...nothing worse than everything going back to normal Dec 26

  14. Not to get too serious or anything, but it seems that many of these songs speak to the human desire to connect, albeit only physically which will end in more despair, around the time of year when God connected deeply to us in the person of His Son. Rumbling deep (and I do mean deep) beneath these superficial expressions is the longing for true relationship that comes only through Christ.

  15. Sad but true! Awesome Blog! And it made my day!

  16. Aengus O'ShaughnessyNovember 23, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    This list was so hilarious, I copied it down and mailed it to my girlfriend.
    Also, you forgot to mention the final verse of 'Jingle Bells' where the narratour urges us all to "go it while you're young" and emulate his sleigh-driving technique.

  17. What about "Last Christmas" by Wham! ?

  18. Don't you have anything better to do than constantly gripe about everything that isn't exactly how you want it to be? Show a little maturity. By the way, just because some the 7 are played during the Christmas season does not mean they HAVE to be about Jesus Christ. Many of the 7 convey a certain joy about life that I think many of you lack.

  19. My favorite: Marshmallow World. I had to sing this in my college choir for our "Holiday Concert." Some choice lyrics:

    it's a marshmallow world in the winter,When the snow comes to cover the ground. It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day,I wait for it the whole year round!

    Those are marshmallow clouds being friendly,In the arms of the evergreen trees; And the sun is red like a pumpkin head, It's shining so your nose won't freeze!

    It's a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts, Take a walk with your favorite gal. It's a sugar date, so what if spring is late, In winter it's a marshmallow world!

  20. I have this beat by a long shot. I was at Christmas Mass a few years ago when the organist/choir director/liturist had the, dare I term it "the hymn" "Silver Bells" I was there with my parents. We just looked at each other and shook out heads. I knew better liturgical planning than that at age 12! I honestly nearly cried.

  21. Don't you have anything better to do than constantly gripe about everything that isn't exactly how you want it to be?

    Thus spaketh the griper...

    It's called humor. Buy a smile and paste it on if you have to.

  22. M+ Here's one that really sickens me, viz "Santa Baby" by the siren singer Eartha Kit. Yuk!
    -Fr. Chuck

  23. Our local station that plays 24/7 Christmas music plays "Hard Candy Christmas" by Dolly Parton, a lament about what she's going to do with all her free time, now that he's gone. Ho ho ho.

  24. "By the way, just because some the 7 are played during the Christmas season does not mean they HAVE to be about Jesus Christ..."

    I know, right? After all it's just CHRISTmas. So what gives??

  25. I never heard of Dan Folgerberg but I haven't listened to the radio in eons. It sounds like a song better held piped into drunk tanks.
    Not all 'christmas songs' are about Christmas, many are about the weather, trips to see family and friends and are reminders of the innocence when we were children. If that brings back warm memories and thoughts of a loving family well isn't that what Christmas is about?

  26. "When a Child is Born" is NOT a Christmas Carol! In fact, it's probably the opposite. You only have to read the lyrics completely to see how it is NOT about Jesus! Please don't sing this song at Christmas!!

    "A ray of hope flickers in the sky
    A tiny star lights up way up high
    All across the land, dawns a brand new morn'
    This comes to pass when a child is born.

    A silent wish sails the seven seas
    The winds of change whisper in the trees
    And the walls of doubt.. crumble tossed and torn,
    This comes to pass when a child is born.

    A rosy dawn settles all around
    You got to feel you're on solid ground
    For a spell or two no one seems forlorn
    This come to pass when a child is born.

    It's all a dream, and illusion now.
    It must come true some time soon somehow
    All across the land dawns a brand new morn
    This comes to pass.. when a child is born."

  27. What about the version of Pachelbel's canon with Christmas lyrics added?

  28. You don't have to dislike JF's "Same Auld Lang Syne" , just because some jockeys play it like it is a Christmas Song. It isn't!

    I still like it, as I do most of JF's songs.

  29. What? No "Deck the Halls"? In these days of PC, donning gay apparel should be just fine.
    When I hear all those snow songs, I recall walking across a plaza in central Mexico under a warm sun. A PA system had been set up and Christmas music was playing, including a recording of Bing Crosby with "White Christmas" in English.

  30. "Our local station that plays 24/7 Christmas music plays "Hard Candy Christmas" by Dolly Parton, a lament about what she's going to do with all her free time, now that he's gone. Ho ho ho."

    Actually, Hard Candy Christmas is about a group of FEMALE friends breaking up around Christmastime. It's from a movie called, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It may be a stretch to call it a Christmas song, but it still needed to be represented correctly.

    Love this list! I'm so glad someone FINALLY commented on DF's song. I swear playing that song is the fastest way to ruin a Christmas party.

  31. I've pretty much built up a sanity preservation barrier around Christmas that strictly partitions Real Christmas Music from "winter" music--many of which made your Sorry Seven above. Then again, there are still others than don't even fit in that desperate category--like George Michael's "Last Christmas." Gah!! Without the insertion of the word "Christmas" it could be a song about last ANYTHING: 'Last Easter'; 'Last Summer'; 'Last Tuesday'; ad naseum...

  32. This has to be one of the funniest things you guys have posted in awhile. We laughed our heads off :)

  33. Aengus O'ShaughnessyNovember 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    "Don't you have anything better to do than constantly gripe about everything that isn't exactly how you want it to be?"

    Well, gee, that's a bit harsh. Can't catholics haves fun too?

  34. In case you didn't know, "Same Old Lang Syne" is based on a REAL incident that happened to Dan Fogelberg in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois, on Christmas Eve 1976. He went out to get cream to make Irish coffees and the girl, who was visiting family in the same neighborhood, went out to get egg nog. They met in the only store that was still open (the store is still there, by the way).

    After Fogelberg died in 2007 the girl (by then a middle-aged woman, of course) who inspired the song gave an interview to the Peoria newspaper. She said there were two things about the song that were inaccurate: she actually has green eyes, not blue, and her husband wasn't an architect. Other than that, the song is an accurate retelling of their meeting.

    The woman and her husband were divorced several years before the song's release, and she never went public with her story earlier because she didn't want to threaten Fogelberg's marriage.

    It's still kind of a sappy song but I'm kind of prejudiced in its favor because I used to live in Peoria and know exactly where the store in question was located... that's kind of it's claim to fame.


  35. In case anyone is still interested, here is a link to the interview with the girl who inspired "Same Old Lang Syne":




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