It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.
From Black Friday through Dec. 25, stores and restaurants unleash their playlists of holiday songs they hope will have shoppers ho ho humming.
Several of these yuletide anthems leave Patch’s editors in a holly jolly mood, while others equal the effect of fingernails on a chalkboard.
Check out this list of the five best holiday pop tunes and the ten most annoying seasonal songs, courtesy of Douglaston and Little Neck Patch’s editors.
Five Fun Holiday Jingles
“Christmas In Hollis”
Run D.M.C.’s 1987 song is a hip-hop holiday classic. With lyrics such as “My name’s D.M.C, with the mike in my hand, I’m chillin’ and coolin’ just like a snowman,” what’s not to like?
“Fairytale of New York”
The Pogue’s song is a catchy Irish folk ballad during which lead singer Shane MacGowan, who is stuck in the drunk tank on Christmas Day, and Kirsty MacColl chronicle their crushed dreams. The couple spends the rest of the song bickering and name-calling.
This 1984 hit from Wham! is another peppy, but downbeat, synthy seasonal selection. “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away,” George Michael sings. Ouch.
“Carol of the Bells”
Carol of the Bells, particularly the version performed by the pianist George Winston, is not only tolerable, it's outright beautiful. If "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" is the soundtrack to frenzied Black Friday bedlam, Carol of the Bells represents the holiday's more subtle pleasures: gently falling snow, the warm glow of candlelight, the crisp scent of pine needles. It's haunting, delicate and, God willing, will never be performed by the Chipmunks.
"Must Be Santa," by Bob Dylan
Does this selection belong on the best list or the worst list? This song, or more specifically, the video that accompanies it, would be equally at home on both. Dylan makes his entrance 20 seconds in, where viewers are left to ponder what has become of the pop icon's hair: his once buoyant locks are now tamped into stringy tendrils, presumably from years of accumulated filth. A rousing rendition of Must Be Santa rocks a rather haute house party, into which Dylan appears to have crawled in off the street uninvited. Glitter pours from on high. Frantic dancing ensues. Less than three minutes later, the scene of Dionysian ecstasis is over, but the feeling of bewilderment will persist for years.
Ten Worst Christmas Songs
“I Like a Sleigh Ride”
Peggy Lee’s 1960 hit wouldn’t be quite as annoying if it weren’t for the background choir’s consistently squawky repetition of the song’s title.
“All I Want for Christmas”
You know what I want for Christmas? This song blinked out of existence. The only difference between this Mariah Carey song and any other is the word "Christmas."
“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
This song is probably meant to be funny, but instead, it's gaspingly sad. "Hoof prints on her forehead" is bad enough, but what are "Claus marks"? On second thought, it's probably best not to ask.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
This 1952 Jimmy Boyd holiday tune manages to start off creepy and end up maudlin.
“The Chipmunk Song”
Like so many terrible songs, this gem actually won three Grammy Awards. If this is the musical precedent set by the recording industry, I'm going to set up a microphone next to a sack of angry grackles and await stardom.
“Jingle Bell Rock”
I remember singing this song in a school performance sometime in the early 90s. No, I was not in the cast of Mean Girls. My version included a too-big sweater and a second degree burn on my face where my mom accidentally scalded me with a curling iron.
“Heavy Metal Christmas”
OK, I’m always down for a little Twisted Sister, so this song could really find a spot both on the best and worst lists. “On my heavy metal Christmas, my true love gave to me a tattoo of Ozzy!” Dee Snider sings.
“Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”
This nugget, originally by John Denver, features such teeth gnashing lines as “Just last year when I was only seven and now I’m almost eight as you can see, you came home at a quarter past 11 and fell down beneath our Christmas tree.”
“This One’s for the Children”
“This is a very serious message, so all of you please listen,” pleads the New Kids on the Block’s 1989 holiday song, which aims to be a serious message song and comes up syrupy.