Thursday, December 25, 2014

5 of the most annoying Christmas songs ever

Christmas is a time for cheer, unless you're listening to these songs. Today, on Christmas Day, Music Weird presents a special Christmas inventory of 5 of the most annoying Christmas songs ever.

1. Pat Boone – "Santa Claus Is Comin' in a Whirlybird"

The song is ridiculous to begin with, but the background singers make it insufferable. I played it for my wife and she said, "It's not just annoying—it's unfathomable."

2. Bobby Helms – "Captain Santa Claus"


Bobby Helms, the Indiana boy who brought us the perennial Christmas favorite "Jingle Bell Rock," also gave us the execrable "Captain Santa Claus." The song itself is just a throwaway space-themed Christmas novelty, but the irritating background vocals—not to mention the fake rocket noises that are obviously made by some guy's mouth—propel "Captain Santa Claus" into the craposphere. 

3. Elvis Presley – "Blue Christmas"


The recurring theme so far in this list is annoying background vocals, and Elvis Presley's version of "Blue Christmas" continues in that vein with an obnoxious, incessant soprano vocal part in the background. The background vocalist was Millie Kirkham, who sang background vocals on Ferlin Husky's "Gone." Elvis wanted a similar sound on "Blue Christmas," so he instructed Kirkham to "sing a soprano obbligato all the way through," Peter Guralnick says in his book Last Train to Memphis. (Elvis didn't use the words soprano obbligato, though.) "It was horrible," said Kirkham. "It was sort of comical. It wasn't supposed to be, but the longer it goes the funnier it gets—but he liked it."


4. Mitch Miller – "Must Be Santa"


I like Mitch Miller. He was a talented arranger and recorded some great instrumental music, like the minor hit "Song of the Sparrow" from 1956. "Must Be Santa" is a maddeningly repetitive and moronic song, but Mitch's manic sing-along version takes it to an entirely new level. I wish that I could isolate the voices in the mix to call your attention to a particular vocalist who annoys me; it's the echoey soprano vocalist who warbles on the chorus, if you can get that far before turning it off. 


5. Patti Page – "The Mama Doll Song"


One of the most terrifying songs ever recorded, Patti Page's "The Mama Doll Song" was a minor hit in 1954.


6. Eric Morecambe & Ernie Wise – "Bingle Jells" (bonus track)


I added this one as a bonus track, because I can't find any audio of it online. This British Christmas tune from 1967 is totally bizarre and inexplicable, with its queasy repetition of the word "near" in the intro and its obnoxious high-pitched whistling teakettle sound effect and its relentless "dong dong dong ding dong ding" refrain.

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