Irritating Christmas songs we all love to hate!

Mandi Goodier

We sent a poll round Reader’s Digest towers, to find out the most hated Christmas songs, and what makes them so blummin’ bad. Here are the results, with videos—just in case you needed reminding of how horrible they are.

Christmas wouldn't be the same without them!

In fact, without these little irritants it might actually be much better.

We're not talking the worst, or least musically accomplished, but the songs that really grind your gears. The one when, every time it gets played, you simply have to be vocal about your hatred of it. The one that will make you abandon your trolly full of delicious Christmas food and walk out of the supermarket just so you don't have to listen to it. The one that stalks you for 25 days, for one month, every-single-flipping-year! 

Here are the Reader's Digest teams most hated Christmas songs:

 

Stay Another Day – East 17

Oh come on, this isn’t a Christmas song! It’s just a bunch of lads, floating around in some fake snow in white parkas. I bet the video was filmed in summer as well!

The only thing that makes it remotely Christmassy is the addition of sleigh bells.

You could release this in spring, minus the sleigh bells, and it would still fit perfectly with the season. At least if they’d have done that it would have become more forgettable, but no, every-single-year!

 

 

A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris De Burgh

Written and recorded by an “Irish folk-rock giant” (as quoted from Songfacts), although perhaps better known as "that guy who did ‘Lady in Red’", 'A Spaceman Came Travelling' takes a slightly out of this world approach to Christmas.

What makes it so annoying? Is it the quirky approach to a Christmas tune? Is it the irritatingly catchy ‘la, la-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la’ bit?

Only one of the poll’s participants gave a reason for their hatred towards the song, leaving me to wonder whether it’s not so much the song that’s a problem, but the man himself: “Chris De Burgh gives me the creeps”. 

 

 

Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard

If there’s one Christmas song you’re definitely going to hear this year, it’s this one. And that’s what makes it so annoying; the sheer persistence of the song, every year, for over 25 years.

I don’t suppose it would matter which one of Cliff Richard’s milliard of seasonal songs appeared in the poll, no doubt it would have been voted into the this list.

Similar to De Burgh, Cliff has struggled in popularity ratings for years. As one participant simply states: “He’s a vile man”.

In 2013 'Mistletoe and Wine' topped a poll by Costa Coffee as the most hated Christmas songs ever, thus they banned it from their playlists.

Quite surprisingly though, Cliff did not write this song. It’s history lies in a socialist musical from 1976. That’s right, 'Mistletoe and Wine' is a political song, de-politicised by Cliff Richard to include Christian motifs.

 

 

All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

Perhaps the most divisive song on the list, it was hailed by The Telegraph in 2010 as the most popular holiday song of all time. But its popularity is exactly what makes it unpopular.

It's incredibly likely that you'll hear this song two or more times in a row, either when channel hopping on the radio, or bobbing in and out of shops over the festive season, making it gradually more and more annoying the closer we draw to the big day. 

Mariah’s style of singing is divisive in itself. If you’re a fan of vocal acrobatics, then it’s a wonder to behold. If you feel it’s a bit show-off-y and tasteless then it’s an audible nightmare. As one of our participants answered: “At a time of year when you're meant to cheery and jolly I don't want to hear her high-pitched screeches, that I will argue until the day I die is NOT singing! Utter piff!”

 

 

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

Moving on from one of the most popular festive songs to one of the least.

I would like to fight for this as an underrated song, but your humble writer isn’t here to defend Paul McCartney’s honour, rather discover its mass-unappeal.

The general consensus is that it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s repetitive both in melody and lyrics, and this is what irks most listeners.

How could it be that Paul McCartney, one-half of the greatest songwriting duo of all time (and yes we know, the other half’s Christmas song wasn’t much better), could produce something so bland? For someone who’s “simply having a wonderful Christmastime”, he doesn’t sound so thrilled.

 

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

This staple is over 80 years old and there are 34 cover versions (and counting). No wonder it’s getting tired.

Since 2011, mums’ favourite, Michael Bublé, has been making appearances at most Christmas celebrations via the album ingeniously titled Christmas.

He’s not the first pop star to do this, he’s not even the first crooner to do this, but for some reason, his has become one of the most popular Christmas albums for years.

The biggest problem with this particular song is quite simple, it means that the infinitely cooler Jackson 5 version has ceased being played on our radio.

 

 

Do They Know it’s Christmas? – Band Aid (all since the original)

However you feel about the original version of this song, it is pretty much unanimous that every version since has grown more obnoxious.

Firstly, the song itself is just ok. It’s fun, it has a powerful message, and we all love singing along to it (especially Bono’s bit). But it certainly isn’t worthy of numerous covers.

Secondly, the people contributing. With each incarnation of Band Aid, the participants get more and more self-righteous (especially Bono). And if they’re not being self-righteous they’re competing for mic time or doing over the top vocal acrobatics and/or sentiment.

And let’s face it “tonight, thank God it’s them instead of you,” hits you less and less the more you hear it.

We got the message the first time. You’re milking it now.

 

 

X Factor winners

Overall the majority of us would take any of the songs in this list over another X Factor winner as number one.

We’ve had over a decade of these guys making Christmas a little less Christmassy.

Enough now. We want a proper Christmas song at number one (even if it does get a bit annoying in the future).

 
Which Christmas song do you love to hate?

Stay Another Day - East 17
A Spaceman Came Travelling - Chris De Burgh
Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Michael Bublé
Do They Know it's Christmas? - Band Aid(s)
X Factor Winners

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