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Which Xmas Songs Are Most Loved/Hated?

By now, you are perhaps sick of Christmas music. It's everywhere, of course--on the radio, in the shops, at the office, in the background on most TV shows, piped straight into your teeth. But today's Christmas music has changed from the standards and pop hits of the past.

A generation has now come of age without the benefit (or curse) of a common pop soundtrack. Growing up without Top 40 radio as the main delivery method for a common base of pop tunes, we now have a nation of listeners whose Christmas music is sliced and diced into demographic niches, just like their favorite pop, rock, hiphop or dance tunes.

So there are now far fewer universally recognized Christmas songs than there were even a decade ago, as a new study by Edison Research, a leading radio survey firm, reports.

In the world of Christmas music, the songs that win our praise and love are mainly the ones that got stuck in our heads and hearts long before our pop culture splintered into a zillion tiny shards. Edison found that listeners most want to hear the songs they grew up listening to on a handful of eternally repeated Christmas TV specials: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer;" "Linus & Lucy;" "Frosty the Snowman," and "The Little Drummer Boy," to name a few.

Amazingly, among the Top 10 Christmas tunes, only one dates from as little as 36 years ago--John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over.)" In Edison's audience test of about 600 holiday songs, the top hundred songs were almost all remarkably old:

48% were from 1967 or before (we tested songs going back as far as 1939) 24% were from 1968 - 1988 14% were from 1989 - 1994 14% were from 1995 to 2007

So, what do we love? Here's Edison's Top Five Christmas songs, as chosen by listeners:

LOVED
1. Nat King Cole/The Christmas Song
2. Bing Crosby/White Christmas
3. Johnny Mathis/Do You Hear What I Hear
4. Burl Ives/A Holly Jolly Christmas
5. Harry Simeone Chorale/Little Drummer Boy

That last one is a 1958 recording that became famous through a 1968 animated NBC-TV special starring the voices of Jose Ferrer and Greer Garson.
Notice that none of the top five artists is remotely close to being among the living. UPDATE: Whoops! Johnny Mathis is very much alive--and still touring.

Now look at the bottom five, the most hated Xmas songs in creation:

HATED
1. Singing Dogs/Jingle Bells
2. Cartman/O Holy Night
3. Elmo & Patsy/Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (the only one that can be called polarized, not just hated)
4. Jackson 5/Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
5. Barbra Streisand/Jingle Bells

What a combo--South Park, Streisand, and those dang dogs. They kind of deserve each other. But what are the Jackson 5 doing on that list? Is this backlash against Michael, who seems to represent something quite far afield from the spirit of Christmas?

Did the Edison survey get it right? What's missing from the Loved or Hated list?


By Marc Fisher |  December 26, 2007; 7:15 AM ET
Previous: Columbia's Poinsettia Tree: The Inside Story | Next: Singing The Bye-Bye Blues: End Of A D.C. Legend

Comments

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Holly Jolly Christmas, are you kidding me???

Posted by: MacDad | December 26, 2007 8:30 AM

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". I *hate* that song. And the story goes that Frank Sinatra didn't like that song either; he wrote the song as his way of getting back at all those syrupy Christmas carols on the radio. Oddly enough, his reverse-psychology ploy has ironically made that song one of the most overplayed and hated songs of the holiday season.

Posted by: J.S. | December 26, 2007 8:31 AM

The survey only tested a "national sample" of 30-to-49-year-old women? How big was the sample? I'm sorry, I really don't believe the top four are correct. The sample seems too small to me.

Posted by: Stevie | December 26, 2007 8:38 AM

That horrible Paul McCartney song that's played repeatedly on the WASH commercial--"Simply Havin' a Wonderful Christmas time". ARRRGH! Everytime I hear it, I want to go take a flying leap off the balcony. Please!! Make it stop!!

Posted by: C-dog | December 26, 2007 8:42 AM

That dreadful christmas shoes song... god, make it STOP.

Posted by: loco, va | December 26, 2007 9:02 AM

ANY rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I'm doubting that top 5 too, although the top 2 make sense. But Little Drummer Boy?

A quick Google search says Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year." The song doesn't bother me, but there's no way any group of people is going to agree what's good or bad when it comes to Christmas or any other kind of music.

Posted by: SS | December 26, 2007 9:10 AM

I have to agree with MacDad...holly jolly xmas is just terrible.

And considering the sample that was used, I'm not surprised to see Cartman's version of "O Holy Night" listed among the most hated; that gender/age combination typically wouldn't be watching South Park anyway. Speaking personally, I look forward to hearing the song every year.

Posted by: twobrows | December 26, 2007 9:14 AM

I don't think I can easily name one most hated or one most loved. For me, the wonder of Christmas is that God came to us as a baby. Songs that emphasize the wonder of that are my favorites--Little Drummer Boy, Do You Hear What I Hear, Mary's Boy-child, O Holy Night. Songs which emphasize the commercial aspects of the season, are my least favorites. Mostly I have blocked the titles of these songs out of my memory. In between is a vast array of songs that I like, to a greater or lesser degree.

Posted by: woman in the survey age range | December 26, 2007 9:15 AM

I am sorry to bring this up but my problem with Christmas songs is that the lyrics are depressing and they are sung like dirges. Think about the 'story line.' An anomalous reindeer, the poor little drummer boy, dreaming of a (an unachievable) white Christmas (I never had one as a child and only one as an adult). The list goes on. But I loved them all as a kid. Jingle Bells is the only one that can make you smile. I like the sentiments of "woman in age range." That makes sense.

Posted by: Crickie22 | December 26, 2007 9:31 AM

Interesting to see someone once again X out the Christ in Christmas, and use the word 'hate' in the conversation in a time that embraces just the opposite feeling, as most of the wonderful Christmas songs talk of love and hope as well.

Posted by: Dave | December 26, 2007 9:33 AM

I HATE Natalie Cole's version of "Jingle Bells". She changes, or acquiesced to changes, the lyrics of the second verse to where, fundementally, it makes no sense. God, I HATE that! Rule No. 1: If you have to change lyrics to match the singer, they shouldn't be singing that song.

I love "Snoopy's Christmas" and the Porky Pig version of "Blue Christmas".

Posted by: Stick | December 26, 2007 9:35 AM

I have a NEW hated Christmas song: "Mary, Did You Know?".

All the verses are asking if Mary knew the Baby Jesus would grow up to be the Savior, essentially.

Personally, I think being visited by the Archangel Gabriel and the Immaculate Conception probably gave her a hint.

Posted by: Terry in Maryland | December 26, 2007 9:42 AM

Dave, You seem not to be aware that Christians were the first to use Xmas. The X is recognized as a symbol for the cross and thus for Christ. It is anything but antiChristmas to use Xmas.

You also may not be aware of the vast numbers of holiday songs that have nothing to do with love and hope.

I'll second that vote against the shoe song. Frankly, I begin to think of that child as a scam artist.

Posted by: woman in the age range | December 26, 2007 9:46 AM

Once more I am thankful for my iPod. Most of this drivel can now be forever relegated to the distant background.

Posted by: mikes | December 26, 2007 9:47 AM

"Notice that none of the top five artists is remotely close to being among the living."

And just when did Johnny Mathis depart this mortal coil? According to his own website, he appears to be sufficiently alive to be scheduled to give concerts well into 2008!

Posted by: OTBerbur | December 26, 2007 9:52 AM

For a decidedly different reason, I have come to rather despise "Jingle Bell Rock"--its musically and rhythmically inept and stultifying, much as if someone wrote a song just to get the likewise-musically-inept to shout along and bob their heads/bodies. And "Santa Baby" not only sounds like teeth should be rotting just from the sugary singing, but more properly belongs in a musical card from Playboy or Cosmopolitan or the like.

Posted by: LNER4472 | December 26, 2007 9:57 AM

I can't stand Paul McCartney's "Simply Having" whatever- that guy is 40 years past his expiration date and I was the one kid complaining about his poor writing in elementary school when Wings was still king. He never wrote a decent song solo and debatably, hasn't written a decent song since 1967 when he went astray.

Holly Jolly Christmas is fantastic and we sing it all the time. y'all don't get it. Burl Ive's christmas music is great and all the music Rankin Bass used, and the music Maury Laws wrote, up until around 1980 is great.

Frank Sinatra never wrote any songs, or rather, wrote very few, so I can't imagine how these rumors got started. It was a different era in music and one that only changed in the mid 1960s when professional songwriters fell out of favor.

My least favorite of all songs though is Deck the Halls, probably because we sang it poorly every year as kids.

White Christmas is a World War II song about being stuck in Los Angeles while thinking about New England. New England, up until World War II was considered the cultural homeland of the USA- Plymouth Rock and all- and as such New England was the way it was SUPPOSED to be. There was a cultural shift since then and many people try to say this about the Midwestern breadbasket today. Sure, it's impossible to actually get a white christmas here in the US- that's the freaking point of the song!

My favorite Christmas songs are the classic urban 5th Avenue "Silver Bells" and also "Carol of the Bells" which is eastern European and impossible to sing correctly- yay!

Posted by: DCer | December 26, 2007 10:07 AM

to woman in the survey age range:

Actually, the "X" in "Xmas" has nothing to do with it being "a symbol of the cross thus being a symbol for Christ." The X actually refers to the Greek letter "chi" which was used to form the Greek word Χριστός, or Christós, which translates to the English "Christ". So yes, by saying Xmas you aren't really taking Christ out of Christmas, but it has nothing to do with the X being a symbol of the cross.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 10:24 AM

My favorite is "Father Christmas" by The Kinks.

Posted by: frenchyb | December 26, 2007 10:33 AM

I just drove 850 miles without the benefit of an iPod and probably heard nearly every version of every holiday song ever recorded.

Favorites:
Christmas Jug Band's "Santa Lost a Ho." Ok, it's totally un-PC, but it makes me chuckle every time I hear it.
Dean Martin's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm."
Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas."

Worst Songs:
"Christmas Eve in Washington." This is probably one of the worst songs I've ever heard.
That sappy song about the boy who wants to buy some new shoes for his dying mother. I can't hit the radio tuner fast enough on that one.


Posted by: Kristtorn | December 26, 2007 10:34 AM

I love Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Didn't hear it once this year, though I didn't have WASH on the radio all the time. Even though I don't go to church any more, my favorite Christmas songs are the ones we sung in church at Christmas -- Silent Night, O Holy Night, Adeste Fidelis. Also love the Hallujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Those are classics, not Holly Jolly Christmas.

Posted by: Chris | December 26, 2007 10:40 AM

I have to agree with Stevie; how can you do a survey to pick out the five best and the five worst Chrismas songs - out of 600 songs - and limited your survey group to women 30 to 49 years old, and call it representative. The only thing it's representative of is a group of certain aged (middle aged, more or less) women.

As for the 'best', the songs are the more traditional songs and the more standard versions; essentially mainstream music; the 'hated' simply include some things that are being passed off as Christmas music because they have something remotely to do with the holiday? After all, are singing dogs or being run over by reindeer really associated with Christmas, or as music anymore than, for example, Allan Sherman's Hello Muddah, or Tom Lehrer's Vatican Rag is?

I have no idea who Cartman is, and I find the Jackson 5's version of Santa Clause Is Coming To Town to be harsh. As for the Barbra Streisand version of Jingle Bells, well, do I really need everyone to sing everything?

What would be interesting, and the only way we could fairly comment on the best/hated would be to see the full list of songs they could choose from; many of which, I'm sure, most people have never heard. For that matter, have many of the younger people really know who John Lennon was, let along associate him with a Christmas song?

Posted by: Dungarees | December 26, 2007 10:41 AM

What? Barry Manilow didn't make either list?!!

Posted by: Crooner | December 26, 2007 11:05 AM

Best song missing: Run-DMC, Christmas in Hollis (1987).

Posted by: Arlington | December 26, 2007 11:08 AM

What about The Twelve Hoes of Christmas by Marion Barry?

Posted by: Yo Ho Ho | December 26, 2007 11:08 AM

Johnny Mathis is more than remotely close to being among the living, he is still alive and performing.

And I can't take the Little Drummer Boy and those rumpapumpums.

Posted by: rlerner | December 26, 2007 11:15 AM

I'm not even Christian, but it's weird to me that every discussion of Christmas music seems to be about pop music. I surround myself with beautiful carols and Christmas hymns - hey, if you ignore the words you can pretend they aren't about Jesus - and am happy all month long. This is beautiful music, and there's a ton of it. Why isn't it on our radar screens?

Posted by: h3 | December 26, 2007 11:30 AM

How about the Pogues - 'Fairytale of New York'. It's been the top Christmas song in the UK for years. It's rarely played here in the US and is truly the greatest holiday song ever!

Posted by: DavidW. | December 26, 2007 11:30 AM

"Christmas Shoes" is so arrogant; it is abhorrent that the narrator would think that god would ignore all the suffering in the world in favor of showing that individual "what Christmas is all about" in the form of a child confusing consumerism with love.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 11:30 AM

I desperately hope I'm not the only one out there who hates "Little Drummer Boy" with a passion and would even listen to "Jingle Bell Bark" instead of "LDB." Maybe it's just the "b rumpa bum bum" that drives me mad. I'm not too fond of "Holly Jolly Christmas" either, but I can sit through a rendition of it without having to flee the area. Now the blues "Back Door Santa" - there's a Christmas song!! (We miss you, Bama)

Posted by: steve (herndon) | December 26, 2007 11:41 AM

The drivel that is "Christmas Shoes" is just nauseating.

Posted by: LeesburgVA | December 26, 2007 11:47 AM

How can anyone not like the singing dogs?

Posted by: The Singing Dogs? | December 26, 2007 11:56 AM

I love "Crabs forChristmas".

Posted by: Lex Pk | December 26, 2007 11:58 AM

No mention of Alvin and the Chipmunks?

Now that song makes my head hurt.

Posted by: Sally Hand | December 26, 2007 12:06 PM

I can't believe only one person previously identified ANY version of the Twelve Days of Christmas as the most aggravating song of the season. So I must post to second that wise observation. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't more suicides and homicides by people who simply lose their sanity after hearing the chirpy sing-song litany that accumulates by the third day of Christmas. Anyone who joyously makes it to Day 12 should be committed immediately.

Personally, I like the Christmas hymns best sung by real choirs with organ music. Very thought provoking to set the feel of Christmas season. Silent Night is the absolute finest Christmas music ever created.

Posted by: jbc3 | December 26, 2007 12:13 PM

Its hard to be a Jew on Christmas along with The original version of Grandma got runover, not any of the newer versions are my favorite.

The whole episode of South Park's 1st Christmas special is money, so I would also go with Kyle's Mom is a b!tch.

Posted by: Jon | December 26, 2007 12:24 PM

Loved (until they get played 18,000 times next year):

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, et al (Barenaked Ladies w/ Sarah McLaughlin)
Merry Christmas from the Family (Robert Earl Keen) [Mom got drunk and dad got drunk....]
2000 Miles (The Pretenders)

Most HATED:
Christmas Shoes
Christmas Shoes
Christmas Shoes
Any other artist who feels that they need to validate themselves by making a stereotypical Christmas album 'for their fans.'

Posted by: Joe in SS | December 26, 2007 12:24 PM

I love Toy Sack (here's a version with a light display):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7yGzaB_xq0

Posted by: CJB | December 26, 2007 1:10 PM

Here's a good one!

Christmas Wrapping

By The Waitresses

"Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy

To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it's 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Completions and connections left from

Last year, ski shop,
Encounter, most interesting.
Had his number but never the time
Most of '81 passed along those lines.

So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.

Calendar picture, frozen landscape,
Chilled this room for twenty-four days,
Evergreens, sparkling snow
Get this winter over with!

Flashback to springtime, saw him again,
Would've been good to go for lunch,
Couldn't agree when we were both free,
We tried, we said we'd keep in touch.

Didn't, of course, 'til summertime,
Out to the beach to his boat could I join him?
No, this time it was me,
Sunburn in the third degree.

Now the calendar's just one page
And, of course, I am excited
Tonight's the night, but I've set my mind
Not to do too much about it.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Hardly dashing through the snow
Cause I bundled up too tight
Last minute have-to-do's
A few cards a few calls
'Cause it's r-s-v-p
No thanks, no party lights
It's Christmas Eve, gonna relax
Turned down all of my invites.

Last fall I had a night to myself,
Same guy called, halloween party,
Waited all night for him to show,
This time his car wouldn't go,

Forget it, it's cold, it's getting late,
Trudge on home to celebrate
In a quiet way, unwind
Doing Christmas right this time.

A&P has provided me
With the world's smallest turkey
Already in the oven, nice and hot
Oh damn! Guess what I forgot?

So on with the boots, back out in the snow
To the only all-night grocery,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
In the line is that guy I've been chasing all year!

"I'm spending this one alone," he said.
"Need a break; this year's been crazy."
I said, "Me too, but why are you?
You mean you forgot cranberries too?"

Then suddenly we laughed and laughed
Caught on to what was happening
That Christmas magic's brought this tale
To a very happy ending! "

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't miss this one this year!
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't miss this one this year!

Written by Chris Butler
(c) 1981 Future Fossil Music, BMI

Posted by: New Waver | December 26, 2007 1:12 PM

I missed the barking dogs, but did get a dose of the singing frogs this year.

"Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto" by James Brown is fun.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 1:22 PM

Actually, the B-52's did the original Toy Sack, and their version is more lively and fun. Here is their version, also with a holiday light display:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QmxDfVmzoU

Posted by: CJB | December 26, 2007 1:26 PM

I got in the Christmas mood with Nat King Cole's Christmas Song, Ella Fitzgerald's "Sleigh Bells" and Lena Horne singing "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow." There's nothing and nobody quite like Ella Fitzgerald.

Another favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas music by Vince Guaraldi.

I don't have any hated music but I think it must be tough for anyone working retail or radio where you have no choice but to hear it nonstop until your shift ends.

Posted by: NW DC | December 26, 2007 1:46 PM

I agree about Springstein. His energy raises what would otherwise be a terrible song. The other good rock Christmas songs are John Lennon's Merry Christmas/War is Over, and Joni Mitchell's River. Also if you want sappy, heartbreaking pop sentimentality, Karen Carpenter's Merry Christmas Baby. As a kid LDB was a record I bought with my own money. What was I thinking of?

Posted by: Steve | December 26, 2007 1:52 PM

Thanks for the Greek lesson, as I was not aware of that origin. But, i don't think many others are either. I think the X is a shortcut to avoid writing Christ, thus Xing it out. Thinking its a cross seems strange. Seems that would be t-mas, as the lower case 't' actually looks like a cross. I am grateful for all of the beautiful music celebrating Jesus' birth, and enjoy the secular songs as well. Most bring a lot of happiness to people. If you choose to be bitter and look for things to hate, no song will help.

Posted by: Dave | December 26, 2007 1:57 PM

I wasn't aware that Johnny Mathis was dead, but Marc Fisher says so on the Internet, so it must be true! Johnny looked remarkably alive when I saw him in concert not too long ago, but they can do amazing things these days with computer animation.

Posted by: PSK | December 26, 2007 2:37 PM

I'd like to say an apology is due to Johnny Mathis, who is still among the living. How dare you be so careless!!!

Posted by: Brenda Gainey | December 26, 2007 2:43 PM

I'd like to say an apology is due to Johnny Mathis, who is still among the living. How dare you be so careless!!!

Posted by: Brenda Gainey | December 26, 2007 2:43 PM

I'm surprised people forgot about Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." With that voice, how could you go wrong?

Posted by: kleewrite | December 26, 2007 2:54 PM

Missing from the loved list: "What You Want for Christmas" by 69 Boyz, K-Knock and Quad City DJ's, featuring the following 12 Days of Christmas list:

1200 dollars
11 pairs of shoes
10 finger nails
9 packs of weave
8 male strippers
7 bus passes
6 diamond rings
5 months free rent!!!!!
4 bangles
3 pocket books
2 earrings
and a MAN with a lot of money!

Posted by: K. Kringle | December 26, 2007 3:05 PM

I only listened to WASH in the car and I swear everytime we were driving somewhere the sappy wappy Wham song Last Christmas was on. There was always a race to change stations ASAP when that song came on. There are so many better songs available to play I don't get why that one had so much airplay!

Posted by: overplayed on WASH | December 26, 2007 3:09 PM

"I Bought You a Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree" by Michael Franks puts a smile on my face.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 3:42 PM

Thanks for the good catch, folks. Correction coming up momentarily.

Posted by: Fisher | December 26, 2007 4:12 PM

My favorite?

The Pause of Mister Clause, by Arlo Guthrie.

The Pause of Mr. Claus
words and music by Arlo Guthrie

This next song we're going to dedicate to a great American
organization. Tonight I'd like to dedicate this to our boys
in the FBI.

Well, wait a minute. It's hard to be an FBI man. I mean, first
of all, being an FBI man, you have to be over 40 years old.
And the reason is that it takes at least 25 years with the
organization to be that much of a bastard. It's true. You just
can't join, you know. It needs an atmosphere where your
natural bastardness can grow and develop and take a
meaningful shape in today's complex society.

But that's not why I want to dedicate the song to the FBI. I
mean, the job that they have to do is a drag. I mean, they have
to follow people around, you know. That's part of their job.
Follow me around.

I'm out on the highway and I'm drivin' down the road and I
run out of gasoline. I pull over to the side of the road. They
gotta pull over too - make believe that they ran out, you
know.

I go to get some gasoline. They have to figure out whether
they should stick with the car or follow me. Suppose I don't
come back and they're stayin' with the car.

Or if I fly on the airplanes, I could fly half fare because I'm 12
to 22. And they gotta pay the full fare. But the thing is that
when you pay the full fare, you have to get on the airplane
first, so that they know how many seats are left over for the
half fare kids. Right? And sometimes there aren't any seats
left over, and sometimes there are, but that doesn't mean that
you have to go.

Suppose that he gets on and fills up the last seat, so you can't
get on. Then he gets off then you can get on. What's he gonna
do?

Well, it's a drag for him. But that's not why I want to dedicate
the song to the FBI.

During these hard days and hard weeks, everybody always
has it bad once in a while. You know, you have a bad time of
it, and you always have a friend who says "Hey man, you
ain't got it that bad. Look at that guy." And you at that
guy, and he's got it worse than you. And it makes you feel
better that there's somebody that's got it worse than you.

But think of the last guy. For one minute, think of the last
guy. Nobody's got it worse than that guy. Nobody in the
whole world. That guy...he's so alone in the world that he
doesn't even have a street to lay in for a truck to run him over.
He's out there with nothin'. Nothin's happenin' for that cat.

And all that he has to do to create a little excitement in his
own life is to bum a dime from somewhere, call up the FBI.
Say "FBl?", they say "Yes", say "I think Uncle Ho and Chair-
man Mao and their friends are comin' over for dinner" (click)
Hang up the phone.

And within two minutes, and not two minutes from when he
hangs up the phone, but two minutes from when he first put
the dime in, they got 30,000 feet of tape rollin'; files on tape;
pictures, movies, dramas, actions on tape. But then they send
out a half a million people all over the entire world, the globe,
they find out all they can about this guy.

'Cause there's a number of questions involved in the guy. I
mean, if he was the last guy in the world, how'd he get a dime
to call the FBI? There are plenty of people that aren't the last
guys that can't get dimes. He comes along and he gets a dime.

I mean, if he had to bum a dime to call the FBI, how was he
gonna serve dinner for all of those people? How could the
last guy make dinner for all those people. And if he could
make dinner, and was gonna make dinner, then why did he
call the FBI?

They find out all of those questions within two minutes. And
that's a great thing about America. I mean, this is the only
country in the world...l mean, well, it's not the only country
in the world that could find stuff out in two minutes, but it's
the only country in the world that would take two minutes
for that guy.

Other countries would say "Hey, he's the last guy...screw
him", you know? But in America, there is no discrimination,
and there is no hypocrisy,'cause they'll get anybody. And that's
a wonderful thing about America.

And that's why tonight I'd like to dedicate it to every FBI
man in the audience. I know you can't say nothin', you know,
you can't get up and say "Hi!" cause then everybody knows
that you're an FBI man and that's a drag for you and your
friends.

They're not really your friends, are they? I mean, so you can't
get up and say nothin' 'cause other wise, you gotta get sent
back to the factory and that's a drag for you and it's an
expense for the government, and that's a drag for you.

We're gonna sing you this Christmas carol. It's for all you
bastards out there in the audience tonight. It's called "The
Pause of Mr. Claus".

Why do you sit there so strange?
Is it because you are beautiful?
You must think you are deranged
Why do police guys beat on peace guys?

You must think Santa Clause weird
He has long hair and a beard
Giving his presents for free
Why do police guys mess with peace guys?

Let's get Santa Clause 'cause;
Santa Clause has a red suit
He's a communist
And a beard, and long hair
Must be a pacifist
What's in the pipe that he's smoking?

Mister Clause sneaks in your home at night.
He must be a dope fiend, to put you up tight
Why do police guys beat on peace guys?

Posted by: Mister Methane | December 26, 2007 4:20 PM

Hmmm. Gotta agree with those with a strong dislike for "Little Drummer Boy". A dirge for a happy day? What's up with that?

Then, there's Laura Nyro's "Christmas in My Heart", about imprisoned Black Panthers and oppressed American Indians. Yea, I know it was 1969, but, still...

Posted by: Annandale | December 26, 2007 4:46 PM

My mistake. Laura Nyro's song was "Christmas in My Soul."

Posted by: Annandale | December 26, 2007 4:48 PM

Not only is Johnny Mathis very much alive, he just played Baltimore a couple of weeks ago. See http://www.johnnymathis.com/Tour.htm
We've all heard a ton of Mathis over the past days--he's joined Bing Crosby and Burl Ives as a voice of Christmas, and I cannot imagine him losing that status anytime in the next generation or so.

Posted by: Fisher | December 26, 2007 4:56 PM

Fisher, Johnny Mathis only seems like he's been around forever because he became a superstar by the time he was about 20, and has continued to have a successful career all these decades.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 26, 2007 5:00 PM

I like:

Christmas bells, hillary smells
obama laid an egg
edwards filed a lawsuit
and the rest just faded away....

Posted by: Dwight | December 27, 2007 8:49 AM

I love Litle Drummer Boy because I love to sing it! So, maybe you non-singers don't like to listen to it, but you aren't around when I'm singing it.
Also, I don't sing it so slow that it sounds like a dirge. I first heard it 'way back in the late 50's when it was on TV and it was not sung like a dirge then either.

Posted by: Singer | December 27, 2007 9:29 AM

Worst- any Christmas song done by Mariah Carey or Jessica Simpson. I like the old fashion music, bing crosby, dean martin, ella fitgerald and of course nat king cole!

Posted by: chrismcc | December 27, 2007 4:16 PM

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