more Tuesday tunes, the Christmas edition…

…. Is there anything more banal than Mary Did You Know? My heart goes out to the poor souls working retail this time of year who’ve been forced to endure hours upon hours of the same Christmas music since Thanksgiving. How it doesn’t suck the soul and spirit of Christmas right out of them is a miracle. I imagine being stuck in an elevator in hell is only slightly less tolerable.

Mariah Carey wants you for Christmas, George Michael gave his heart away last Christmas, Holly Jolly jingle bells, reckless driving reindeer assaulting elderly matriarchs, and that lecherous Santa Baby song.

Here is what I own in the department of Christmas music; These 2 CD’s by The Saint Cecilia Choir of St. John Cantius Church and Noel, by The Priests. I’ve also been enjoying WDAV’s Classical Christmas programs. But that’s it. Not much variety there, is it?

Needless to say, I was thrilled to read Tony Rossi’s piece, The Lower Lights: Music and the Common Ground of Faith , and get introduced to their music.

The Lower Lights: Come Let Us Adore Him from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.


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  • Dave Pawlak

    There is one song worse than “Mary Did You Know”: “Christmas Shoes”. Every time that saccharine, depressing bit of twaddle befouls the airwaves, I want to lobotomize myself with a dull spoon.

    If you’d like some decent Christmas music, I recommend CDs from Paul Hillier, John Rutter, and the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.

    • Thank you. Christmas Shoes is the worst song ever recorded. I think the bible says not to hate anyone but the bible was written before “Christmas Shoes” was so I’m pretty sure it’s ok to hate anyone who likes that song.

      • Shrmatt

        I want to record a parody of this song. The chorus will go, “Sir, I wanna buy this booze, for my… friend.”

  • IC

    Mary Did You Know isn’t that bad in my book, esp. compared to “Jingle Bell Rock”, which coincidentally is set up continuous play on Hell’s porch.

  • Tiff

    I made a Top 10 Worst (and usually most overplayed) Christmas song lists for my friends last year:

    Top 10 Worst Christmas Songs Ever

    I know there are lots of these lists out there. And before I start giving a shout out to those songs I love, I want to reflect on the worst Christmas songs ever. These are songs that are still played on the radio frequently every Christmas and I have no idea why they still get air time. I’m not picking lesser known songs that don’t get played anymore. I agree the New Kids on the Block Christmas song was awful, but that song died back in the early 90s. But these songs seem to live on life support when they should have died a natural death years (or decades) ago. Yes, this is just my opinion, but isn’t every article of a “best of” or “worst of” list on the internet just someone’s opinion? So here goes:

    10 – “Little St. Nick” by The Beach Boys
    Don’t get me wrong here, I grew up in California and I love The Beach Boys, but they’re not appropriate at Christmastime. Especially that line “Christmas comes this time each year”. Really? Thanks for clearing that up for me, I thought it Christmas came at another time each year. 😛

    9 – “Santa Baby” originally by Eartha Kitt, more known today by Madonna
    I don’t mind the kitschy sound of it, but this song epitomizes everything that is wrong with the secular Christmas season.

    8 – “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
    So similar to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” that sometimes it takes me until the chorus to figure out which one I’m listening to.

    7 – “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by various artists “Band Aid”
    I think the song served its purpose in 1984, it’s time we put this one to rest boys.

    6 – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
    If you ever wanted to torture me, just make me listen to this song over and over again.

    5 – “Last Christmas” by Wham
    Like the lyrics aren’t bad enough, the 80s-style music drives the final nail in the coffin.

    4 – “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong
    Awful song for the sole purpose of trying to pull people’s emotional strings, and like the Disney Corporation, of course they have to off the little boy’s mother. Side note: look at all Disney cartoons starting from “Snow White” to “Aladdin” and count how many mothers are still alive in those movies. To be fair, I think the trend started to reverse from “The Lion King” on.

    3 – “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams
    Seriously, even if I’m not depressed around the holidays, this song makes me want to kill myself. It’s usually not the most wonderful time of the year. It’s cold, it’s stressful, and if you’re away from your loved ones or going through a bad time (health, money, etc.) it can really suck.

    2 – “A Wonderful Christmas Time” by Sir Paul McCartney
    This song alone is enough reason for Paul McCartney to not be my favorite Beatle. He should lose his knighthood and his status as “former Beatle” over this song. I have a hard time understanding how the same man who wrote “Live and Let Die” and “Let it Be” wrote this song.

    1 – “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
    Yes, two of the Beatles made the #1 and #2 spots on my list. This song embodies what I hate about the Baby Boomer generation… but that’s a rant for another day. =)

    • Ink

      Re: #4, the Christmas Shoes song: I heard it from a semi-reliable source (as in, someone who just sort of knows this kind of weird crap) that this particular song is based on a story from one of those tacky meant-to-make-you-cry chain emails. Which makes me hate it even more.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I used to work at a mall out in a calender kiosk and I was assaulted for weeks with Christmas music – most of which I hated deeply. I blush to admit it, but I really hate Oh Holy Night, mostly because most singers don’t sing it – they attack it. I really like Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” and I love “In the Bleak Midwinter”

    When it comes to secular Christmas songs, Nat King Cole’s version of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” is always wonderful, and I have a sneaking fondness for “Merry Christmas From the Family” by Robert Earl Keen.

    But honestly, I really don’t care for most Christmas carols.

  • I have friends who love Mary Did You Know, but like you I don’t care for it. I keep thinking as I hear the song “Yes, Mary probably did know about that, and that…and that too.”

  • I went nearly nuts when they sang that song at mass one time. I wanted to shout. Yes. She knew. Annunciation anyone? Hello?

  • Joshua Korf

    This may be timely.