Guys, I have a confession to make. I am the worst kind of person. I’m…
A person who listens to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.
Yes, my parents regularly ask themselves where they went wrong and I have to sit by myself at lunch because I am an unfit member of society, but the sad reality is that once November starts and I have a chestnut praline latte in hand, I just want to start Jingle Bell Rockin around the Christmas Tree while Rudolph is Run Running and the chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.
But then I just throw them away because roasted chestnuts are nasty.
While I love most of the classic (and new!) Christmas songs, that doesn’t mean that I don’t notice when they say something somewhat weird or shady. So for your reading pleasure, I’ve documented some of the lyrics from Christmas songs that have made me pause and ask myself, “Wait, did I hear that right?”
And no, this isn’t an entire article about creepy lines in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Nuttin’ for Christmas
By Art Mooney & Barry Gordon
So this song in its entirety is (adorably) WTF. I’ve always loved how the singer’s complaint is that he’s not getting presents this year because someone snitched on him. It couldn’t possibly be the bad things he did, it must’ve been because someone snitched! One lyric in particular has always made me both LOL and WTF:
“…[I] filled that sugar bowl with ants…”
While the song references several things that the little boy has done this year that have gotten him into trouble — CORRECTION: those snitches got him into trouble, and you know what they say about snitches — but in the above line, he’s clearly speaking about a specific sugar bowl. He didn’t fill a sugar bowl with ants, he filled that sugar bowl with ants.
In my mind, I always see him pointing to the sugar bowl in question. “That sugar bowl right there! I filled it with ants! And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if not for those meddling snitches!”
While we’re on this song, I also had to give an honorable mention to:
“I broke my bat on Johnny’s head.”
Because…wow. That’s some next level misbehaving. Not only did the kid beam Johnny in the head with a bat, but he also hit Johnny so hard that the bat broke? No wonder mommy and daddy are mad. This kid is treating the playground like an episode of The Sopranos.
12 Days of Christmas
By Straight No Chaser
If you want a quirky and cute Christmas mashup, this song is bound to make your (holi)day. In traditional a capella fashion, Straight No Chaser takes this normally long and drawn-out song and makes it new by mixing a bunch of songs together. Very funny. Super delightful. Highly Recommend.
There is one line in the song that always gives me pause, however:
“Eight maids-a-milking, they were milking just for me.”
…actually, on second thought, I’m not touching that one…
Up on the Housetop
By Gene Autry
So this song has a couple of WTF lyrics for me, both within the same verse. Way to double down, Gene.
“Oh just see what a glorious fill.”
I’m not even sure how to respond to this one…
So if you’re me and your mind is so off that it’s not even in the gutter anymore but actually in the sewer where it has made friends with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and has pizza with them every Thursday, your instinct would be to take this filth off the radio.
But beyond the innuendo that my perpetually-pizza-muddled brain made, I’m just confused about this line in general. Like, you couldn’t come up with something better? Was this a rush job? Was the writer being distracted by something? Or did he just give up on the lyrics and go have a sandwich? It’s not like we have a lack of words that rhyme with “Will” (the last word of the previous line) in the English language.
What about: “Hanging by the fire on the mantle sill” or “Santa fills his stocking while the house is still” or “Let’s hope this year he hasn’t been a pill”?
And those are, like, just off the top of my head.
The other line that concerns me is when we hear about what little Will is getting for Christmas:
“…a whistle and a ball and a whip that cracks.”
Skipping over the fact that this kid is getting a hammer and lots of tacks (which I can kinda get), he’s also getting…a whip?
But…why? From my experience, whips are used for more…adult things. Or for Halloween costumes when people (as in adults who know not to hurt other people with whips) dress up as Indiana Jones. This is almost as bad as giving him a fedora.
Even if we’re ignoring how inappropriate the gift is, what is little Will going to do with a whip besides torment little Nell, who now has a baby doll that wets itself, so she already has her hands full.
Oh wait, wrong song. Either way, there’s no way that little Nell has been naughty enough for a whipping if Santa filled her stocking well…
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
By Burl Ives
Okay, so I had to add this one because years ago my dad pointed out a line from this song that has forever changed the way we look at it (and sing it):
“I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer.”
My dad to me: “Did he just say that he doesn’t know if it’ll snow, but let’s get our drink on?”
And in what is considered to be typical dad fashion, he sings the song with his own lyrics every time. You have to admit, it does seem a bit odd. Like the singer is just hunting around for a reason to get sloshed.
Clearly, the tree isn’t the only thing getting lit in this song, amirite?
Are there any Christmas lyrics that make you WTF? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!