It’s time we review Christmas music that gets way overplayed.
I love Christmas music. I love a lot of it. There’s a lot I also don’t care for. I do think there is more good Christmas music than bad. I finally realized it’s not so much there’s bad Christmas music, it’s the frequency that many of the same songs are played over and over again. With so many great Christmas songs out there why does it seem the same ones get played over and over again? I thought I would take a look at all of these dynamics, as I see them. I would love to conduct an official study one day over all of this. I realize being my opinion there’s likely to be mixed reviews and objections to my thoughts on Christmas music. That’s fine. I’d love to hear your thoughts. One thing I’ve learned when discussing Christmas music is there’s a lot of opinions and a lot of passion to it. With that in mind all of this is just for fun.
Let’s start with Marey Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”. This song likely now gets more airplay than Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”. Let me start by saying it’s a very good song. My issue with it — it’s played all the time! There is a 25% chance that if you turn on your radio to your local station playing Christmas music right now you’ll hear this song. This has been a running joke of mine on my Facebook page for several years. This year on Facebook and Twitter I did a #MariahFreeChristmas with a daily post of a Christmas song I would like to hear over “All I Want”. If I get in my car…there is Mariah. If I turn on the radio at work there is Mariah. If I fire up some streaming Christmas music…there is Mariah. It seems to me this song is played at least twice per hour on the radio. I get it, there’s been some studies done on this song that suggests scientifically our minds love it because of something to do with the chords and melody involved. Fine. But it’s not the only good Christmas song! It seems to me we could back off the Mariah Carey and let a few other good ones get their day in the snow.
Here’s 15 thoughts I have on Christmas music including overplayed songs.
- Country Christmas Music isn’t all that good. I’m a huge country music fan. But when it comes to country Christmas music, there isn’t much I like. I’m not sure why that is. Country Christmas music is the home of blah to mediocre ranged Christmas music.
- Christian Christmas Music could be better. I’m a huge fan of Christian rock and contemporary music. I have sort of the same feeling though with Christian music as I do country Christmas music. However, unlike country Christmas music I think there’s plenty of GREAT Christian Christmas music.
- Wham! “Last Christmas” gets played enough as it is. (Why is this? It routinely shows up on most hated/annoying Christmas music lists) We don’t need any more covers of this song! In addition to hearing Wham! on repeat, we now get to hear Taylor Swift’s version repeated over and over again. There’s plenty of other covers as well. Enough!
- Accuradio has the best online Christmas music set up. Accuradio is a little known free streaming service. It’s not popular like Pandora, iHeart, Amazon Music, Apple Music, or Spotify. Accuradio provides a unique set up much different than all the rest. It seems like there are fewer commercials, you’re able to have more ratings/skips than the others, and the holiday preset stations are amazing. Jazz, kids, country, rock, instrumental, oldies, Celtic, Brazilian, oldies, standards, Gospel, indie, old-fashioned, Broadway Christmas, listener top 100, and the list goes on. On top of all of this, they feature channels dedicated to certain songs with 100’s of versions of that song. The O Channel, for example, features “O Holy Night”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and “O Tannenbaum”. Other song specific mixes include “Let It Snow”, “Chestnuts Roasting”, “Blue Christmas”, “Joy To The World”, and several others. Check out Accuradio!
- All versions of “Santa Baby” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” are horrible. Both of these songs are just creepy to being with. I could do without hearing any version of these ever again.
- “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is as creepy as the two mentioned above. I’m sort of surprised this song is still played as frequently as it is with the entire #MeToo attention and sexual harassment scandals going on. Could we just stop sexualizing Christmas, to begin with? These three songs are awful.
- In general traditional and classics are the best and still deserve plenty of airtime. Give me Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Ray Conniff Singers, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Vince Guaraldi Trio, and Gene Autry anytime over anything else.
- Why does anyone enjoy sad depressing Christmas music? Here are the songs I am talking about. Where Are You Christmas (Faith Hill), Christmas Shoes (nice message, but depressing and I’m not buying the story), Grown Up Christmas List, Same Old Lang Syne (Dan Fogelberg), Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Merry Christmas Darling (The Carpenters), Please Come Home for Christmas, and there are a dozen others. I don’t understand the love for any of these songs.
- Angela Lansbury’s “We Need A Little Christmas” is nails on a chalkboard to me.
- “Feliz Navidad” can’t possibly be the only catchy Christmas song in Spanish.
- If you like Stevie Nicks version of “Silent Night” I don’t think you know the difference between singing and a goat crying. I understand the love for Stevie Nicks. I don’t understand the love for this song. It’s terrible. She sounds like a goat. Here’s a challenge for you. Line up both of these and listen to them side by side at the same time. I’ve pointed this out before on Youtube and I’m lucky to be alive. We’re all just going to have to disagree here. I like artists who don’t sound like goats.
Stevie Nicks Silent Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFxxQnhT5XQ
Goats singing Silent Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9_YXGVmco4
12. The most underplayed artists with Christmas music right now are for King and Country and Lauren Daigle. Their Christmas albums are amazing. Their live performances of their Christmas music are impressive and among the best shows, I’ve seen in general.
Tell me these aren’t awesome!
fK&C Little Drummer Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l1CS0Jhk90
Lauren Daigle O Come All Ye Faithful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZn59OrLNYU
13. Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra are still awesome. I would love to hear more great Christmas rock music. I would love to hear more instrumental Christmas music. I would love to hear more instrumental rock Christmas music. Someone step up and fill this void. We need more stuff like this. Piano Guys, not really rock, but are amazing, I put them in this category. Give me more please!
14. Who is deciding what gets played the most on the radio? Put a little effort into your playlist! Everyone in charge is mailing this in. You’re failing!
15. 20 some songs dominate Christmas radio. Some of these are fine they are just played way too much, and some just don’t make any sense as they are annoying. Here are some of the repeat offenders. Again, some of these aren’t bad, they’re just way overplayed. (I like some of these!) You will hear these songs today if you’re listening to Christmas music (whether streaming or on radio), and likely you’ll hear them more than once.
Mariah Carey of course.
“Last Christmas” by Wham!
“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
“Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jackson Five
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love
“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt, the Madonna version is especially bad.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas Time” by Band Aid
“Merry Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin
“Grown Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant
“Where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill
“Winter Wonderland” by Johnny Mathis
“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
“Christmas Canon” by Trans Siberian Orchestra
“Run, Run, Rudolph” by Chuck Berry
“Santa Claus is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen
“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry
“Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
“Carol of the Bells” by David Foster (instrumental)