Revisited: The worst Christmas song of all time

Yesterday, I listed what I thought were four of the five worst Christmas songs of all time. Today, we learn who the winner is and, of course, by “winner” I mean “loser.”

The perhaps unlikely recipient of this honor is “Do They Know It’s Christmastime?” by Band Aid. I will admit that this song had at least two positives going for it: (1) it was a genuinely catchy and inspiring arrangement, and (2) it single-handedly saved the African continent from the ravages of hunger. Those are pretty strong plusses, so you can imagine the kind of negatives it would take to offset all that good, and transport this effort to the status of worst Christmas song of all time.  

I know he’s already considered something of a “Gloomy Gus,” but consider what singer Morrissey had to say about the song. “I’m not afraid to say that I think … (Band Aid creator) Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. The record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it’s another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. It was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”    

Another critic suggested “the song presents a very bleak view of Africa, which the lyrics appear to refer to as a whole. Some of these, such as the suggestions (if read literally) that the continent has no rainfall or successful crops, have been seen as absurd by critics. The lyrics as patronizing, false and out of date.”    

Well, let’s take a look and see what we, and by “we” I mean “I”, think.    

 It’s Christmastime (for the half of the African continent that is Christian)
There’s no need to be afraid
(yes there is, if you’re living in many part of Africa)
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade (thank you, ‘80s British rockers)
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy (that’s your best idea?)
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime
(just not practical) 

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard when you’re having fun (please, don’t put yourself out)
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you (that just seems terribly selfish)
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime (Accuweather calls for humid)
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
(Oooh) Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow (except the Nile, Niger, Zambezi, Victoria Falls, etc.)
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all? (do these people have no calendars?)
(Here’s to you) raise a glass for everyone (we’ll have champagne; you drink the tears)
(Here’s to them) underneath that burning sun (thanks for that shade banishment)
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again (OK, OK, we heard you the first two times)
With only a few weeks left till Christmas, I think I can avoid radios, malls, medical offices, elevators, etc., long enough to avoid this song for the rest of the season. If you can’t hole up quite the way I plan, then all I can say is

thank God it’s you instead of me.   








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3 Responses to “Revisited: The worst Christmas song of all time”

  1. fakename2 Says:

    Okay, now that you put it that way, I have to agree with you, but I thought it was going to be very hard to top Paul McCartney. “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime” has all the hallmarks of a McCartney tune, namely, vapidness and insipidity. (Which are synonyms, if you get my point.) And all I can say is, yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.

  2. tychy Says:

    i think that a worthy candidate for the worst christmas song of all time is surely jona lewie’s “stop the cavalry,” which really makes my flesh creep. there’s something about its mixture of parping military bugles and oily-testicular bass singing which just makes me feel like something’s dancing on my grave.

  3. planetross Says:

    I don’t care what you say, Bandaid’s song is awesome!
    “We are the World” doesn’t really say too much more than what people in the rest of the world think people in the U.S. think of themselves anyway. ( that sounds bitterer than I thought)

    The Canadian version was done by Northern Lights:

    “Tears Are Not Enough”

    As every day goes by
    How can we close our eyes
    Until we open up our hearts

    We can learn to share
    And show how much we care
    Right from the moment that we start

    Seems like overnight
    We see the world in a different light
    Somehow our innocence is lost

    How can we look away
    ‘Cause every single day
    We’ve got to help at any cost

    We can bridge the distance
    Only we can make the difference
    Don’t ya know that tears are not enough

    If we can pull together
    We could change the world forever
    Heaven knows that tears are not enough

    It’s up to me and you
    To make the dream come true
    It’s time to take our message everywhere

    C’est l’amour qui nous rassemble
    D’ici ?l’autre bout du monde
    Let’s show them Canada still cares
    You know that we’ll be there

    If we should try together you and I
    Maybe we could understand the reasons why
    If we take a stand every woman, child and man
    We can make it work for God’s sake lend a hand

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