Back in 2001, we ran a series of Good/Bad/Ugly ratings of Tacky Christmas Songs,
More Tacky Christmas Songs, and
Even More Tacky Christmas Songs. One might think that we had covered all the tacky Christmas songs ever written. But there are simply so very many Christmas songs, and so many of them are so very tacky. Even with this fourth edition of G/B/U rating of tacky Christmas songs, there will still be plenty of fodder left for next December.
"I am Santa Claus" by Bob Rivers: What do
you get when you mix Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" with a dash
of "Jingle Bells" and make it about Santa Claus? Why, you get
the most demented Christmas song ever recorded. With lyrics like "So
many kids out there, Santa must be a billionaire" and "How much
does he weigh, how do the reindeer pull his sleigh?" it's almost
over the top, without being quite so far gone as some of Weird Al's Christmas
songs. The music is so spot-on that you'd easily be convinced that this
was actually recorded by Ozzy and company. Mercifully, it wasn't, but
it's Good enough that it could have been.
"Takin' Care of Christmas" by Randy Bachman:
It's not just the Beach Boys who resort to self plagiarism for a quick
seasonal tune. No, Randy Bachman did a far more blatant job of that with
this little number. It's almost scary how easy this switch is, just change
every instance of business to Christmas and you're halfway
there. Frankly, I'm not sure if anyone has ever recorded a worse song,
and when you realize that this is by not just a talented musician, but
a Canadian Rock icon, it's really, really ridiculously Ugly.
"Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen:
Christmas bells, those Christmas bells, ringing through the land. Bringing
peace to all the world, and goodwill to men. People don't write songs about comic book characters much anymore, at least not comic book characters who aren't Superman. Okay, perhaps no one ever actually wrote any songs about Hagar the Horrible or Cathy, but let's ignore that. Here we have a christmas song about Snoopy in a dogfight with the Red Baron, featuring detailed narrative verses and a downright festive chorus. It's the sort of song that would never be released today. Which is a pity, because as musically weak as this song might be, it's very enjoyable and actually pretty Good.
"Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt: If 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire' is "The Christmas Song," then this might as well be called "The Materialism Song." It's one thing to ask Santa for an aquatic mammal or incisors for christmas, but Eartha Kitt wants vehicles, real estate, and luxury goods. Also, the song gives the impression that she might have a romantic interest in Santa. She even asks for a ring. That's all kinds of messed up and generally Bad.
"The Night Santa Went Crazy" by Weird Al Yankovic: Love 'em or hate 'em, many of the songs in our parade of Christmas tackiness are considered Christmas classics. Not so this little number. Weird Al is best known for his parodies, but his original material is far more, well, twisted is probably the best way to describe it. This song opens up with very much a seasonal sound, describing a stereotypical North Pole scene, at least until an intoxicated Santa arrives decked out "like a big fat drunk disgruntled yuletide Rambo."
I'm somewhat torn on the rating on this song. On the one hand, it's hard to give a favourable rating to the only Christmas song I've ever heard which features the terms "body count" and "flamethrower." But on the other hand, it's so demented while still retaining a seasonal sound. This might be cause for letters, but I'm calling it Good.