These are the Worst Christmas Songs I've Ever Heard

It’s easy to have a holly, jolly Christmas when Mitch Miller and Bing Crosby are being pumped across the airwaves, accompanied by silver bells and crackling yule logs. However, the local radio station has been infected with sour holiday cheer, as some of the most atrocious Christmas songs ever recorded have graced the airwaves like a choir of off-key angels. If you need a good laugh—or if you need to avoid certain songs while making your Spotify playlist—you’ve come to the right place.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” as performed by John Mellencamp

This song begins with a slow guitar twang that suddenly morphs into something out of a Weird Al Yankovic number. It’s like someone said, “You know what Christmas needs? Uncomfortable amounts of stereotypical country music assets.” And then they made it. The music goes by at a dizzying pace that’s reminiscent of a Diddy Kong Racing third lap ditty. What’s more, the end of the song is laughable at best and atrocious at worst—a chorus of drunk children slur their way through the title lyrics, only to be cut off by a poorly-timed fade-out. It’s not easy to listen to, and yet every radio station in the area has been blasting it during the wee hours of the morning.

“Wonderful Christmas Time” as performed by Paul McCartney

I’m thoroughly convinced this song was written for the Star Wars Christmas special but was cut because it was too horrendous. It’s brave—I’ll give it that; the song tries to blend 80s synth stingers with sleigh bells and a little drummer boy. Unfortunately, the two blend about as well as water and oil. It’s a headache to listen to, especially with the overlapping layers of vocals by Paul McCartney. When he sings, “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time,” the synth player appears to fall asleep or have an aneurism at the keyboard. Seriously. It sounds like something that would fit better with a Christmas special parody than an actual radio station.

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” as performed by Tyler, the Creator

Honestly, I love this version. I think it’s so fun and honestly such a banger. But everyone else to whom I’ve shown the song has pulled a face and told me to turn it off. So sorry, Tyler, but you’ve made the naughty list. I have to ask, though, why people don’t like this version. Perhaps it’s the “bad banana” line that doesn’t sit quite right; perhaps the choir of children gives listeners a fright. Or maybe it’s Tyler, his rapping not strong; or maybe, just maybe, this version’s all wrong.

“Christmas Queen” as performed by RuPaul

Don’t get me wrong—I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and drag music as much as the next guy. But RuPaul, sweetie… after this song, I’m going to have to ask you to sashay away. It’s fun that RuPaul decided to put out a Christmas album, but this song makes absolutely no sense… like, at all. There are only so many ways to combine drag culture with Christmas, and I guess even RuPaul realized this one wasn’t a winner winner chicken dinner. Despite the rushed beat, most of the lines are delivered with about as much energy as someone who’s twelve eggnogs deep. In short, it’s no “Cover Girl.”

“Santa Baby” as performed by Michael Bublé

This is not a criticism of Michael Bublé’s talent—he’s a fantastic singer, reminiscent of Bing Crosby himself. So, why is this on the list? Because Michael only sings “Santa Baby” once. Every other reference to the title is changed to “Santa Buddy.” Which doesn’t fit the song, especially when it’s still got that slow, sultry, smoke-filled bar pace and instrumentation. This song is the equivalent of everyone’s favorite Vine: “Two bros chillin’ in a hot tub, five feet apart ‘cuz they’re not gay.” It’s okay to seduce Santa, Michael. We won’t judge.