We’ve all sung Christmas carols for so many years that sometimes I think we no longer hear the lyrics. Let’s take a moment during this holiday season to examine a few favorite Christmas tunes a little more closely.
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
“He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town”
This entire song sounds like a threat. Santa sounds a little too obsessed with watching little kids. But what really makes this song disturbing is the fact that there’s an everpresent being watching children 24/7, and that if they screw up just once, then they don’t get to enjoy what is easily the most joyous season of the year in much of the world. If you don’t live by this weird, fat, bearded guy’s rules, you have nothing but coal, trauma, and social exclusion to look forward to during the holidays.
“Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I’ve been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight.
Santa baby, an out-of-space convertible too, light blue
I’ll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight…
Santa cutie, there’s one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.”
Eartha Kitt sang the original version of this song in 1953. It’s the sexiest Christmas song, but operates under the guise of what is basically a proposition for prostitution. You can almost picture a chick in hot pants approaching a red convertible with the words, “Come and trim my Christmas tree?” This song is about a gold digger. Literally! She asks for a freaking platinum mine!
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you ‘Be of good cheer’
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap- happiest season of all.
There’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago.”
Scary ghost stories? The only story I remember being traditionally repeated at the holidays is “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (better and erroneously known by it’s first line, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) and it’s not a very spooky tale. I also don’t remember the last time anyone told me “Be of good cheer.”
“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus”
“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.
She didn’t see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peek;
She thought I was tucked
Up in my bedroom fast asleep
Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white.
Oh, what a laugh it would have been,
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night!”
Merry Christmas, kid. Mommy is an adulterer. The Roman Catholic Church in Boston actually condemned this song when it was released. And what is wrong with this family dynamic that the kid is going to keep Mom’s secret from Dad without a second thought? “What a laugh,” he says? Is it funny to watch Dad freak out and beat the crap out of his slutty Mom?
“Walking in a Winter Wonderland”
“Later on, we’ll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we’ve made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.”
What exactly are we conspiring about that we must face unafraid? Are we dumping a body in a winter wonderland? The whole song is about covering up murderous and creepy secrets.