Monday, December 23, 2013

Worst Christmas Song Ever?

When the list of "worst Christmas songs" was released, there were several songs I expected to be on it. Paul McCartney's overly-sythesized Wonderful Christmas Time is one I'd expect. I also would expect John Lennon's Happy Xmas, with Yoko Ono wailing off key in the background, to be on the list. But that wouldn't be right, since the song is about world peace.

So when HLN flashed its own version of "worst Christmas songs" last week, listing Mariah Carey's overplayed All I Want for Christmas is You as one of the best, I was ready. I figured at least one of the two former Beatles would make the list. But neither song was mentioned. Instead, a song that always takes me directly back to adolescence flashed across the screen. Even the cluttered picture that was on the single's cover reminds me of Christmas 1984:


I remember trying to talk my mom into buying the single because it was, after all, for charity. You know, kids in Africa or something. Those were probably my exact words. For the record, some of the top artists in England (British music was huge worldwide at the time) recorded the song to raise money for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia.

All season, I've been turning up the radio every time Do They Know It's Christmas? comes on. I've been singing at the top of my lungs. I've been thinking it's the best. Christmas. Song. EVER.

Only to find out that not only does HLN think it's the worst Christmas song...the man who wrote the song and masterminded the whole event hates it, too. As he told London's Daily Mail, "I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history. One is Do They Know It's Christmas? and the other is We Are the World."

The problem with both songs, it appears, is that they are both overplayed and poorly written. At the time, nobody really cared that the song said "no rain nor rivers flow" in Africa...despite the fact that both exist in abundance. Nobody cared that the lyrics tended toward "hokey" throughout the song, with silly sentiments like: "Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime."

All I personally cared about was that Simon LeBon was on the record. I was 14. Just as my stepdaughter thinks the members of One Direction are blasting lyrical poetry to the world, I thought everything Simon LeBon did was magic. Oh...and there were some other great singers on the record, too, as I halfway noticed...