The Best Worst Holiday Songs

Owen McArdle, Sentry Staff Reporter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: multicolored lights cast the neighborhood aglow, cozy fireplaces crackle as the temperature drops and holiday songs add the perfect ambiance to a cold December evening. Or, they make your ears bleed.

For every cheerful tune, there is an equal and opposite maddening melody. So without further adieu, here is the breakdown of the top three worst holiday songs. Of all time.

3: “A Holly Jolly Christmas”

Our bronze medal is awarded to “A Holly Jolly Christmas.This atrocity is gruffed, huffed and puffed by American singer and Santa Claus imposter Burl Ives. Ives may have a warm, grandfather-like voice. He may look like fat ol’ Santa himself. But his 1965 hit single is repetitive, uncreative and, frankly, annoying. 

The background singers squawking “have a holly, jolly Christmas” sound like an ear-piercing rendition of the Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Christmas song, pounding over and over in one’s head like a fire alarm. Perhaps the best part of this disgrace, dubbed a “holiday classic,” is that it is just over two minutes in length, putting the listener quickly out of their misery.

2: “Santa Baby”

Coming in as our runner-up finisher is “Santa Baby, the Eartha Kitt version. This song is… a little weird. It might just be me, but it sounds like Kitt is attempting to seduce good ol’ Santa into giving her everything she wants, including a yacht and a “54 convertible too, light blue.” She even says “Santa cutie” and begs him repeatedly to “hurry down the chimney tonight.” 

Kitt’s low, mischievous voice gives the song a very uncomfortable aura, especially when paired with the not-so-nice-list-worthy lyrics. What a pitiful excuse for a holiday song.

Honorable Mentions

Before we dive into the pits of hell for the worst holiday song of all eternity, here are some honorable mentions. Whether you would play the song at your funeral or rather attend a funeral than listen to the song, these melodies are divisive in the hearts of holiday music sympathizers across the nation.

 The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Reason: repetitive, repetitive, repetitive. Never changes key.

 “Little Drummer Boy.” Reason: mind-numbing repetition of an infuriating onomatopoeia. 

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Reason: repetitive, annoying.

“Alone on Christmas Day.” Reason: no holiday spirit, whiney.

1: “Baby it’s Cold Outside”

This one really shouldn’t take too much convincing. Our gold medalist is easily and decisively “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser. This song is riddled with gross, repetitive, creepy lyrics and never once cites any type of holiday. Styled as a duet, the lyrics involve a female trying to escape an overly friendly male host. Repeatedly, she says some version of “I really can’t stay,” but for the duration of the two-and-a-half-minute war crime, the male continues to give reasons why she cannot leave. At one point, the woman even cries “Say what’s in this drink?” And the man dodges the question with “No cabs to be had out there.” 

This is a “holiday song” that has long been ridiculed for its ‘overly-friendly’ nature. To me, sexual assault and creepy men don’t put off the light-hearted, warm holiday vibe that we all search for. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” is well-deserving of the number one spot as the best worst holiday song.