Which Christmas Carol Is Really a Krampus Carol?

 

We all have at least one Christmas song we truly despise. Some can’t stand “I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus” for bringing hints of adultery into the Yuletide Season. Others hate “Last Christmas” because it really makes no sense. (This year the protagonist is giving his or her heart to someone special? Surely this person thought last year’s heart recipient was special as well at the time.) I’ve never understood the hate for “Wonderful Christmastime” but surely anyone who had anything to do with the creation of “The Christmas Shoes” should only receive stocking coal for a lifetime.

The Christmas song I hate the most is one I hate for more personal reasons.

When I was in high school, my drama teacher told me I’d have to take chorus if I wanted a decent role in the school musical. This was not all bad. I found out that the beginning chorus class had 24 girls and only one other guy. So I rather enjoyed the class until Christmas came around.

Our class was to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” in the school’s holiday program. The girls were evenly divided into altos and sopranos. The guys were also evenly divided. Donald was the tenor and I was the bass. (Not to be mean, but I must say this about Donald’s vocalization skill. I could at least carry a tune in a bag. Whereas Donald, well, he had no bag.) Now the altos, sopranos, and Donald were to sing the lyrics of the song, telling the song’s story of a poor boy whose available gift for the newborn king was a percussion solo. (What mother of an infant wouldn’t want this rather than a silent night spent in heavenly peace.) The bass, me, was to be the drum, singing, “Prum, prum, prum, prum, prum, prum,” etc.

We were dressed as carolers and were to enter the cafeteria through the back door and march to the front of that room onto the stage. We had practiced the song for a long time in the choir room, but we had never practiced it while walking. Walking and singing, sadly, proved too much for our choir.

As we came through that back door, everyone was singing together and I was singing my “prums.” But as we walked toward the stage, singer after singer lost track of the notes or words and eventually both of these things. Donald was one of the first to go. We didn’t make it through the second verse. By the time we reached the stage, the only sound to be heard from the choir was my loud, repetitive, “PRUM, PRUM, PRUM, PRUM!”

On the stage, we started the song all over again. But the song was ruined for me to this day. Even the claymation special, one of the few about the real Christmas story, is not on my viewing list. This is not a song I want on my December playlist.

So how about you? Is there a Christmas song you hate? Please explain in elaborate detail why you despise it.

There are 57 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    It’s tough being a bass or playing a ground on, say, a cello.

    Did the choir director learn anything?

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Here is my hated one, mostly because of the second verse:

    Whiny little @#$%^. Your mother had it harder. Trust me.

    • #2
  3. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Eustace C. Scrubb: . Our class was to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” in the school’s holiday program.

    Our High School had a teacher that loved that song, and requested it every year. When it was finished, the Director told the audience of his request, and asked him to stand up and be recognized. I don’t remember doing it again the next year…

    • #3
  4. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I have hated “The Little Drummer Boy” since it first got major play in 1958.  I don’t have a good reason for hating it.  I just do.  My wife loves it, so I have to put up with it, which makes me hate it all the more. 

    • #4
  5. Paul Erickson Inactive
    Paul Erickson
    @PaulErickson

    At least your experience with “Little Drummer Boy” was just an unfortunate performance.  Done well, it is a charming song.  There is, however, no performance that can possibly salvage “Wonderful Christmas Time.”  It is deplorable and irredeemable.

    BTW, Mrs. E and her sister tell about a Christmas record they listened to as kids with “Little Drummer Boy” sung by a boy choir in a ridiculously high key.  Given audio recording quality circa 1964, they had trouble getting the words.  To this day they insist it is “Come, pay pootie, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum” and crack up whenever they hear it.

    • #5
  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    “Drummer Boy” hatred is what led to the 1970s most iconic (or bizarre) pairing: the Bing Crosby-David Bowie duet that aired after Bing’s death in 1977.

    When they suggested “Drummer” Bowie balked. He absolutely detested it. Ian Fraser, the musical director for Bing’s English shows, lyricist Larry Grossman and scriptwriter Buz Kohan retreated to a rehearsal room and knocked out a counterpoint melody, “Peace on Earth,” in about an hour. After another hour of rehearsal Bing and Bowie laid down the track.

    It took six years before the song could be released commercially but it became Bowie’s bestselling single of his career – which will happen when you team up with the king of the Christmas song.

    • #6
  7. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):
    There is, however, no performance that can possibly salvage “Wonderful Christmas Time.” It is deplorable and irredeemable.

    In the words of our Choir Director in High School: It smells, but it sells.

    • #7
  8. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    I liked Drummer Boy in high school, now not so much.  I find each Christmas, there is a different song I kind of hate.  This year it’s Run, Run, Rudolph.  I’ve been listening to the various Christmas song channels on Sirius and this year there are at least five different artists doing RRR.  I don’t like any of them.  

    Oh – and that stupid song from the early 50’s (which I had never heard until a couple of years ago) I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.  There are now at least three recent versions.  What the actual heck?

     

    • #8
  9. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    As some days may happen
    That a victim must be found
    I’ve got a little list
    I’ve got a little list
    Of Christmas-time offenders
    Who might well be underground
    And never would be missed
    They never would be missed

    http://ricochet.com/180179/archives/tis-the-season-christmas-carols-i-love-to-hate/

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I can’t really say I hate one particular Christmas song.  However, I’m not fond of the genre known as “Rock & Roll Christmas Music”.

    Which is weird, because I love rock and roll!

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I’m not a big fan of Silent Night. But that’s because it’s usually way too slow. Speed it up a little and it’s tolerable.   

    • #11
  12. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’m not a big fan of Silent Night. But that’s because it’s usually way too slow. Speed it up a little and it’s tolerable.

    “Sleep in heavenly peee-EEECE, slee-eep in heavenly peace.”

    • #12
  13. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Yesterday I heard a Christmas song I hadn’t heard of before, Belleau Wood.  It was released in 1997 by Garth Brooks.  It was pretty good.  It’s about the Christmas Eve cease fire during WWI.

    • #13
  14. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    • #14
  15. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    I’d differentiate between Christmas “carols” (songs of religious joy) and “songs” (any old ditty about Christmas).

    There are a lot of bad Christmas songs, but my number one is Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town by Bruce Springsteen. It’s not a song, it’s a 4-1/2 minute primal screech.

     

    • #15
  16. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    If you’re a songwriter Christmas is the way to go. Wyn Evans, the wife of lyricist Ray Evans, used to refer to “Silver Bells” as simply “the annuity.”

    • #16
  17. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Arahant

    It’s tough being a bass or playing a ground on, say, a cello. Did the choir director learn anything?

    It was my senior year, so I do not really know.

    • #17
  18. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    EJHill (View Comment):

    If you’re a songwriter Christmas is the way to go. Wyn Evans, the wife of lyricist Ray Evans, used to refer to “Silver Bells” as simply “the annuity.”

    Despite the fact that almost everyone seems to hate it, Paul McCartney reportedly earns half a million in royalties on Wonderful Christmastime.  Every.  Single.  Year.

    • #18
  19. Richard Finlay Inactive
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    “He sees you when you’re sleeping”

    “He knows when you’ve been bad”

    “You better watch out”

     

    See? Government really is Santa Claus.

    • #19
  20. Richard Finlay Inactive
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    Drummer Boy is a form of child abuse focused, as  always, on boys.  Music teachers in high schools everywhere impose the repetitive nonsense lyrics on the those least able to handle the boredom, just because — done properly — they will enjoy hearing it.  What other form of adult pleasure-seeking is allowed when it causes such harm to minors?

     

    Why yes, I did sing in the school choir, why do you ask?

    • #20
  21. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Eustace C. Scrubb: Some can’t stand “I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus” for bringing hints of adultery into the Yuletide Season

    No, Eustace, you missed the point.  Santa Claus is Daddy.  That’s the joke of the song.

    • #21
  22. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Doctor Robert

    Eustace C. Scrubb: Some can’t stand “I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus” for bringing hints of adultery into the Yuletide Season

    No, Eustace, you missed the point. Santa Claus is Daddy. That’s the joke of the song.

    Oh, I get it. But there still is the initial suspicion that Mom is kissing someone other than her husband.

    • #22
  23. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert

    Eustace C. Scrubb: Some can’t stand “I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus” for bringing hints of adultery into the Yuletide Season

    No, Eustace, you missed the point. Santa Claus is Daddy. That’s the joke of the song.

    Oh, I get it. But there still is the initial suspicion that Mom is kissing someone other than her husband.

    Well then they really wouldn’t like this version:

     

    • #23
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Well, I’ll hark back to a post years ago which asked for favorite Christmas songs/carols/hymns.

    I have two favorites: “Silent Night”, and “The Hallelujah Chorus”.

    I love “Silent Night” because its slow, solemn melody is like the birth of Christ: God becoming flesh and blood, but born in the most humble fashion.

    “The Hallelujah Chorus” is a majestic, triumphant song of the importance of Christ’s birth – nothing humble about it.

    Put another way, “The Hallelujah Chorus” is a royal celebration, “Silent Night” is a quiet reflection . . .

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Stad (View Comment):
    Put another way, “The Hallelujah Chorus” is a royal celebration, “Silent Night” is a quiet reflection . . .

    The silent parts of Silent Night are best.   

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    Put another way, “The Hallelujah Chorus” is a royal celebration, “Silent Night” is a quiet reflection . . .

    The silent parts of Silent Night are best.

    Let me guess:  Before it starts, and after it finishes.  Hehe . . .

    • #26
  27. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I hate “Twelve Days of Christmas” because it is sooo long and sooo repetitive.  There are a couple really dreadful ones sung by children that fortunately you don’t hear much these days; “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “I’m Gettin Nuttin for Christmas.”  Just wretched.  Oh yeah, and all of the songs from The Grinch.  Hey, thanks a lot for making me remember these songs, now I feel nauseated.  And yes, “Wonderful Christmastime” is horrid.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    all of the songs from The Grinch

    Oh, come on. Thurl Ravenscroft! Best voice ever. (He was also Tony the Tiger.)

    • #28
  29. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Hate to beg, but this post has been sitting here for days with 11 votes. If anyone wants to chip in the 12th, it would be appreciated. (Certainly a breach of Ricochet etiquette, but…)

    • #29
  30. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    Hate to beg, but this post has been sitting here for days with 11 votes. If anyone wants to chip in the 12th, it would be appreciated. (Certainly a breach of Ricochet etiquette, but…)

    Already did, but I’ll see what I can scare up for you.

    • #30

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