. . . and that’s a damn shame.
For the last 15 years or so, I have considered “Santa’s Beard” by the Beach Boys to be the worst Christmas record of all time. I hate the way it modulates to a lower key, I hate the lyrics, and I hate the way Mike Love sings them.
The only good thing I can say is that it lasts only two minutes.
I have recently heard something worse: “Christmas Shoes for Mama”
by Kenny Chesney somebody. (See comments.) Click below if you dare, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Just listen; you can ignore the video.)
The song apparently dates back to 2002, from a TV movie called The Christmas Shoes. The first time I heard it, I listened to this tale of a poverty-stricken young boy whose mother is dying with an unfolding sense of horror, the way I might react if I were watching a traffic accident happen in slow motion before me. But just when I thought it couldn’t get any more maudlin, that’s when they cued the children’s choir to sing the refrain, and you know how we feel about children’s choirs around here. And by the time we hear a single young boy sing the last turgid lines: “And I know these shoes would make her smile/And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight”, the only thing going through my mind was this: Somebody’s going to meet Jesus tonight if this song doesn’t get the fuck off of my radio right now.
(And next I thought: shoes? Wouldn’t a nice pair of earrings or a new dress be better? Is Jesus like one of those corporate executives who makes hiring decisions based on footwear?)
I’d like to go back to the life I had before I knew about “Christmas Shoes for Mama,” but I can’t. I’m going to have to live the rest of my life with knowledge I cannot forget.
I won’t say that it sucks, however—because it would be unfair to everything else that sucks.
Coming tomorrow: A Christmas radio tale, with music you can use to hose out your ears—and your soul.