I love Christmas music. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas night, that’s pretty much all I listen to. There are songs that make me smile, some that make me feel nostalgic and tender, and a few that make me go, “Huh? What they’d just say?”
I recently read Vikki Claflin’s Laugh Lines post about country music lyrics, and it got me thinking about crazy Christmas song lyrics. Of course, there are the obvious contestants: Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk this Christmas and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, but what about the more traditional Christmas carols? What were those songwriters thinking? Here are just a few examples of lyrics that convey more than your typical joyful tidings.
Santa Baby by Joan Javits, Philip Springer, and Tony Springer: This song appears to be about the oldest profession, exchanging “affection” for material goods.
Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree for me. Been an awful good girl. Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight. Santa baby, a ’54 convertible too, light blue. I’ll wait up for you, dear. Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight. Think of all the fun I’ve missed. Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed. Next year I could be just as good, If you’ll check off my Christmas list.”
I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus by Thomas Patrick Conner: I see years of therapy in this boy’s future.
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!” The popular Jackson 5 version makes matters worse with this bridge: “I did, I really did see mommy kissing Santa Claus, and I’m gonna tell my dad…I did, I did, I really did see mommy kissing Santa Claus. You gotta believe me, you just gotta believe me. Come on, fellas, believe me, you just gotta believe me.”
Not all of the crazy lyrics are about loose morals, some of them are just plain scary.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie: This whole song is pretty much a threat, and in this day and age, would likely result in a restraining order against the Big Guy.
He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! You better watch out! You better not cry. Better not pout. I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town!”
We Wish You a Merry Christmas, author unknown: Here’s a song about someone showing up uninvited at your door, making demands, and refusing to leave until you comply. Can you say “robbery?” Does it make things better or worse, that they throw in some well wishes in the middle of their demands?
Now bring us some figgy pudding. Now bring us some figgy pudding. Now bring some out here. Good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here.”
Sweet Little Jesus Boy by Robert MacGimsey: This song may be the winner of the most troublesome Christmas song ever. I don’t even know what to say about this. “That’s how things are done?” Wow.
A long time ago you were born in a manger, Lord, sweet little Jesus Boy. Now the world treated you mean, Lord, and it’s been treatin’ me mean too, but that’s how things are done now, yeah. We didn’t know it was you.”
And on that note, I wish you all happy holidays—and you don’t even have to give me any figgy pudding!
- What is your favorite Christmas song?
- What is the strangest Christmas song lyric you know?
Christie is an author and professional communicator who blogs about life transitions, wellness, mindfulness, and anything else that answers the question “So what? Now what?”