Ranking the Sorrow of Christmas

Alright folks, it’s time to talk sad Christmas songs. There are a lot of them out there, some sadder than others. I figured I’d do you all a favor and put together a list. Not a tops list, because really, you should probably just avoid all of these and focus on the happy Christmas songs. But, if you must get morose this holiday season, here’s what I think you need to know about some of the most famous sad holiday songs.

I’ve included, in addition to my comments, what I feel is the best sad lyric of the song, as well as rated each song using my special Christmas Depression Rating Scale (CDRS, patent pending). 

Please note, that I did not take into account the sadness of the video, if a song had one. I did listen to each of these on You Tube while writing the reviews, but did not watch the accompanying video. I could do an entire other post on how depressing that shit can be. I will, however, recommend the video for Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters because it’s just downright hysterically bad.

Now, without further ado, and in no particular order, my review of sad Christmas songs!

River – Joni Mitchell
While I have heard this song on Christmas stations, and in Christmas movies, I don’t think it has quite enough Christmas to it. It’s a ridiculously sad song, but then again if you’ve heard anything from Joni Mitchell you know that 90% of it makes you want to climb into the tub and slit your wrists…or at least take a few pills and sleep for 3 days.

Joni even makes Christmas trees sound miserable (They’re cutting down trees) – no decorating them, no mention of hot cocoa and families – all she sees is people all around her murdering evergreens. To top it all off, it doesn’t even snow where she is, so why would a river even be frozen?

Best Sad Lyric: It's coming on Christmas / They're cutting down trees / They're putting up reindeer / And singing songs of joy and peace

CDRS Rating: 2 percosets and a glass of eggnog

Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
The crappy kids singing in original kind of ruins it as a good song, but covers have kind of fixed that fuck up on the original. While the song has some hope for next year, this year was pretty shitty. Our narrator even gets all accusatory on is – So this is Christmas, and what have YOU done? You useless lump.

Best Sad Lyric: And so this is Christmas / For weak and for strong / For rich and the poor ones / The world is so wrong

CDRS Rating: 4 nude Yoko Onos wearing sleigh bells

Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells will be Ringing) – Charles Brown (best known version – The Eagles)
My baby’s gone, I have no friends. I might as well just kill myself.

Not only do we get a Christmas feel from the music, we get a blues feel as well – so right off the bat you know exactly what you’re in for.

Unlike most sad Christmas songs that focus on only not being with your love on Christmas, the narrator in this song doesn’t even have friends (or logs by the fire, like our narrator in the Carpenter’s song) to help him out.

Best Sad Lyric: Bells will be ringing, the glad, glad news / Oh, what a Christmas, to have the blues / My baby's gone / I have no friends / To wish me greetings, once again

CDRS Rating: 7 diabetic BB Kings surrounded by Christmas cookies

Someday at Christmas – Stevie Wonder (more recently covered by Pearl Jam and Jack Johnson)
Oh, Christmas church bells, this will be a happy song. Oh wait, what? Bombs? Men aren’t free? Damn.

Well someday there won’t be war, that’s uplifting. So we have something to look forward to…I guess.

So what you’re saying is that someday life will be good, but not now. Screw my review, where’s the whiskey? This shit’s got me down.

Best Sad Lyric: Someday all our dreams will come to be / Someday in a world where men are free / Maybe not in time for you and me / But someday at Christmastime

CDRS Rating: 8 broken Tiny Tim crutches

Blue Christmas – Elvis
Yet again, someone is sad and lonely on Christmas.

For some reason, I can’t take this song too seriously. Maybe it’s Elvis. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s not only having a blue Christmas, everything he sees is blue. Maybe he’s down because he’s got problem with his vision? If my Christmas tree was blue, I’d be pretty damn bummed myself. Blue snowflakes? Maybe he’s taken too much Viagra, I hear that shit can turn your vision blue.

Best Sad Lyric: Youll be doin all right, with your christmas of white / But I'll have a blue, blue christmas

CDRS Rating:  2 blue pills and no one to share them with

I’ll be Home for Christmas – Bing Crosby
Sounds great at first…until you realize it’s probably only gonna happen IN YOUR DREAMS.

I would have more to say about this song, but it only has 2 verses, and everyone pretty much knows them already.

Best Sad Lyric: I'll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams

CDRS Rating:  3 melting snowmen

Christmas Lights – Coldplay
We start out with the sounds of a sad piano – is this Brick? Oh no, there’s Chris. Nailed the Christmas-style while still sounding like Coldplay – maybe too much so for a Christmas song.

I think this song falls under the category as River – while it takes place on/around Christmas, the song itself focuses more on other things – Sure, it starts off Christmasy, and toward the end we get into the Christmas Lights part of the song, but by then the middle of the song had me forgetting that I was actually listening to Christmas music.

Best Sad Lyric: When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall, doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all.

CDRS Rating:  A dead partridge in a pear tree

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
This one sounds downright sad as soon as it starts. Then we get to some lyrics and ah, booze and Christmas, now we’re talking. And now, we’re drunk, Irish, and it’s Christmas? Triple threat, this song is.

But in the end, it’s a little to epic sounding to make me sad though…maybe I need another drink first?

Best Sad Lyric: You scumbag you maggot / You cheap lousy faggot / Happy Christmas your arse I pray god it´s our last.

CDRS Rating:  3 drunk-tank Santas

Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters
Once again – lovers are apart on Christmas. But this time, our narrator isn’t quite so desperate. Yes, she’d love it if her man were with her, but she’s still enjoying her Christmas. Besides, logs on the fire fill her with desire, so it sounds like she’ll be able to manage on her own.

Best Sad Lyric: Merry Christmas darling / We're apart that's true / But I can dream and in my dreams / I'm Christmas-ing with you

CDRS Rating:  10,000 burnt out twinkle lights

Christmas (baby please come home) – Darlene Love
This one is somewhat upbeat musically for a sad song about…you guessed it, lovers separated at Christmas. 

The desperation we get in Darlene Love’s voice, her pleading for her man to come home, should make us sad, but to me, it just makes me wonder if maybe he left for a reason.

Best Sad Lyric: There singing deck the halls / But it's not like Christmas at all / Cuz I remember when you were here / And all the fun we had last year

CDRS Rating:  2 broken leg lamps

And there you have it, my reviews and ratings of sad, sad, Christmas.

What’s that you say? I didn’t review “the saddest Christmas song ever!” No, I did not review Christmas Shoes. I refuse to listen to that song or dedicate any space to it on this blog. It is probably the worst Christmas song ever, if not the worst song ever. If we ignore it, maybe someday at Christmas we’ll live in a world where men are free from that crap.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 9, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.