The Five Most Overplayed Christmas Songs That I’m Just Sick Of!

most overplayed Christmas songs

There’s two radio stations by me that have been playing 24 hour-a-day Christmas music. They’ve been treating their listeners to round-the-clock Christmas music since Thanksgiving. So all around the sounds of Christmas carols fill the airwaves up to December 25th.

For some strange reason these stations apparently stop playing their Christmas music on Christmas night. I never understood that. I figure if you’ve been playing this stuff for the last month what’s the sudden rush to stop it? You might as well play it right up until New Years. At least you can play it into the 26th!

Maybe they figure everyone is done and sick with all the Christmas celebrating by the evening of the 25th around 6PM-ish so they might as well put a fork in the holiday season and get back to normal programming.

One thing I’ve always encountered with tuning into both these stations is that I consistently hear the same songs again and again. And I don’t mean I hear numerous different versions of Jingle Bells – that I would welcome. But I always seem to hear the same exact Christmas songs and artists.

Maybe it’s my dumb timing and coincidence, but when this happens I start to suspect these stations have an extremely limited Christmas playlist that doesn’t allow them to keep a variety of Christmas music going for more than a few hours, let alone the entire Christmas season. Unless they’re just too lazy to sift through their pile of Christmas songs and keep picking the same ones on top.

I understand about radio drive time, that radio listeners are usually tuning in for a fifteen minute listening window and the station wants to air familiar and popular songs to keep listeners engaged, but come on mix things up a little bit!

It’s always the same group of songs – Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys, White Christmas by Bing Crosby. Mariah Carey, Andy Williams, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Amy Grant, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, now Michael Bublé is big on the rotation, on and on. I’m not saying I don’t like all them. A lot of their songs are some of the best, most famous and beloved versions of these Christmas tunes, but they’re not the only ones out there. If you’re going to do 24-hours-a-day of Christmas music for an entire month – change it up a little bit! Get dangerous.

I had to program a Christmas playlist for work for everyone to listen to. Admittedly, there’s different versions of some of the most popular Christmas songs in it, but they’re all by different artists and at the moment the playlist runs for sixteen hours. There’s some obscure oddball songs that most people have never heard of before (and probably would never want to hear again), but they are Christmas songs! Not one person has told me they’re sick of hearing the same songs again and again. Maybe they’re being polite, but I very much doubt that.

Christmas Disco songs

If you really start looking into it there are hours upon hours of Christmas songs that never get any airplay. In the 1950’s Christmas tunes got the ‘rock’ treatment. There’s every conceivable combination you can think of! Everything during Christmas got rocked, bopped and hopped – ‘North Pole Rock’, ‘Snowman Rock’, ‘Chimney Top Twist’. Some of those songs are pretty ridiculous.

Every kind of genre of music has tackled Christmas songs. Swing, R&B, rock and roll, novelty, folk, jazz, sing-alongs, raggae, country, techno, easy listening, classical, there’s really no shortage of choices. So why don’t I ever hear disco Jingle Bells anywhere?

Ok, so maybe not all of it is everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not saying they’re all great and I can see why radio stations might not be interested in playing them, but what the heck you have an entire month of Christmas music you have to fill!

If I had a month worth of Christmas music to program I’d throw a few offbeat ones in just for varieties sake. My ratings might plummet and I might get a mountain of complaints, but all the music I’d play would fall under the category of ‘Christmas Music’. Let’s surprise listeners and if they say after hearing ‘Outer Space Santa’, “Gee, that song was really weird” then so be it. It was just two and half minutes and now we can go back to a Christmas song you’ve heard thousands of times before in your lifetime.

So keeping with this Scrooge-like complaining I now offer up my top five Christmas songs I am absolutely sick of hearing and think they are the most overplayed.

  1. Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCarthy. I never liked this song and still don’t. Everytime I hear those opening electronic warbles or whatever they are I cringe. I always thought of this song as a Jack-in-a-box tune. It’s just so damn repetitive with that chorus it plays like I’m monotonously winding a crank. They play this song way too much!
Christmas songs annoying overplayed sick of
  1. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town by Bruce Springsteen. Horrible. I think I would prefer any version of this song over The Boss’ grunting rendition. Even hearing it sung by a pack of out of tune kids in a school play would be better than this growling version. This one too gets way too much airplay than it deserves. I think that’s only due to it being Springsteen singing it and not because it’s any good.
  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey. This tune has become such a standard on the radio during the holidays and it feels like I hear it every fifteen minutes. Never cared for Mariah, in fact I don’t think I could name one other song of hers. But this friggin’ one is burned into my brain.
  1. Last Christmas by Wham. First few times I heard this I thought it was an alright tune. But then I heard it again and again and again. Now it’s become a holiday staple and I’ve reached the point I immediately turn it off when I feel its presence approaching.
  1. The Peanuts Theme by Vince Guaraldi. This might sound like a strange one, it could just be something the radio stations I listen to are doing or maybe this is a worldwide offense, I’m not sure. but I have a major pet peeve about it. How and when did the Peanuts theme become a Christmas song? Who decided this and why? I’ve accepted them making ‘My Favorite Things’ a Christmas song. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but at least it mentions the words ‘winter’ and ‘mittens’ in it. But the Peanuts theme??? Already this past month I’ve heard this recognizable piano tune pop up more times than I care to count.

I suspect it’s holiday placement in the music rotation is because it’s featured in the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

But it’s played in every Peanuts cartoon isn’t it? A more appropriate song from the television special to play would be ‘Christmas Time Is Here’, but I never hear that one, it’s always the old regular Peanuts theme song.

When I hear it start to play on this Christmas marathon of music I usually say, “Ooops someone put in the wrong tape!” or “Oh goody they’re now playing cartoon music, I hope they play the Looney Tunes theme next!”.

 

Wish they’d play this song. Still one of my favorite Christmas songs. And the video is funny too!

 

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5 Responses

  1. Capt. Nemo says:

    Good List. And thanks for introducing that Weird Al song. I never heard it before.

    Oddly enough. The song I have a low tolerance for (and yet still can't get away from) is also a spoof. It's the Porky Pig rendition of "Blue Christmas." It was recorded on a lark at a radio station in North Carolina and somehow became a pre-internet viral sensation.

    I thought it was cute at first. But when you hear song over and over, you tend to pick out rhythms and beats that help you groove to the music. The combo of porky's speech impediment and the cackling of the DJ in the background just ruins it for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg7HvF3a_Iw

  2. Nick_H says:

    It was said that John Lennon's return to the recording studio was because he felt he had to out-do Paul McCartney's "Coming Up", I somehow think that McCartney doing "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time" was a reverse challenge to see if Paul could do a worse song than "Merry Christmas (War Is Over)".

  3. Anonymous says:

    For me Christmas songs are the most annoying of them all. Firstly they were so depressing; sorry Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole could be classics to many, but White Christmas and The Christmas Song are some of the most depressing songs I’ve ever heard, especially the latter with its closing ‘Jingle Bells’ melody just makes you want to reach out for the whisky bottle. Even Steven Spielberg, who used the song effectivley in Catch Me If You Can, used it in a depressing scene when Frank (Di Caprio) escapes from a plane and runs home to find his mother has moved on, remarried and is a mother to a baby girl.

    Sure Christmas songs have gotten a hell of a lot jollier as time went on, but to listen to them in a loop just drives you insane. Living in the UK, you know Christmas is coming when adverts featuring the narsasstic singing vampire, better known as Cliff Richard, are advertising his compilation albums. Seriously the guy is pushing 80 and he still thinks in his twenties, and Christmas is the time when he ‘comes out of his coffin’ to cheer up lonely old women and wreck annoyance on the rest of us. Say what you want on Michael Buble but at least the guy is acutally of age.

    However one song that you cannot escape from during this season is Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. Now I don’t know if you know this song, but youtube it play it on a loop twenty odd times and revel in the most annoying song EVER!!! Shop in London and this song is all over the place with more shop workers walking around like zombies. Seriously youtube the song, and don’t blame me when you accidently destroy your screen and speaker set up.

  4. spaceodds says:

    For me Christmas songs are the most annoying of them all. Firstly they were so depressing; sorry Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole could be classics to many, but White Christmas and The Christmas Song are some of the most depressing songs I’ve ever heard, especially the latter with its closing ‘Jingle Bells’ melody just makes you want to reach out for the whisky bottle. Even Steven Spielberg, who used the song effectivley in Catch Me If You Can, used it in a depressing scene when Frank (Di Caprio) escapes from a plane and runs home to find his mother has moved on, remarried and is a mother to a baby girl.

    Sure Christmas songs have gotten a hell of a lot jollier as time went on, but to listen to them in a loop just drives you insane. Living in the UK, you know Christmas is coming when adverts featuring the narsasstic singing vampire, better known as Cliff Richard, are advertising his compilation albums. Seriously the guy is pushing 80 and he still thinks in his twenties, and Christmas is the time when he ‘comes out of his coffin’ to cheer up lonely old women and wreck annoyance on the rest of us. Say what you want on Michael Buble but at least the guy is acutally of age.

    However one song that you cannot escape from during this season is Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. Now I don’t know if you know this song, but youtube it play it on a loop twenty odd times and revel in the most annoying song EVER!!! Shop in London and this song is all over the place with more shop workers walking around like zombies. Seriously youtube the song, and don’t blame me when you accidently destroy your screen and speaker set up.

  5. Buizel says:

    I agree with you about some places playing Christmas songs prior to Thanksgiving. It’s just isn’t right and it feels like Thanksgiving is overlooked. However, I have to disagree on one of the songs that “you’re sick of hearing” because I love Wham!’s Last Christmas. It’s my favorite Christmas tune and I can never get tired of hearing it!

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