Never mind the crowds and chaos of holiday shopping, what really starts to wear on people during the holidays is the overplaying of sappy Christmas songs; ask any shopper who has heard “Jingle Bells” sixteen times in one trip to the mall. But the reason these songs are played all the time, is ironically their popularity. So in honor of all those who don’t get to experience this phenomenon, we’ve put together our list of the most overplayed Christmas songs. Put them on a playlist and listen for sixteen hours straight to get the full effect.
1. “Jingle Bells” – Easily one of the most popular international Christmas songs, “Jingle Bells” can be heard echoing from New York to Beijing during the holiday season. But in the US, it reaches a fever pitch until all we can hear are those maddening bells. Funny fact – it originally came out as a song for Thanksgiving, but quickly became associated with Christmas.
2. “Santa Baby” – This tune was first sung by Eartha Kitt in 1953, but most people think of the Madonna version from the 1987 “Very Special Christmas” album. The lyrics are more risqué than the baby-doll vocals imply, featuring a gold digger who asks Santa for everything from jewelry to a duplex and this Material Girl is willing to do anything to get the big guy in red to deliver.
3. “The Christmas Song” – Alvin and the Chipmunks…need we say more? This little ditty was a big hit in 1958, offering a new holiday song for kids to enjoy. As anyone who’s ever heard the Chipmunks before knows…those whiny voices get old real fast.
4. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Beloved and overused, this classic from 1939 has spawned classic TV specials and countless renditions. “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you make the music stop tonight…” While you won’t hear it in many department stores, DMX’s impromptu rendition is pretty cool.
5. “Silent Night” – Beautiful song that stirs images of frosty winter nights and reminds us of the meaning of Christmas; it’s actually been declared an “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO. But even this classic gets old as it invades the ears of tired shoppers during the holiday season. The Hoff belting it out off his 2004 Christmas album (it was huge in Germany) is so bad, it’s good.
6. “White Christmas” – Bing Crosby’s version is the bestselling single of all-time, according to the Guinness people. So it’s highly likely you’ll be hearing Bing croon this carol in the mall. But it has been covered and recorded many times by everyone from John Denver to Iggy Pop. The Jingle Cats’ version is by far the weirdest though.
7. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” – Maybe the first couple of hundred times we heard this it was cute and funny. But that was 20 years ago; now we wish we’d be run over by a reindeer, preferably damaging our hearing.
8. “Heavy Metal Christmas” – Twisted Sister’s take on the “12 Days of Christmas” is a wild ride through the advent calendar as Dee and the gang put a metal spin on this tired tune. It may not be so overplayed, but it is the kind of song you only want to hear once. Favorite gift, “…an O-zzy ta-ttoo…”