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What's The Worst Christmas Song Ever, And Why?

We consulted UNT’s Steve Wiest, the jazzman who directs the famed One O’Clock Lab Band, about the particulars of terrible tunes. Turns out, there is an explanation.

Too Much Repetition

On the reason some people loathe “The Little Drummer Boy": “The nature of that tune is very static, that’s a real repetitive tune so, if you don’t like repetition that one kind of doesn’t work. And when people actually sing the rum-pa-pum-pum, that thing, that can get old to some folks.”

Novelty Humor

“The dog barking Christmas songs, at some point it stops becoming a musical endeavor and that can get tiresome to me. It’s good for once or twice to laugh, and that’s about it."

A Dated Sound

On synthesizers: (Think Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime”): “I could listen to any of the Beatles talking about mowing their lawn and I’d love it, I love them that much. But that song has kind of a dated synthesizer sound that turns some folks off and it has a funny little groove, but I think that one’s kind of cool."


It doesn't take a degreed music expert to recognize the way too much of an arguably good thing can ruin it.  According to Carrolton shopper Esmeralda Pulido: “Feliz Navidad, they just play it over and over and over. It gets annoying!”

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.