AceShowbiz - Now that Christmas is only a few days away, it's only natural for people to tune in to their own Christmas playlist and get into the festivities. While many of these holiday songs are fun bops, traditional ballads or merely repetitive ditties that you can't get out of your heads, some others have questionable lyrics that may not be fitted to be listened to in this era.
There are even some songs which make you raise eyebrows just by looking at the title alone, such as The Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" or the classic "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". However, do you know that there are also Christmas songs which may sound appropriate but actually have questionable content? Let's take a look at these songs!
For first-time listeners, "Fairytale of New York" may sound like the kind of song which talks about all the magical things that happen during Christmas. Little did they know, this classic has been drawing controversies over the years for its homophobic lyrics. Kirsty McColl, who joined forces with The Pogues on the track, could be heard singing, "You scumbag, you m****t, you cheap lousy f****t. Happy Christmas you arse, I pray God it's our last."
Shane McGowan, the frontman of the band, himself has addressed the controversy, insisting that the female singer never intended to offend anyone. He went on saying that he just tried to make her sound "evil and nasty." Shane said, "If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word but I don't want to get into argument."
If you think "Merry Christmas from the Family" is about a kid-friendly family gathering during the holiday, then think again. Released by Robert Earl Keen in 1994, the country Christmas song revolves around a fairly dysfunctional family whose Christmas celebration includes drinking alcohol, carving a turkey and smoking cigarette. Even Keen called the song the "Rocky Horror Picture Show of Christmas Song."
Despite its not-so-innocent lyrics, "Merry Christmas from the Family" actually received a lot of love from people to the point where Keen eventually released a sequel to the song titled "Happy Holidays Y'all". The singer additionally published a book based on the Christmas song in 2001.
Who Band Aid refers to in the title of their 1984 song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is probably the question most people have when they first see the title. But soon after they listen to the full version of the song, most of them are left outraged due to its lyrics. On the song, the band sings, "There's a world outside the window/ And it's world of dread and fear/ Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears/ Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you."
Even though the song was released to raise funds and awareness for various charities in Ethiopia, people call it out for its inaccurate depiction of Africa countries with some dubbing it racist. Bim Adewnumi of The Guardian also pointed out that the lyrics reflected a "popular narrative" that those in the west were the "benevolent elders, helping out poor Africans, mouths always needy and yawning."
Besides his popular "The Channukah Song", Adam Sandler actually had another song that he wrote for the holiday titled "The Christmas Song". Does it sound normal enough to you? It won't be anymore after you learn that the song actually found him singing about why he wouldn't receive a present from Santa Claus because he did a lot bad things such as attempting to drown his sister.
Debuting the song on "Saturday Night Live", the actor and comedian rhymed, "Santa won't be coming my house this year/ 'Cause I tried to drown my sister/ And I pierced my ear/ Oh mama made it perfectly clear Santa don't like bad boys/ Especially the Jewish ones." In the song, Adam also jokingly sang about how he set a guy's hair on fire and called Santa Claus "a big fat w****e."
Despite how innocent the title of the song may sound, "Jingle Bells" sparked debate over the internet after one professor deemed the popular Christmas carol racist. Kyna Hamil, a theater historian at Boston University, published a research paper outlining the racist origins of the beloved holiday ditty.
In her paper, she explained that James Pierpoint made the song after he continuously failed at other professional ventures. She suggested that he "capitalized on minstrel music" and used making fun of black people as a "safe ground" for his show. Thus, when he first performed the song in September 1857, he did it in blackface.
Don't be fooled when you see this song on streaming services. Although "Christmas Tree" sounds like your usual Christmas song just by looking at its title, it actually finds Lady GaGa using sexual innuendos and that's definitely something that you want your children to hear. In the song, the songstress could be heard alluding to her vagina as a delicious Christmas tree. There are also lines that read, "We will take off our clothes/ Yes, if you want us to we will."
The song received mixed reviews from music critics, with some slamming the song for its use of sexual innuendos and deeming it "not for family." Molly Gamble of Marquette Tribune criticized the song's "poorly veiled metaphor" for sex and called it "shameless." She also noted that the song only made Christmas "feel dirty."
Similar to "Christmas Tree", anyone who knows nothing about Christmas songs will highly think that there's nothing wrong with "Santa Baby" if they merely look at the title. In fact, several media has suggested that the classic is offensive and sexist as it finds the female singer coming across as whiny and materialistic as she exploded her sexual appeal for gain rather taking her own agency.
Besides, some even suggested that the Santa on this song was polished as a "sugar daddy" who provided the singer what she wanted if she acted like a good girl. Surely you won't want your children to associate Santa Claus with a sugar daddy and ruin their fantasy, right?
Just like what the title has suggested, the song was indeed talking about Santa Claus, but there's a twist. Instead of happily giving out presents to children, the iconic character was beaten up by a gang of kids on this song by The Kinks.
"Father Christmas give us some money/ We'll beat you up if you make us annoyed," they sang on the song. "Father Christmas give us some money/ Don't mess around with the silly toys." Even though the song actually had a good message that Christmas is not all about presents, the aforementioned lyrics don't set a good example for kids.
Considering all the controversy surrounding "Baby, It's Cold Outside", it's only natural to put this song on the list. The Christmas classic sparked a huge backlash among social media users as it told the story of a man who pulled all the stops to try to get his female companion to stay the night.
Some even called it a "date rape" anthem due to its lyrics, "What's in the drink?" which prompted many to believe that the man put something in her drink to make her stay the night despite the refusal. The song has been banned from several radio stations after listeners complained about the content of the song.