One of the things I love about December is all the music we (finally) have permission to sing. It’s a shame so many of these tunes are only sung one month out of twelve, especially considering the rich lyrics that many of our Christmas carols have in singing of our Savior’s birth.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that men no more shall die,
Born to raise us from the earth,
Born to give us second birth.
(Charles Wesley, Hark the Herald)
But then there are those songs that really aren’t worth singing at all. When they pop up on Pandora is when I remember that I should switch to Spotify. For example, The White Winter Hymnal . . . I’m following the–I’m following the–I’m following the–just stop it, already!
And then there’s a third category. These songs are great and just plain fun to sing, but there’s a line or two that’s slipped in there unnoticed that needs some serious revision.
Santa may have his list that he’s checking twice, but I’ve got my own list. I’m no Scrooge, but here’s a playful look at my top 10 worst Christmas lyrics:
“The which his mother Mary did nothing take in scorn”
Do you know what this sounds like? Yeah, I know. The virgin Mary turns Wizard of Oz on us.
“Oh bring us some figgy pudding”
Christmas is about giving and kindness and sappy feelings . . . but you better bring us exactly what we want! We don’t even know what figgy pudding is, but we won’t go until we get some!
“See the blazing yule before us”
This really wouldn’t be such a bad line if it just made sense. For one thing, does anyone in the 21st century really know what “yule” means? And is it okay that it’s apparently in flames? And that we’re all just standing by watching it?
“In the new old-fashioned way”
Well, which is it? The new way, or the old-fashioned way?
“With the angelic host proclaim”
Now what’s wrong with this, you ask? Nothing. But for a seven-year-old, “angelic” is easily mistaken for “jealous,” and that puts a whole new spin on Christmas.
“But it’s December the 24th and I’m longing to be up North”
There’s a reason no one ever sings the verse to White Christmas . . . because no one in their right mind would ever think this!
“E’en so here below, below
Let steeple bells be swungen.
And io, io, io
By priest and people sungen.”
I actually love the “io io io” line, even if it is reminiscent of Old MacDonald. There’s something fun about sungen something silly, particularly while steeple bells be swungen.
“We three kings”
Who said there were three? Three gifts do not equal three givers. Trust me. I have three brothers, but that does not mean I receive three gifts from them.
“The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot,
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.”
Forget the fact that “upsot” isn’t even a word, why are we abusing this lean and lank horse for the sake of a pleasure cruise in the snow? Jingle bells, indeed!
“The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes”
Clearly this was written by an optimistic male.
“From now on, our troubles will be out of sight”
I think someone has been eating too much figgy pudding if they can’t even keep up with trouble.