The 10 worst Christmas songs of all time

Christmas is a time of joy, goodwill, and most of all, song.

We all have our favourite Christmas songs, from Mariah Carey to the one where the lady is on a drip.

But Christmas also inflicts on the listening public an annual barrage of aural abominations that could make Frosty the Snowman take a sauna. They're appalling, but Christmas wouldn't be the same without them.

Here are the definitive Ten Worst Christmas Songs of All Time.

Aussie Jingle Bells

Just knowing this song is by a duo calling themselves "Bucko and Champs" should put any reasonable person on red alert that something horrific is about to stab them in the ears.

Aussie Jingle Bells is probably the worst example of that heinous subgenre: the Aussie-fied Carol.

"Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute," Bucko and Champs warble, overlooking two key facts: 1. No it isn't; and 2. We were fine with Jingle Bells the way it was. We know we don't get to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. We enjoyed the fantasy.

This nauseating changey-song is as conducive to seasonal cheer as a PE teacher delivering a lecture on STDs via rap.

Santa Wear Your Shorts

Hi-5 has been guilty of the crime of Aussification themselves, but this isn't a traditional carol turned Australian: this is an all-original nightmare.

The perpetually-grinning rotating roster of shiny-faced youths that are the eternal Hi-5 franchise take the wild, wild concept of Christmas in summer (WOW!) and bash us in the face with it over and over again, insisting that we find the idea incredibly charming, on pain of another verse.

If it is possible to blaspheme against Santa, Hi-5 are doing it with this one.

Little Donkey

Look, I can just about cop the elevation of some uninvited drummer boy to the status of nativity hero — he seems superfluous to proceedings, but everyone likes a good pa-rum-pa-pum.

But Little Donkey? Come on! Do we have to make the first Christmas an Everyone Gets A Trophy Day? Nobody cares about the donkey. If it hadn't been that donkey, it would've been another one; he's got no call to think he's so special.

So you walked to Bethlehem. Big whoop. And don't pretend you knew what was going on — you're a donkey, all you knew was this chick was bloody heavy. The donkey doesn't deserve a song, but at least the writers made it as dull and droning as possible.

Jingle Bell Rock

This much-covered Bobby Helms hit is one of those songs that came out in the first blush of rock 'n' roll, when old men would shove the word "rock" into songs without having the slightest clue what it meant.

Few songs in the history of music have rocked less than Jingle Bell Rock. There are medieval madrigals that rock harder. It sounds like Bing Crosby snapping his fingers along to Perry Como's arrangement of a Richard Marx song.

And it's not even about anything. The writers, advertising men (of course they were) Joseph Beal and James Boothe, just wrote the word "jingle" a bunch of times and pulled words out of a hat to fill in the gaps.

What's a "jingle horse"? What's a "jingle hop"? Nobody knows or cares — they're meaningless concepts invented by a mind that hates humanity.

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

The same issue that plagues Jingle Bell Rock also applies to Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree — the song rocks about as much as repeat episodes of The Virginian.

Thirteen-year-old Brenda Lee sung the original, sounding far older — and far more bored — than her years.

Once again, the lyrics make reference to a "hop" — the kids were really into hops back then. It also refers to people dancing "in the new old-fashioned way", something that has gone unexplained for more than 50 years.

Good King Wenceslas

I don't even know why this became a Christmas carol. It doesn't even mention Christmas.

It does mention "the feast of Stephen", whatever that is: if you want to include Good King Wenceslas in your Big Book Of Feast Of Stephen Carols, go for it, but a proper Christmas song should surely mention Christmas somewhere.

But even without this mis-categorisation, the song is deeply problematic for its recommendation of individual philanthropy as a panacea for inequality rather than fundamental economic reforms.

Last Christmas

This might be the worst song Wham! ever released. Then again it might not be, but I'm not going to get into the complexities of the discography here.

Suffice to say, while Wenceslas is a "Christmas song" that doesn't mention Christmas, this is one that mentions Christmas only in the most tokenistic way.

So some guy gave his heart to some girl on Christmas, and she dumped him on Boxing Day. It's a strange time to start a new relationship, really.

And "this year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special"? Dude, she dumped you a year ago: she doesn't give a toss whose life you're going to ruin this time around. She's moved on: why don't you?

Mele Kalikimaka

Bing Crosby was the man responsible for making White Christmas a monster hit, so popular that he sang it in three different movies in his career.

Unfortunately, this convinced Bing that he could make any Christmas song sound good, including this bizarre attempt at cool island rhythms from history's whitest singer.

He croons away about a "bright Hawaiian Christmas day" and "the land where palm trees sway" and you can tell just by listening that even if he was on a Hawaiian beach, he'd still be wearing a cardigan.

The writer also only bothered to write one verse: Bing sings it, then the Andrews sisters sing it, then Bing sings it again. You could get away with that kind of thing in the 40s.

O Christmas Tree

One more thing to blame on Germany. This total bummer of a dirge makes a northern Christmas sound a barrel of laughs: everyone sitting around solemnly pledging their allegiance to plants.

The original German song doesn't refer to Christmas: it's just about how awesome fir trees are.

Made more Christmassy in translation, it also sucks the joy out of the season by imagining people with so little to be happy about in December that the presence of a tree absolutely blows their minds.

No, Christmas trees don't give us that much pleasure. They're nice to have around, but let's not get obsessed, OK?

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Gross. Just... gross.