|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
It's always seemed to me, after all, that Christmas, with its spirit of giving, offers us all a wonderful opportunity each year to reflect upon what we all most sincerely and deeply believe in. I refer, of course, to money.—Tom Lehrer, in the introduction to his song "A Christmas Carol".
What the Anti-Love Song is to Silly Love Songs, this is to Christmas Songs -- parodying, satirizing or subverting the tropes and messages of conventional holiday tunes. Often involves mockery of the holiday's religious elements, criticism of its Merchandise-Driven commercialization, depiction of the social or familial dysfunction frequently cloaked (or exacerbated) by the seasonal ideal of "togetherness", and imagery of horror and violence in contrast to the usually peaceful tone of the holiday season. In short, the song form of Crappy Holidays. Bad Santa might be invoked. Sometimes there's overlap with Protest Song if the Anti Christmas Song is serious and political enough.
A number of Video Games have extra features which activate at Christmas (see Holiday Mode) and depending on the type of game and how it was designed, the music can become an Anti Christmas Song if the game is most certainly not the kind of game one would normally associate with Christmas.
Real-life versions of The Grinch tend to love these.
- An exceptionally gruesome one from Scrubs, about the experience of being on-call in the emergency room on Christmas eve:
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Twelve beaten children,
Eleven drive-by shootings,
Ten frozen homeless,
Eight burn victims,
Seven strangled shoppers,
Six random knifings,
Four beaten wives,
Two shattered skulls,
And a drunk who drove into a tree.
- Older Than Steam: The "Coventry Carol" features a mother singing her baby to sleep... shortly before he becomes one of the many children slaughtered in Herod's attempt to kill the newborn king. Not anti-Christmas, just a bit of Values Dissonance, since most people nowadays don't bring up the darker parts of the Christian mythology on this cheeriest day of the year. There are also carols which talk about how the baby Messiah will grow up to be crucified, the most visible example being the "myrrh" verse of "We Three Kings", which some bowdlerised versions cut.
- Erich Kästner (best known as a children's author) wrote "Weihnachtslied, chemisch gereinigt" ("Christmas song, chemically cleaned") in 1927, discussing the gap between poor and rich to the tune of a song ("Morgen, Kinder, wird's was geben") that eagerly anticipates presents to be brought by Santa Claus. The first verse goes like this:
Morgen, Kinder, wird's nichts geben!
Nur wer hat, kriegt noch geschenkt.
Mutter schenkte euch das Leben.
Das genügt, wenn man's bedenkt.
Einmal kommt auch eure Zeit.
Morgen ist's noch nicht soweit.
(Tomorrow, kids, there will be nothing!
Only those who already have shall receive.
Mother gave to you your life,
and that's enough, if you think about it.
Someday, your time will come too.
But tomorrow shall not be the day just yet.)
- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" started this way. The song was originally written for the climax of the film Meet Me in St Louis, where Judy Garland's character tries to comfort her little sister over the fact that this will be the family's last Christmas at home before moving to New York. Lyrics included lines like:
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,
Next year we may all be living in the past.
Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us no more.
- Not surprisingly, Judy Garland absolutely refused to perform the song until the lyrics were changed to something that wouldn't make her seem like a total monster.
- Don't forget, the film was released in 1944, in the middle of World War Two, when everyone in the audience knew men serving overseas, and knew that it was likely that this merry little Christmas would be the last for some of them. Even the toned-down version had an emotional resonance that we today cannot fully appreciate.
- Even in revised form, the song still contained the gloomy line, "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow." Frank Sinatra later had the lyrics modified even further, to the more familiar, "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough."
- Bob Dylan's cover, on an album of Christmas covers which was otherwise played straight, retained that particular lyric.
- Some renditions use both lyrics, with 'we'll have to muddle through somehow' in the earlier refrain, and 'hang a shining star upon the highest bough' in the later refrain.
- The Three Stooges, during their television age popularity, recorded "I Got a Cold for Christmas", singing:
All the other girls and boys
Ran downstairs to get their toys
But all I did was sneeze and sniff
And use my Christmas handkerchief
- "Nuttin' for Christmas" (1955) is sung by a little brat who not only revels in his wicked deeds, but also cheerfully lets a burglar into the house in exchange for a cut of the profits. They sing the last reprise of the chorus together.
- Stan Freberg's "Green Chri$tma$" (1958) has a medley of Christmas carols rewritten to sell products ("Deck the halls with advertising...").
- Given that Stan made his name in advertising, this becomes a particularly focused Take That.
- Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol" (1959):
On Christmas day you can't get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There's time to rob him all the more,
The other three hundred and sixty-four.
- It reaches the peak of brilliance when it starts deconstructing actual Christmas carols:
God rest ye merry merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy
- "Merry Christmas, You Suckers" (1962) by Paddy Roberts.
- Allan Sherman's "The Twelve Gifts of Christmas" (1963) replaces the traditional calling birds, turtledoves, etc. with various schlocky items (pair of teakwood shower clogs, indoor plastic birdbath, etc).
- "Pretty Paper", from Roy Orbison (1965) and Willie Nelson (1979), should be mentioned here, as it's about someone who's clearly not having a good time amid the celebration.
- "Standing in the Rain" (1965) by Sydney ("Lord of the Dance") Carter:
No use knocking on the window,
Some are lucky, some are not, sir.
We are Christian men and women,
But we're keeping what we've got, sir.
No we haven't got a manger,
No we haven't got a stable.
We are Christian men and women,
Always willing, never able.
- "Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night" (1966) by Simon and Garfunkel starts fairly straight, as an a cappella rendition of the traditional song, but in the middle a CBS newsreader giving bulletins about downbeat news stories such as the Vietnam War, and eventually dominates.
- Frank Sinatra's "Whatever Happened to Christmas?" (1968), though technically not an Anti Christmas Song so much as a lament for the death of the singer's own Christmas spirit, is one of the most depressing Yuletide-themed tunes you'll ever hear.
- German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey has one of these: "Abscheuliches Lied für abscheuliche Leute" (abhorrent song for abhorrent people), released in 1968, deals specifically with the fact that a large part of Christmas sales is made with toy military equipment, ending in these beautiful lines:
Im Warenhaus fiel drauf ein Schuss
Da ward unschuldig Blut vergossen
Da ward laut Aufsichtsrats-Beschluss
Der Weihnachtsmann erschossen
(A shot was heard in the shopping mall
Innocent blood was shed
According to a resolution by the board
Santa Claus was shot)
- Joni Mitchell's "River" (1971) is the Tear Jerker version of this: it's Christmas and everyone's happy, except the singer, who had an awful breakup and just wants it all to go away.
- "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from 1971, plays with this a bit; it's not strictly speaking Anti Christmas since the singer is wishing the listener a sincere Merry Christmas -- however, the song is also nevertheless taking pains to remind them that the world is far from perfect, there's still a lot of war, misery and fear out there, and that the new year is an opportunity to make things better for next Christmas.
- "The Twelve Drugs of Christmas" (1972)
- Jethro Tull's "A Christmas Song" (1972) is a bitter rant about how people use the season as an excuse to get merry, whilst forgetting its true meaning.
- Then there's "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" (1976), which reminds us that the merrymaking long predates Christianity anyhow.
- Listen to Dr. Demento. He can fill four episodes in a row with these songs.
- "Advent", a 1973 poem by Loriot, tells us the grisly tale of a forest warden being murdered by his wife on Christmas eve.
- Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" (1974) is a bitter, cynical tune about finding that the pomp and myth of Christmas never lives up to the promise. It shifts back to a (somewhat) hopeful note at the end, though:
I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said "There'll be snow at Christmas"
They said "There'll be peace on Earth"
Hallelujah, Noel! Be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get, we deserve
- Sparks's "Thank God It's Not Christmas" (1974) is both this and an Anti-Love Song: It's about a man who dreads Christmas because everything in town closes for the holidays, leaving him with no choice but to spend all day with his wife.
- John Denver had a tender country ballad called "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" (1975), later covered by Alan Jackson.
- "Father Christmas" (1977) by The Kinks. It's about a gang of bitter poor children who mug a guy playing Santa, demanding not toys but money ("Give all the toys to the little rich boys").
But give my daddy a job cause he needs one
He's got lots of mouths to feed
- There's PDQ Bach's "Throw the Yule Log On Uncle John" (1977), which is more satirical than anything, and involves an infamously drunk relative who always manages to ruin Christmas dinner.
- Stan Rogers's "First Christmas" (1978) depicts the holiday as spent by three different people (a college student working through his winter break, a teenager who's run away from her abusive father, an old man in a nursing home), each of whom is spending his "first Christmas away from home". Not an anti-Christmas song, per se, but a damned depressing one anyhow.
She's standing by the train station, panhandling for change
Four more dollars buys a decent meal and a room
Looks like the Sally Ann place after all
In a crowded sleeping hall that echoes like a tomb
But it's warm and clean and free and there are worse places to be
And at least it means no beating from her Dad...
- And there is his humorous "At Last I'm Ready for Christmas" (1982), about the last minute rush. "At last I'm ready for Christmas / and only two hours to go."
- "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" (1978) by Tom Waits.
- Oscar the Grouch of Sesame Street had a song called "I Hate Christmas", which he sang in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978).
- Ren Hoek also sings a song with this same title on the Ren and Stimpy Christmas album (1993).
- "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (1979) originally was intended as this, but nowadays it is increasingly accepted as a standard, if humorous, Christmas song. It even has spawned an animated Christmas special.
- Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" (1980) has the singer running into an old girlfriend at the grocery store on Christmas Eve. They share a few beers while going over old times, and it becomes clear that both of them have regrets about the way things have turned out (she's married to a man she doesn't really love; he's experiencing the lonely life of a traveling musician), and then it's time for them to say their goodbyes:
The beer was empty and our tongues were tied
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain
- The last song on Fear's The Record (1982) is titled "Fuck Christmas", with good reason.
- Eric Idle released a song also called "Fuck Christmas" (2006). Among the recipients of said action are holly, ivy, and Santa's reindeer (including Rudolph).
- "A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)" (1982) by Bruce Springsteen describes a young woman sitting by a lighted Christmas tree thinking about her husband, who was killed in Vietnam, and their little girl, who "she's gonna have to tell about the meanness in this world."
- Peter Schilling did a really depressing version of "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" in 1983.
- Randy Newman's "Christmas in Cape Town" (1983) is sung from the viewpoint of a bitter Afrikaner racist in South Africa's apartheid era.
- Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (1984) is frighteningly depressing:
- Don't forget the cheerful line (sung by Bono):
Tonight thank God it's them instead of you
- Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas" (1984) -- a song about a lover who died on Christmas Day.
- Brazilian band Garotos Podres has the song "Papai Noel Filho da Puta" ("Santa Claus, Son of a Bitch") (1985).
- King Diamond's "No Presents for Christmas" (1985).
- Dutch comedian Youp van 't Hek had a song called "Flappie" (1985), about a young boy who loses his pet rabbit, but eventually finds it back at the Christmas dinner table.
- "Christmas at Ground Zero" (1986) — a Weird Al Yankovic song about a nuclear apocalypse set to the tone of a Christmas carol.
- According to Doctor Demento, Weird Al wrote this when his record label pushed him to do a Christmas song. Be Careful What You Wish For.
- Another Weird Al song: "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (1994).
- Sherwin Linton's "Santa Got a DWI" (1986)
- The Spitting Image song Santa Claus is on the Dole" (1986).
- Da Yoopers' "Rusty Chevrolet" (1987) (a spoof of "Jingle Bells") and "I Want a Rinky-Dinky-Doodad for Christmas" (1997) (making fun of the Tickle Me Elmo craze).
- The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" (1987): He's a bum, she's dying, and he ends the song realizing he won't survive without her. "I pray God it's our last", indeed. In Real Life, lot of people are miserable around Christmastime; the song throws a bone their way, so it probably comforts some people to know they aren't alone in their misery.
- They Might Be Giants' song "Santa's Beard" (1988) is basically "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"...from Daddy's (unamused) perspective.
- There's also the unreleased 1987 single "We Just Go Nuts at Christmastime", all about trying (and failing) to avoid arguing with relatives.
- There's also "Careless Santa" (1995) by Mono Puff, John Flansburgh's side project, concerning a bank robbery gone awry because of an idiot partner dressed as Santa.
- Finally, there's "Feast of Lights" (1999), best described as "We Just Go Nuts At Christmastime" for Jewish people.
- The aforementioned song should not be confused with "I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas" (1949) by Yorgi Yorgensson, another song about arguing relatives, this one with a Swedish accent.
- Bob Rivers and his comedy group are arguably the masters of this with their series of at least five Twisted Christmas albums from 1988 on, including such memorable titles as "The Twelve Pains of Christmas", "Wreck the Malls", "The Chimney Song", "Hey! You! Get Off of My House", and "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire".
- The HP Lovecraft Historical Society created a songbook in 1988 and recorded the albums A Very Scary Solstice and An Even Scarier Solstice, which contain Cthulhu Mythos-themed Christmas songs, including such classics as "I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth", "Awake Ye Scary Great Old Ones", "Have Yourself a Scary Little Solstice", and "The Carol of the Old Ones".
- There's a 1989 compilation of anti-Christmas songs, Bummed Out Christmas, featuring songs ranging from goofy novelties to serious songs (The Staple Singers' "Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas"), plus two songs about spending Christmas behind bars, and another serious contender for most depressing Christmas song ever, The Everly Brothers' "Christmas Eve Can Kill You."
- The Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" (1989).
- Heywood Banks's "You Ain't Gettin' Diddly Squat" (1989).
- AC/DC's "Mistress for Christmas" (1990). ("I want the woman in red at the bottom of my bed!")
- Eric Bogle's "Santa Bloody Claus" (1990) (lyrics in pdf form here). The accusation is a bit unfair beyond the second chorus though.
- The host segments of the 1991 Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Santa Claus Conquers the Martians have "A Patrick Swayze Christmas" and "Merry Christmas -- If That's OK."
- Santa Claus featured "The Warrior of Christmas".
- How can we forget "The Rebel Jesus" (1991), one of the best Christmas carols ever?
Perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus
- "The St. Stephen's Day Murders" (1991), by the Chieftains with vocals and lyrical input from Elvis Costello. How do they handle the Christmas swarm of annoying relatives? Poison their food!
- Denis Leary gave us "Merry Fucking Christmas" (1992), named after the comedy special of the same name. It's a sarcastic ballad about how wonderful Christmas is despite how bleak and dreary society around it is. It ends with Denis himself punching out Santa.
Old Saint Nick's got bourbon breath
It's so cold, you could catch your death
A cop sold me some crystal meth, it's a Merry Fucking Christmas
Everything's so Christmassy
The streets are twinkling with frozen pee
My priest just sat on Santa's knee, it's a Merry Fucking Christmas
- Porn Orchard's "This Holiday Season" (1992), which is an anti-Christmas song In the Style Of Tom Waits collaborating with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, and accordingly often gets misattributed as exactly that.
- Spinal Tap has a rather fun ditty entitled "Christmas with the Devil":
The elves are dressed in leather
And the angels are in chains
(Christmas with the Devil)
The sugar plums are rancid
And the stockings are in flames
(Christmas with the Devil)
There's a demon in my belly
And a gremlin in my brain
There's someone up the chimney hole
And Satan is his name
- "Suddenly It's Christmas" (1993), by Loudon Wainwright III, is a well-aimed Take That to the modern retail-led push to rush into the Christmas season immediately after Halloween.
There's got to be a build-up
To the day that Christ was born
The halls are decked with pumpkins
And the ears of Indian corn
Dragging through the falling leaves
In a one-horse open sleigh
Suddenly it's Christmas
Seven weeks before the day
- Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas (1994) is a whole album of these, credited to the Cryptkeeper of Tales from the Crypt fame.
- Adam Sandler's "Chanukkah Song" (1994) and its sequels, which spawned a full-length animated motion picture, Eight Crazy Nights.
- "Christmas is for Mugs" (1994), by Graham Parker.
Everybody's talkin' about the kisses and the hugs
And all the little heartstrings that the festive season tugs
But all I see are lager louts, shoplifters and thugs
So fill mine up, 'cause Christmas is for mugs
- Jeff Foxworthy's 12 days of Christmas (1995).
- Oi To The World! (1996) by obscure punk band The Vandals is a full 12 track album of these (with a fairly straight Christmas style overture added on later releases). The title song, on the other hand (later covered by No Doubt) is about a punk and a skinhead who manage to put aside their differences (read: "violent feud") 'cause it's Christmas.
- Kevin Bloody Wilson's "Hey Santa!" (1996):
Hey Santa! (Hey Santa!)
Where's me fucking bike?
I've unwrapped all this other junk
And there's nothin' that I like.
I wrote you a fucking letter,
I came to see you twice,
You worn out geriatric fart!
You forgot me fucking bike!
- Just to hammer it home, that's the clean version. The opening line of the uncensored version is the uncompromising "Hey Santa Claus you C**t".
- Type O Negative's "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)" (1996), which may just be the single most depressing Christmas song ever.
- Guniw Tools's "Fat December" (1997)
- The Insane Clown Posse have two: "Santa's a Fat Bitch" (1997) and "Red Christmas" (1994) (in the latter, one rapper is killed by Santa while attempting a home invasion and the other is killed by a snowman who wants them to die together in separate verses).
- South Park's 1997 Christmas special features "Christmastime in Hell" and "A Lonely Jew (On Christmas)"; in 1999, "Merry Fucking Christmas" (a rant that says that anyone who doesn't celebrate it is an infidel...)
- "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (1997) by Blink 182. It's about a guy who hates Christmas going Ax Crazy on some carolers, who then gets arrested and Prison Raped by a guy named Bubba.
- And "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" (2001).
- Brian Beathard's country and western-flavored "Damn It, I'm Vixen!" (1997), in which the titular reindeer finally gets fed up with all the press Rudolph's been getting the last few years at the expense of the other members of Santa's team:
Well, since then he's been acting kinda of snotty
And what you might call a little stuck up.
So I think Donner and me, we're gonna drink two or three
And then go out and shoot us a buck.
- Most of the content on Ray Stevens Christmas Through a Different Window album (1997), such as "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" and "Xerox Xmas Letter".
- Joe Pesci's "If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas" (1998) takes a cheery old Gene Autry song and adopts it into his characteristically profane style, complete with an ending tirade against the "fuckin' reform-school brats" who "stole all the fuckin' candy canes".
- "Weihnachtsmann vom Dach" (1998) by Die Toten Hosen...where Santa has hung himself and left a message wishing everybody a merry Christmas.
- Roy Zimmerman's "Christmas Is Pain" (1998) is a hilariously over-the-top Anti-Christmas Song in the style of Bob Dylan, complete with terrible harmonica solos. The whole PeaceNick album fits the trope to some degree, but "Christmas Is Pain" is tropiest.
- Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group, gained a strong internet following (and a record contract) in 1998 after releasing a funny, disjointed version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" where they lose count of the days, wind up singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "Carol of the Bells" and "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" before singing the final verse to the tune of "Africa" by Toto! They followed it up in 2009 with "Christmas Can-Can", which comments on the stress associated with holiday (bit of a subversion, as it ends on a positive and uplifting note), and "Who Spiked the Eggnog", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- The LAUNCHCast radio station on Yahoo! calls them Scrooge Songs if they're particularly anti-Christmas.
- Lou and Peter Berryman's "Uncle Dave's Grace" (1999) is an Anti-Thanksgiving Song, in which the titular uncle ("Who reads The Progressive, and it makes him depressed") is asked to say grace at dinner and uses the occasion to declaim on all the ways in which the holiday is a product of exploitation and ecological devastation.
- Mitch Benn's "Christmas Single" (1999) is a parody of, well, Christmas singles:
Now I shift into a minor key,
As we remember those less fortunate than we.
At this time of year one thing you must not forget,
Is why you haven't bought this record yet.
- "We Pretty Much Broke the Bank for You This Christmas" is about the horrible realization when the bills arrive.
Someone is coming tonight without fail, if,
We're lucky it's Santa, if not it's the baliffs.
We pretty much broke the bank for you,
(We don't expect a word of thanks from you),
We pretty much broke the bank for you this Christmas.
- "Thank God It Isn't Christmas Every Day" (2008) isn't exactly anti-Christmas, but seriously deconstructs Wizzard.
Would it be fun, no not very.
Nobody could stay that merry.
We'd all be dead by February.
Thank God it isn't Christmas every day.
- Canadian folk singer James Gordon sings "There Is No Silent Night" (2000). "How can you rest, you merry gentlemen? How can you not be dismayed, by the number of poor souls who are so cold on Christmas Day?" In an interview, he states that he has never before or since had such an immediate and varied response to any of his songs.
- Weezer's "Christmas Celebration" (2000), which is largely about bemoaning the commercialism of Christmas ("Carolers are singing/ registers ka-ching-ing"). Its A-side "The Christmas Song" is really just a Break Up Song that happens to take place at Christmas.
- In "Stanta" (a parody of Eminem's "Stan") by Chris Moyles (2000), the narrator calls out Santa Claus for never leaving him Christmas presents, and threatens to convert to Judaism.
- Ben Folds's song "Lonely Christmas Eve" (2000) describes Christmas from the point of view of the Grinch. And his "Bizarre Christmas Incident" is about a naked Santa getting stuck in the chimney and suffocating (and the most prominent line in the chorus is "Santa is a big fat fuck", which is probably why it has a Non-Appearing Title).
- The second Futurama Xmas special (2001) has the elves singing happily about their dangerous slave jobs, and in Bender's Big Score Santa and the other Anthropomorphic Personifications of winter holidays sing about upgrading their ships to declare war on the scammer aliens. Then there's "Santa Claus is Gunning You Down."
- Symphonic metal band Within Temptation gives us "Gothic Christmas" (2002), additionally serving as an affectionate parody of European metal's self-consciously dark image:
Rudolph, he will change his name
'Cause Rudolph just sounds really lame
Now we'll call him Ragnagord
The Evil Reindeer Overlord.
- "Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass (2002) by the Arrogant Worms.
- Another one of theirs is "Christmas is Here" — which starts with strained smiles on all the relations, until a drunk one admits his wife has been cheating on him. It ends with an implied massacre of the whole family.
- Voltaire's "Coming Out for Christmas" (2002).
- "Ex-Miss" (2003), by New Found Glory, decrying the overrated sappiness of the yuletide and the fact that the singer's girlfriend left him.
It turns out
The way i expected
Is one to forget
This time I'll regret
I spent too much time and money on you.
- "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" (2003) by Fall Out Boy
Don't come home for Christmas
You're the last thing I wanna see
Underneath the tree
Merry Christmas, I could care less
- "Elf's Lament" (2004) by Barenaked Ladies. Not as nasty as some of these, but it focuses on the plight of Santa's elves as they try to unionize in order to improve their working conditions.
- From the same Christmas album, "Green Christmas"...which, appropriately enough, was originally written by them for the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
- According to Frickin' A's song "Merry, Merry, Merry Frickin' Christmas" (2004), the only good things about Christmas is no school, getting to make out with sister-in-law and getting crappy gifts that can always be exchanged at Wal-Mart.
- "Christmas Is Canceled" (2004) by The Long Blondes.
- "What is Christmas", by Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their album The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), is a Villain Song from the point of view of the album's Scrooge-like antagonist.
- John Waters's Christmas album (2004) has a bunch of these. Some, like "Here Comes Fatty Claus," are intended that way (it bills itself specifically as a song for people who suffer during the holidays due to "ruptured bank accounts"), others weren't originally meant to be Anti-Christmas Songs but serve the role for Waters's usual Camp-savvy audience (like the overly-earnest religious song "Happy Birthday Jesus").
- "Seasonal Depression" (2005), the first Christmas song from Wizard Rock band The Whomping Willows, is a really sad tune about how the aforementioned tree is all alone on Christmas.
It's Christmas again, and I'm here alone.
Covered with snow. Chilled to the bone.
My branches are bare. My roots have gone dry.
My only companions are the clouds in the sky.(...)
If Christmas brings love and peace in your minds,
Then how could Christmas leave this poor tree behind?
- Sufjan Stevens has "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!" (2006), which is based loosely on Sufjan's own childhood: the stress of the holidays would cause his parents to argue, and these arguments would generally end with mom grabbing a present at random from under the tree and throwing it into the fire. The song ends with the repeated lyrics "Silent night / nothing feels right."
- His song "Did I Make You Cry On Christmas? (Well You Deserved It!)" (2005) is, in spite of its goofy title, an even more somber tune.
- "Sister Winter" (2006) could be a subversion. The lyrics of the song seem to be about seasonal depression, and the song starts off suitably somber, but then the song goes all Bolero and manages to end on a somewhat hopeful note.
- "Christmas in Lancashire" (2006) by The Lancashire Hotpots:
It's Christmas again, digibox is up t'spout
I had fifty channels but now I've got nowt
No ITV 4 or PriceDrop TV
It's reruns of Sinbad and t'Queen's Speech for thee
I can't even BitTorrent Morecambe and Wise
Cause me 8 meg broadband is bust I'm cut down to size
No credit on t'mobile so I can't send a text
This technology at Christmas oh it does get me vexed
- Jonathan Coulton's "Chiron Beta Prime" (2006) — possibly the only Christmas song about killer robots.
Merry Christmas, from Chiron Beta Prime
Where we're working in a mine for our robot overlords
Did I say "Overlords"? I meant protectors
Merry Christmas From Chiron Beta Prime.
- "Christmas Is Interesting" (2003) is another, much darker Coulton Christmas song.
- The Killers have "Don't Shoot Me Santa" (2007), wherein Old St. Nick is a serial killer who lives in a trailer in the Mojave desert and plans to kill Brandon Flowers for being naughty.
- "Killing Myself for Christmas" (2007), by Sick Puppies. It was intended to be a dark yet funny and humorous song about killing oneself for the holiday season out of sheer spite for everything and everyone.
Cause we feel like killing our selves for Christmas
We never got along real well with our moms or dads
Yeah, We feel like killing our selves for Christmas
It’ll be the best, the best, the best, the best, the best, the best Christmas day we ever had!
Bum bum bu bum GO FUCKIN' DIE!!!
(But I don’t wanna die this year, that was last year..)
- Tripod regularly does Christmas shows with a range of semi-anti-Christmas comedy songs, including; I Hate Your Family, The Homophobic Christmas Tree, I Was The Only Shepherd about the only shepherd that saw the angel and stayed with his flock rather than go see the baby Jesus, and Fabian which is about a bastard reindeer...
- Santa Won't Be Welcome Here takes then-Prime Minister of Australia John Howard's policies on border security to their logical conclusion.
- Tripod's Christmas album titled For the Love of God (2008) consists mostly (but not entirely) of anti-Christmas songs.
- "Slower Than Christmas" (2008), by Billy Bob Thornton's neo-rockabilly group the Boxmasters, is all about how the singer hates Christmas because it forces him to spend time with a dysfunctional family he can't stand to be around.
- The Schoolyard Heroes song "I Want Your Soul for Christmas" (2008) has a tune quite fitting for a Christmas song, but the lyrics... not so much.
Sleigh bells ringing,
You'll be screaming
- On The Colbert Report's A Colbert Christmas (2008), Toby Keith sings a song about how the all-American holiday of Christmas is under attack by atheists and activist judges, and real Americans are fighting back, prepared to wreak violent retribution on anti-Christmas forces. The result is an over-the-top mixture of holiday cheer with Patriotic Fervor and plenty of Stuff Blowing Up.
- There's also Feist's song in the same special, based on "Angels We Have Heard on High," which she sings in the style of a busy customer service call center responding to Stephen's prayer.
Pleeee-e-e-e-e-eeee-e-e-e-e-eeeee-e-ease be patient.
An angel will be with thee shortly.
- "It's Christmas and I Hate You" (2008) by Paloma Faith and Josh Weller is sung from the point of view of a couple who, well, hate each other. Complete with the chorus:
So Merry Christmas Babe,
I think I hate you,
A little bit more than last year!
- Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun" (2008) is an interesting example - the first couple of verses are basically a list of reasons why it's understandable not to like Christmas (dislike of religion, dislike of commercialization), while the chorus is why Tim likes the holiday anyway.
- Jay Brannan's "Christmas Really Sucks" (2009) and "Dear Santa" (2011).
- French examples by Le Donjon De Naheulbeuk's creator, John Lang. "Noël en Mordor" (Christmas in Mordor) (2009) is set in the Lord of the Rings universe, and ends with: "Santa Claus captured by trolls, and dark era begins." "Le retour de Gzor" (Gzor's return) (2010) is about a bad god named Gzor, a Cthulhu expy. "Gzor will come back, Gzor will be your master..." to the "Oh Holy Night" tune.
- "Snowman" (2010) by TV's Kyle, which is about how despite being associated with jollity, a snowman actually has a short, futile existence:
I am a snowman and I wish that you never made me
I'm filthy and ugly and I'm wearing all your old clothes.
I'm only around for a day or two, that's if I'm lucky
Some pants or a jacket are out of my league, I suppose.
- Coldplay's "Christmas Lights" (2010): The speaker breaks up with his girlfriend after they have a huge fight on Christmas Eve, and he spends the night depressed, unable to join in with the joyful revelers on the streets. But it still manages to end on an upbeat note, as the sight of the Christmas lights lifts his spirits and gives him hope that he'll be able to move on.
- "XM@$" (2010) by Corey Taylor has to be heard to be believed.
- If you play the game at Christmas, Rise of the Triad plays a song in MIDI format called "Deadly Gentlemen" (which is based on a well-known Christmas carol) instead of the normal level music. Considering the game is a First-Person Shooter, this could well be classified as an Anti Christmas Song. Blasting the bad guys into Ludicrous Gibs with Christmas music playing... I'd say that's anti-Christmas.
- Serious Sam: The Second Encounter has a level where the music is Jingle Bells (regardless of when you play the game), and when the action heats up, it turns into a rock version with an assortment of sound effects from the game mixed in (various guns firing and monsters dying). If you rip the music out of the game, you can hear that the sound effects are actually part of the music and are not added by the game.
- Kingdom of Loathing has Crimbo Carols, which are lyrics sheets meant to be sung to the tune of Christmas Songs, like "Frosty the Hitman" and "Violent Night". Since December is a month-long event involving beating up elves, they are decidedly tongue-in-cheek.
- Left 4 Dead 2 gives us "All I Want for Christmas (Is to kick your ass)"
- Irregular Webcomic celebrates Christmas with Lovecraftian versions of carols.
- "I Will Always Hate Christmas" on the Flash Tub on Something Awful. (NSFW)
- Three Dog Stevens would like to sing for you "The 12 Days of Christmas".
- "Sheepie's Christmas"
Oh Christmas sucks
It is such a pain
Bringing stress to all the world
Driving us insane
- "The Twelve STIs of Christmas" (NSFW and may break your dial-up) is about a person whose "true love" gave him something much worse than a bunch of birds. It doubles as a PSA.
- As publicized by Jimmy Kimmel, one little girl, whether she meant to or not, frightfully butchered "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.
- Bad Gods' Nine Inch Noel sings Nine Inch Nails lyrics to the tune of Christmas songs. It is just as wrong as it sounds.
- The Nostalgia Critic's song 'Holiday Clusterf*ck' describes all the stressful and sanity-threatening aspects of the holiday season from Halloween up until Christmas.
- Animaniacs did a riotous send-up of "Noel", each verse leading to a different pun in the chorus, and the last one lampshading the entire thing and apologizing to the viewer for ruining the song.
- They also lampooned at least two other Christmas carols, including the incident where Wakko belched "Jingle Bells".
- "Jingle Bells! Batman smells! Robin laid an egg!"
- The Simpsons is sometimes wrongly credited with introducing that deliberate Mondegreen, but in fact it predates the show by at least twenty years.
- That song even exists in the DC Universe - Joker sings it in his very first appearance on Batman the Animated Series - while breaking out of Arkham on Christmas Eve.
- In the UK it's generally sung as "Robin flew away"
- "Bow down, bow down / Before the power of Santa / Or be crushed, be crushed / jolly boots of doom".
- "Hey there, Mr. Buddhist! MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!"
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation plays with the 'Scrooge' idea: Dr. Doofenshmirtz sings "I Really Don't Hate Christmas". He's not for or against Christmas, he's completely indifferent to it. Right before the song, he says that even though he's a villain and he knows he should hate Christmas, "Christmas was always fun in my family! I mean, it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad!" With his childhood, that's saying something.
- "What's This?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas is a subversion; the singer, Jack Skellington, falls in love with Christmas when he first discovers the holiday, but misses the point, largely because he sees Christmas through his own unique prism:
"There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads,
They're busy making toys and absolutely no one's dead!"
- Other songs from the film, most notably "Making Christmas" and "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" play the trope straight.
- In the animated Christmas Special Olive the Other Reindeer, the Postman has a little number called "Bah, Bug and Hum!" The song is all about how he hates carrying all of those gifts, catalogs and cards when it's already really cold.
- The Family Guy episode "Road to the North Pole" had an anti Christmas song called "Christmas Time is Killing Us". Be warned, it has a lot of nightmarish imagery.