Advent and Christmas Songs I F’n Hate

UPDATE 12/6/07 – Who knew a post about Advent and Christmas songs would be a top Google hit? Not me! So for those of you looking for, you know, the WORDS to these songs, try the 1982 Episcopal Church Hymnal. Also please to be seeing companion post Advent and Christmas Songs I F’n Love

Just for the record:

  • Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming: I hate this song with the passion of a thousand firey suns. It sucks so hard that the gravitational pull of the earth increases by a significant fraction at the locus of the congregation that is singing it.
  • The First Noel: This song has never, no never, no never been sung properly in a group of more than two people. It’s those stupid tied note slides, is what it is. You want to drag those puppies out and the song has to keep a fairly brisk pace to sound right.
  • Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending: Oooh, icky. I hate the melody. I hate anything that throws you unsuspecting into the stratosphere, though, because I feel it shifts my voice into somethng that’s not pretty (although all my choir directors feel otherwise).
  • Love Came Down at Christmas:    :P. And you can quote me on that. It’s like Hallmark bribed the 1982 editors.
  • Away in a Manger: I’d rather have dental surgery without anaesthetic than sing this song. It’s glurge-ariffic and espouses being a good little kidlet for your mommy and daddy and not whining and doing as you’re told NO MATTER WHAT and that makes me want to puke.
  • Once in David’s Royal City: No, thank you. I’d rather sing Away in a Manger.
  • In the Bleak Midwinter: Dude. I grew up in CALIFORNIA. I don’t know from frosty winds. Well, I didn’t until I moved to Oregon. BUT ANYWAY– Stupid song. Stupid lyrics. I hate it. Make it go away now, kthxbai.


Filed under me being myself, music, singing

8 responses to “Advent and Christmas Songs I F’n Hate

  1. I have you beat. “On This Day Earth Shall Ring” in Esperanto.

    Of course, now the question is WHY?! — Mary Sue

  2. G. Oltz

    Thank you, thank you for saying you hate “In the Bleak Midwinter”!!!!!!! I can’t even express how much I hate that stupid little songy thing. Uggghhhhh. I always want to check my blood sugar after we sing it – it’s just that icky sweet. Rosetti* could write MUCH better than that. But people seem to like this one. I know one woman who cries when we sing it, and not because it’s so awful. Baffling.

    What the hell is “maiden bliss”?

    I told my dad once that I can’t stand that dumb song. He told me that when we went to Canterbury Cathedral when I was ten (and can not reasonably be expected to remember, as I was one of those vague kids who never paid much attention to anything), this was the first hymn they played when we got there. He seemed to feel that this should make me like it. I still hate it. There just is not enough bad that can be said about it.

    Thank you, thank you for saying these things!

    *Christina Rosetti. Wrote the text.

  3. I also hate First Noel, because it drags and because it furthers the “Jesus was born in winter” myth.

    And don’t even get me started on “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

  4. Suzer

    Oh dear. Most of those are faves of mine. Though I’ve never heard “Love Came Down…” and from the title alone I’m not sure I want to.

    I really love In the Bleak Midwinter — I’ve always found it so beautiful. I guess they all remind me of my childhood in TEC, singing these hymns in children’s choir (and adult choirs), they are part of the tradition of TEC I never want to let go of.

    (If it makes any difference, several of the hymns mentioned here were usually (in my church anyway) reserved for the children to sing at the early service – the ones that are “sweet” sounding. The later services we generally had stuff like O Come All Ye Faithful and Angels We Have Heard on High.)

    So, should we ever share a car on a road trip or something (though that’s unlikely as we are thousands of miles apart, but who knows), I’ll be sure to let you pick the music! 😉

  5. I’m sorry, but several of my favorites are on you “I hates it!” list. But since I checked out your “I loves it list!” and saw several songs I despise, I guess it all works out, doesn’t it?

  6. I adore Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming. The First Noel I like okay.

    The normal US tune for Away in a Manger I don’t like, but I like the other one, but my parents taught me to sing “the little Lord Jesus, loud crying he makes.”

    I don’t think I have heard Love Came Down At Christmas, but I am not sure I want to.

    What are your favorite though? I like: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, Of The Father’s Love Begotten, Personent Hodie, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and a whoooole lot of others.

  7. Late to the party, Mary Sue—but I thought of you last night when I was listening to Sarah MacLachlan’s version of “In the Bleak Midwinter.” At the risk of offending, I would say—listen to her version before you write it off completely.

    I totally agree with you about “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Best. Christmas. Song. Ever.


    My problem with “In the Bleak Midwinter” I suspect is one of overexposure; it’s featured in two Advent choral shindigs I had to sing in, one with treacly harmonics and one compleat with certain voice parts making wooshing noises for the frosty winds throughout. –Mary Sue

  8. MacLachlan’s Wintersong is the antidote to a good number of treacly renditions of Christmas standards. I have a “no Christmas songs during Advent” policy—but I make an exception for that album because it is so beautifully understated.