Christmas carols are supposed to create winter wonderlands of cheer and make you want to dance with sugarplum fairies. So why do we warble along to songs of heartache, desolation, and even grief in the midst of a time of celebration and joy? Some of these songs have been around so long we probably don’t recognize how depressing they can be. Some are hip and modern, but full of irony and cynicism if you listen carefully. Some are just plain disturbing. Happy New Year anyway.

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20 Christmas Songs Full of Sad, Depressing, and Downright Creepy Lyrics

#1: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser

Creep factor eleven. Exactly how old are these “lovers” that they are concerned about their parents’ reaction if they don’t make it home tonight? It’s okay, just ply the young lady with alcohol until she accepts your advances. Is it even really snowing outside?

#2: “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin

The implication here is that we don’t get white Christmases any more. Is it the effects of global warming? What kind of Christmases are kids these days getting if they don’t get snow on Christmas Day? Or is it a racial thing

#3:“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby

These lyrics are from the point of view of a soldier who won’t be home for the holidays because he’s fighting in a war. Depressing. Go home for Christmas? Only in your dreams, private.

#4: “Christmas Shoes” by Newsong

The earnest holiday ballad about Mama dying a slow death is possibly the worst song ever. How exactly is a pair of kicky pumps going to make Mama look better as she keels over and goes to meet her maker?

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#5: “Blue Christmas” by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson

We get it. You’re sad. Or are you a little bit racist?

#6: “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

The most depressing thing about this is that Sir Paul wrote such dreadfully trite lyrics. Repeat ad nauseum.

#7: “Last Christmas” by Wham!

These lyrics I might expect from a non-holiday George Michael song. But does this classic kiss-off belong in a tune designed to usher in Christmas cheer? Because the very next day, you’ll only give it away.

#8: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Bob Geldof

Maybe there’s a point here, but dude, I don’t want to hear about starving kids and bells of doom at Christmas. I need to go to the mall and buy me an iphone X!

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#9: “Christmastime is Here” by Vince Guaraldi

It’s hard to fault these lyrics. The sentiment is poignant and sincere enough for the Great Pumpkin. And Vince Guaraldi’s score for the most pensive of Holiday TV Specials is the perfect accompaniment. But you have to admit this is a sad song, with its wish of lost potential. Hang your head, Charlie Brown.

#10: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Tommie Connor

How sick is this song? What deep voyeuristic trauma has infected this kid to think that his father would get a kick out of watching his mother kiss and tickle some old stranger in the living room?

#11: “Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)” by Sufjan Stevens

Troubadour Sufjan Stevens’s epic five disc Christmas album includes songs ranging from true traditional classics to original tunes to a fun ditty called “Come on! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!” And because everyone loves a dysfunctional relationship on Christmas Day, he also included this one. We all deserve it.

#12: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Edward Pola and George Wyle

Um, who’s telling ghost stories on Christmas? Besides Charles Dickens, I mean.

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