PSA: These Christmas songs are problematic and we probably shouldn’t sing them
‘Tis the season to educate yourself
Welcome to December. The Christmas season is officially upon us and despite it being a whirlwind of a year (in the absolute worst way!) there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with some classic hits we all know and love. Truly nothing says Xmas like the familiar grating jingle of Mariah, or that dude from JLS saying Merry Crismis.
However, not every Christmas song is as cheery as you may seem when blindly singing along to them. I’ll admit before last week I didn’t pay much notice to how gross “Baby it’s Cold Outside” is but ’tis the season to educate yourself, so why not start now.
The Fairytale of New York
Coming up with the obvious, but the discourse is still going and people are still trying to use the word f*ggot for no good reason, so it’s still here on this list. It’s fairly straight forward as to why you shouldn’t sing along to the slur in the song. There have been countless debates across social media and radio stations not playing the song live on air due to the slur used, yet some people are still angry about it.
The slur, like the N-word, has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community and certainly should not be used by straight people even if it is in just a song. If you can skip out saying the n-word in songs, you can stop singing along to the f-word. It really is that simple.
do straight people realise that we don’t care if fairy tale of new york is still played in nightclubs or on the radio, we just don’t want you to say one word. that is it. one word out of three hundred and one words. you still have three hundred others to say. it’s not difficult.
— nicholi (@dumblondefag) December 4, 2018
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
The song was originally written in 1944, a time where women’s rights were fairly limited and so a song like this likely had zero eyebrows raised, but in a time where the #MeToo movement is so important, a song like this isn’t really needed. The song has since been rewritten but not many people realise how creepy the original was.
The lyrics set a scene of a couple together with a woman planning to go home on a cold night, yet the man is begging her to stay round his. If you don’t see how extremely odd that is, then let me explain. The lyrics suggest the man is trying to pressure her into having sex with him when she evidently just wants to go home and is not interested. The lyric where she sings: “What’s in this drink?”, suggests it may have been spiked in order for her to stay the night.
The original lyrics that say: “I really can’t stay/But baby, it’s cold outside”, have since been changed to, “I really can’t stay/ Baby I’m fine with that.”
Do They Know It’s Christmas?
It seems that most people are slowly getting the right idea about this one, what with it having a racist sentiment in practically every lyric of the song and all. The song seemingly lumps the entirety of Africa into one group, suggesting there is no water whatsoever in every country across the continent. The song blatantly suggests that everybody in Africa is poor, black, and starving. Like… multiple times. Actually, the whole time. However, the song did come out in 1984 so yet again, nobody batted an eyelash.
Despite it being for a good cause, it really isn’t a good song. It is quite simply a patronising sentiment with the underlying theme being white saviours. The basis of the song is asking if the people in Ethiopia know it’s Christmas, and I’ll take my bets that they probably would’ve known, considering 62.8 per cent of the population are predominantly part of the Christian community.
Is there a single line in ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ that isn’t based on racism?
— Dr. Jessica Taylor (@DrJessTaylor) December 7, 2020
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
I have to admit, I had never heard this song before but after doing some research, I don’t think anyone should really be singing along to this one, whether you know it or not. The song has been argued to be anti-feminist. It came out as the second wave of the feminist movement was taking place in the USA and it pokes fun at a Grandma who was a victim of a hit and run by Santa.
The grandma’s death is seen as a celebration by her family members and is made out to seem that the Grandfather was relieved by her death so he could be “watching football, drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel.” This radiates severe “just guys bein’ dudes” USA energy and it’s negative vibes.
I guess we’re fairly lucky this isn’t a classic hit played on our radio because it’s also a pretty rubbish song.
This song is just straight-up strange. The premise of the Christmas hit is a woman trying to seduce Santa in order to get presents as she was such a “good girl” during the year. The song is traditionally sung by a female, calling Santa “baby” in exchange for jewelry and cars – I think that’s just a bit off, does it really need to be that much of an exchange? Shag Santa if you want, but women can buy their own things, we don’t need to flirt our way into getting them. Much less from Santa who literally gives gifts for FREE. That’s his whole thing!
The lyric where she sings: “Think of all the fun I’ve missed. Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed. Next year I could be just as good… if you’d just check off my Christmas list.”
And is there really that much need to be flirting with a 100+-year-old man? I don’t think so.