Editor’s note: Many of you have expressed that you are offended by this post. However, the piece was meant to be humorous. Here are the author’s own words from the comments section:
Yes, it’s tongue in cheek, and if you browse through my previous articles, it is not my first humorous piece at Care2. I was poking fun at how liberals – myself included – can overdo it on the political correctness at times. After all, I think it’s important to be critical of/laugh at ourselves, too. Indeed, as hundreds have commented, I did go out of my way to find things to be offended by in these songs. I used a lot of hyperbole and faulty logic to make some ridiculous points.
I can understand why a lot of people aren’t reading it as satire, because most of the content on Care2 is fairly earnest, and people aren’t expecting to see something presented as a “cause” that’s actually fairly frivolous.
I do find problematic elements to songs #1 and #5, so I threw in what I personally consider to be some valid points amidst a sea of ridiculousness. But I intentionally left that to the reader to decide when lines were crossed. Just because someone is quick to offend doesn’t make them always wrong. I liked hearing from some commenters that it made them think, even if they didn’t ultimately agree.
Christmas carols add a lot of joy to the month of December, but unfortunately there are a handful of holiday songs that can really spoil the season. Over the years, I’ve decided to drop five songs that I previously cherished from my Christmas mixes after giving further consideration to their lyrical content. Progressives, or just decent people in general, might want to think twice about singing along to these offensive tunes:
1. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
I used to think this song was a cute duet until I paid more attention to the lyrics and recognized the thinly veiled sexual harassment. The woman makes over a dozen attempts to leave the man’s house, but each time he compliments her appearance and comes up with an excuse as to why she has to stay (it’s cold, there are no cabs, it’ll hurt his pride, she’ll catch pneumonia, etc.)
Things come to a head when she plainly says, “The answer is no,” yet he refuses to take no for an answer. It’s even more awkward when she asks, “Say, what’s in this drink?” There’s no way I can continue enjoying this supposed winter flirtation with so many date rape undertones.
2. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Frankly, I’m not sure how such a morbid song became a Christmas classic in the first place. A family suffering a tragedy on Christmas Eve shouldn’t be the subject matter for a flippant holiday song… especially when that tragedy is an elderly woman getting killed in a hit-and-run while trying to retrieve her medication.
What’s worse, I have a sneaking suspicion that Grandpa had a hand in murdering Grandma. Check out the description of Grandpa just hours after his wife’s body is discovered: “Now we’re all so proud of Grandpa/He’s been taking this so well./See him in there watching football/Drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel.” That doesn’t seem like a grieving widower to me. Plus, he keeps trying to float this preposterous Santa is a killer theory that only his naïve grandkid believes. Per the lyrics, Grandma was bludgeoned on both her front and backside, which doesn’t seem consistent with being struck by a vehicle/sleigh. Outside of Miracle on 34th Street, I’m not sure a Santa Claus defense will hold up in court.
3. 12 Days of Christmas
If the song’s length and annoying repetition aren’t already enough to get you to turn off the radio, consider the fact that it celebrates senseless consumerism. The song is nothing more than someone bragging by listing all of his/her gifts from a significant other. Does the singer mention anything about how it’s nice to give in addition to receiving? Does he/she even once say “Thank you” to the “true love” for all of these gifts? No.
Moreover, I can’t help but hope the true love also provided a fully staffed aviary for the 184 birds that are amassed in just under two weeks. Something tells me that our greedy benefactor has no idea what goes into caring for swans, partridges, French hens, and turtledoves. Someone call the Humane Society!
4. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
There are two interpretations for this song, neither of which is pleasant. The first is to take the kid’s eyewitness testimony at face value: he actually saw Santa Claus sucking face with his mom. How unsettling. We trust Mr. Kringle to enter our homes with pure intentions, not to fool around with married women. I’m not sure Daddy would find the scene to be as much of “a laugh” as the kid seems to think.
The second take is to read between the lines and believe that it is the kid’s father dressed up as Santa Claus. If two consenting adults want to dress up and role-play, that’s their business, but I am concerned for the kid who now carries the burden of believing his mom is a philanderer and that Santa is a home wrecker. Even if false, this secret is enough to give the kid serious trust issues and tear apart their family’s dynamic. It’s hard to laugh off something you know is going to lead to therapy down the road.
5. Do They Know It’s Christmas?
When dozens of famous musicians gathered to record a holiday single to raise money for the Ethiopian famine in 1984, I believe their hearts were in the right place, but the result is a super offensive song.
Rather than referencing the Ethiopians, they refer to them generally as Africans (because why challenge the western misconception that Africa is a single country?) and ask, “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” Well, considering that the majority of Africans aren’t Christians, the better question might be whether they even care. And to then lament that “there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time” is equally as absurd because the climate doesn’t generally lend itself to snow; in fact, the half of the continent below the equator is in the midst of its summer in December.
I understand motivating people to be charitable, but is it really necessary to portray Africa as an utter hellhole to accomplish that? According to the lyrics, Africa is “a world of dread and fear, where the only water flowing is a bitter sting of tears. And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.” The worst line might be Bono’s solo, “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you!” Uh, how about NOT thanking God that other people are starving? That seems like an awful thing to be thankful for, but what do I know, I’m not a Nobel Peace Prize nominee like Bono.
Hopefully this article hasn’t ruined too many of your favorite songs. Luckily, there are still hundreds of others for you to enjoy. Might I suggest “White Christmas”? With global warming on the rise, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know” will surely become an increasingly apt lyric!
Photo credit: Thinkstock