The 13 Most Horrifying (Classic) Christmas Songs of All Time

Christmas carols are meant to get us in the holiday spirit, but have you ever really listened to the words of these bad Christmas songs? Most of these songs are about accidents, adult pleasure, or slaying people. Lyrics about poverty, suspected adultery, giant snow creations springing to life — it's horrifying.

What are the worst Christmas songs ever? These songs are ones we hear piped throughout giant shopping centers, in lobbies, on the radio, the background music of our celebrations and holiday parties but what are they really saying? Here are the most horrifying Christmas song lyrics of all time, from songs that provide the perfect soundtrack to creepy vintage Christmas photos.

  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
    Video: YouTube

    Okay, sure, this is meant to be somewhat whimsical, but think of the visual: a kind, wonderful, loving old woman is walking home on Christmas Eve, and then she gets run over by a reindeer.

    And this is when the story gets horrible:

    "Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
    Walking home from our house Christmas Eve.
    You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
    But as for me and Grandpa, we believe."

    So Grandma perished because of this? But reindeer fly, so how did they run her over? This song brings up a whole bunch of logistical questions.

    This song, by the way, after studying this last phrase, fits perfectly into Christmas because of the modern Christian value of if you don't believe in Jesus, you are shunned. Grandma didn't believe in Santa Claus.

    Check this out:

    "When we found her Christmas morning,
    At the scene of the attack,
    She had hoof-prints on her forehead,
    And incriminating Claus marks on her back."

    So, it was a calculated incident. This song is about the most kind, benevolent fictional character of all time that spends his entire life making and delivering toys to children taking time out of his schedule to slay an old woman (who isn't even part of his target audience).

    "Now were all so proud of Grandpa
    He's been takin' this so well
    See him in there watchin' football
    Drinkin' root beer and playin' cards with cousin Belle."

    So Grandpa's just fine with this, apparently. 

    The concept of Santa Claus moonlighting as an assassin for hire is not only terrifying because of his supernatural powers of light speed and work ethic, but because he can see us when we're sleeping, and when we're awake.

  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
    Video: YouTube

    Speaking of which:

    "He sees you when you're sleeping
    He knows when you're awake
    He knows if you've been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake!
    O! You better watch out!
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I'm telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town."

    This sounds like a threat. This entire song is a threat.

    Santa does sound a little too focused on watching little kids, and this all sounds very threatening, what exactly is going to happen to kids when Santa comes to town?

    But what really makes this song disturbing lies in the fact that there's an everpresent being watching children 24/7, and that if they screw up once, even once, then they don't get to enjoy what is easily the most joyous season of the year in the West with the rest of the world.

    If you don't live by this weird, fat, bearded guy's rules, you have nothing but coal, alienation, and social exclusion to look forward to during the holidays.

    Why do we even need God if we have Santa Claus?

  • Santa Baby
    Video: YouTube

    Eartha Kitt sang the original version of this song in 1953. It's the sexiest Christmas song, but operates under the guise of what is basically a proposition for trading pleasure for goods.

    We've already seen Santa take money for slaying on this list, and in this song, we assume he can be bought with adult pleasure.

    This song is about a gold digger. She asks for a platinum mine in this song, and that's before she asks for something from Tiffany's. And then she wants more. This is the greediest person alive, and she's willing to sleep with Santa Claus to get whatever she wants.

    Yachts, a deed to the house, a duplex and checks as stocking stuffers?

  • 12 Days Of Christmas
    Video: YouTube

    If your true love is sending you a total of 23 birds, 49 people, and five golden rings you may want to consider finding a new true love because this one is involved in black market dealings or is one of those brash, irresponsible billionaires.

  • The Christmas Shoes
    Video: YouTube

    This may be the worst song ever written in the history of holiday songs (which is actually kind of a long history). This song is about a guy buying last-minute gifts, and he's waiting in line behind some kid who says:

    "Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
    It's Christmas Eve, and these shoes are just her size
    Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
    You see she's been sick for quite a while
    And I know these shoes would make her smile
    And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight."

    This kid is out on Christmas Eve buying shoes for his mother who's going to pass on Christmas.

    Then it gets even better:

    "He counted pennies for what seemed like years
    Then the cashier said, 'Son, there's not enough here'
    He searched his pockets frantically
    Then he turned and he looked at me
    He said Mama made Christmas good at our house
    Though most years she just did without
    Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
    Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes."

    He doesn't have enough?!

    If you're not crying by this point, just wait because a choir of small children then begin to sing the chorus. If that's not enough, it then goes into a single child singing with just a piano.

    The real tragedy in the song, though, lies in the fact that this is a song you can hear at Macy's, and it's one that chronicles a child with a dying mother who's out committing a gesture well beyond his means in order to see his mother smile just one more time before she passes.

  • Baby, It's Cold Outside
    Video: YouTube

    Someone clearly doesn't understand the meaning of "no" in this classic:

    "I really can't stay (But, baby, it's cold outside)
    I've got to away (But, baby, it's cold outside)
    This evening has been (Been hoping that you'd drop in)
    So very nice (I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)
    My mother will start worry (Beautiful, what's your hurry?)
    My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
    So really I'd better scurry (Beautiful, please don't hurry)
    But maybe just a half a drink more (Put some records on while I pour)
    The neighbors might think (Baby, it's bad out there)
    Say, what's in this drink? (No cab's to be had out there)
    I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
    To break this spell (I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
    I ought to say "No, no, no, sir" (Mind if I move in closer?)
    At least I'm gonna say that I tried (What's the sense in hurtin' my pride?)"