It’s that time of year again. You can’t walk into a grocery store, mall or even a quick mart without listening to Christmas carols.  I’ll admit I start listening to those Christmas carols right after Thanksgiving.

I sing along loudly for all I’m worth while driving to work, thankfully with my windows up so no other driver feels the need to hurt me! (I live in Florida, and lots of people carry guns there.) 

Many of us listen to Christmas music this time of year, but do we really pay attention to the lyrics? I am not positive I ever really paid attention because when I don’t know that second or third verse, I just “la, la, laaa!” But for some reason, I actually listened this year and then was like, “Whoa, did I just hear what I think I heard?” And then, being me, I had to just start researching songs. 

I thought after the year we have all had, we all could use a laugh. As you know, dear readers, I am a bit strange, and sometimes when I hear something, it strikes me as “funny.” So let me share some of these “odd” lyrics or songs and share how my weird mind works. 

Hopefully, this will make those long shifts seem shorter and more sane!

Up on the Housetop

So yup, this is a real stanza from the song “Up on the Housetop” a Christmas song written by Benjamin Hanby in 1864: 

“Look in the stocking of little Bill
Oh, just see what a glorious fill
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks
A whistle and a ball and a whip that cracks”

And everyone wondered why little Billy grew up to be a psychopathic teenager!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Songwriter Ralph Blaine wrote the classic song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” for Judy Garland’s 1944 movie “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

Arguably the most “downer” of a Christmas song. The composer Ralph Blane must have been in a very dark space when he wrote this song. Did you know that the lyrics originally went, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last/ Next year we may all be living in the past.” Talk about depressing!

So, it was rewritten by request of the filmmakers but still remained pessimistic with, “Through the years, we all will be together / If the fates allow.” Great, so maybe we’ll all be dead next Christmas? Thanks Ralph!

Baby, it’s Cold Outside

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was written by Frank Loesser in 1944. While the lyrics make no mention of a holiday, it is commonly regarded as a Christmas song owing to its winter theme. The absolutely worst line in this one: “Say what’s in this drink?” Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a roofie, right?

Silent Night

“Silent Night” is about the wonder of a tender and mild newborn child, written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr, a young priest in Austria. But I’m not mad at this one. I mean it is a Christmas miracle if your baby sleeps through the night. Just saying.

Twelve Days of Christmas

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol. The lyrics detail a series of increasingly numerous gifts given on each of the 12 days of Christmas (the 12 days that make up the Christmas season, starting with Christmas Day).

The carol, whose words were first published in England in the late 18th century, are attributed to a few writers. But the lyrics and music we are familiar with were updated in 1909 by Frederic Austin.

If he were still alive today, I’d say, “Fred, it’s in need of another serious update.” If someone gave anyone these gifts (except for the five golden rings, because, come on…) no one would question you breaking up with this extravagant gift-giver. Animal and bird droppings everywhere, people leaping and dancing about, overcrowding your place. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Winter Wonderland

“Winter Wonderland” is a song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard Smith. Due to its seasonal theme, it is often regarded as a Christmas song. But … just who the heck is Parson Brown, and why is he going around asking people if they’re married? Seems kind of rude to me. None of your business, Parson! 

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is by British songwriter Tommie Connor and was first recorded by Jimmy Boyd in 1952. I say first recorded because, as you all know, it has been re-recorded by many artists. To me, perhaps the most disturbing was the Jackson 5 in 1970. I mean, these kids weren’t exploited enough to then have their hopes and dreams of Santa destroyed? Singing this song, they learned that a child is awakened by the sound of reindeer on the roof. Then there’s a sound in the chimney. Could it be? Jumping out of bed, our little child rushes into the living room, and yes! He’s real! Santa is real. And then whoa, hey, wait just a minute! Get your hands off my mommy, you bearded holly-jolly homewrecker!

Dominick the Donkey

“Dominick the Donkey” is a Christmas song written by Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell, recorded by Lou Monte in 1960. The song describes Dominick, a donkey who helps Santa Claus bring presents (made in “Brook-a-lin,” huh?) to children in Italy because reindeer can’t climb the hills. Wait, don’t reindeer fly? Whatever. Now, Italians have given us wonderful things, such as designer clothes, Ferraris, pasta, and pizza, but man, oh man, this song. It’s “Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw!” refrain is enough to make you want to jump out of that Ferrari. Just no.  

“Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)”

Originally written and sung by John Denver, and then forgotten, which was good. But nooooo! Alan Jackson had to bring this one back to life. Why, Alan, WHY?? This song just should NOT exist. Period. Enough said.

The last, and absolute worst, on the list is so bad I had to attach the video.

Leroy The Redneck Reindeer

This song by Joe Diffie is so bad, that between the mullet, the line dancing and Santa now delivering beer and cans of oil for Christmas, I may never be the same!

May your days be merry and bright, no matter what shift you’re working or what your building census may be!

Just keeping it real (hopeful for happy holidays!),

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates. 

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.