It’s popular across the internet to bag on Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” as the worst Christmas song ever. It sounds like it was written in ten minutes on a dare with a Casio keyboard as the only instrument allowed. And it is, objectively, a terrible song. I myself have used it on multiple occasions to torture students.
But there are worse holiday songs out there. Oh, so much worse. I’d personally like to nominate “Little Drummer Boy” as the worst of the worst. It’s got it all: ridiculous repetition of the “pa-rum-pa-pum-pum” nonsense, a kid who thinks a woman who just gave birth needs to listen to a drum solo, and a slow, plodding tempo that leaves me wanting to pa-rum-pa-pum-punt the songwriter right into the Magi.
In fact, there’s only one version of the song I can stand: one done by Jars of Clay, the Contemporary Christian band famous for the song “Flood,” did as a charity single back in 1997.
The band sped things up a bit, turned the drums into a beat loop, and added some lovely folky acoustic instrumentation to the song. It’s still crap, but it’s listenable crap.