The Beatles are probably the most famous band in music history but its members were awful at making Christmas songs. If there’s one thing I can stress to you this holiday season, it would be that. Put on any radio station that dedicates its Decembers to holiday music. Within one hour you’ll hear both “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney and “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon, and you’ll be forced to agree. They are not good songs. It’s okay, you can admit it. I know there’s a little voice inside your head saying “But… the Beatles… people like them… maybe these songs are good?” Nope. They are not. Say it out loud. It’s liberating.
The real question here isn’t even so much “Are the songs bad?” as it is “They are bad but which one is worse?” And so, let’s ask that question. Below, I’ll lay out the case against each song and pick a winner (loser?). Feel free to chime in with your pick. There’s no wrong answer here. Unless you like one of them. Then you are wrong.
OPTION #1: “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
Let me begin by saying that Paul McCartney seems like a perfectly nice man who would probably have encouraging words for you if you were down in the dumps over an unfortunate event in your career or personal life. That said, this song is traaaaassssshhhhh. Everyone knows it, too. Google “Wonderful Christmastime.” You don’t even get through the first page of results before you get to articles about how awful it is, and by the end of the second page of results there are already two or three contrarian “In Defense Of…” pieces about the song, which is the surest sign of all that something is unspeakably bad.
Honestly, we could do a sub-showdown with this larger showdown titled “Which Is Your Least Favorite Part Of ‘Wonderful Christmastime,’ The Repeating Chorus Or All Those Friggin Electric Sproinging Sounds?” See, you think it’s the chorus because that’s the part that moves into your head and refuses to leave like people in those nightmare AirBNB stories, but listen again and ask yourself this: Would that bother you that much if not for all the sproings? I bet it wouldn’t! In fact, I bet you started getting angry as soon as you heard the first sproing at the beginning of the song, which I am sorry I made you listen to again, but science required it.
The near-universal agreement on this song’s lack of a redeeming trait (and the thing where, again, Paul seems very sweet and I kinda don’t want him to be sad) almost makes me feel bad about piling on like this. I’m not exactly breaking new ground here. And I think I might feel full-on bad about this if not for two additional factors.