Dr. Demento Picks the Worst Christmas Songs Ever

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Radio broadcaster Dr. Demento (aka Barret Eugene Hansen) arrives at The Paley Center for Media Presents A Centennial Salute To Spike Jones: The Godfather Of Musical Mayhem at The Paley Center for Media  on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

There is a lot of bad Christmas music out there, and rather than submit to the pain of sifting through all of the stinky holiday songs out there, Billboard enlisted self-described "mad music" expert Dr. Demento -- whose syndicated radio show played for 35 years and still webcasts every weekend at DrDemento.com -- to pick the five songs to avoid once the yule log starts burning and the egg nog starts flowing. Here, from bad to worst, are the good doctor's picks for crappiest Christmas songs of all time:

5. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" – Burl Ives
Sure, it's nice to hear Burl's burly baritone booming from those little speakers in department store ceilings that normally spew sonic wallpaper, but oh, by golly, those lyrics wouldn't pass muster for a 29 cent greeting card.

4. "I Want Eddie Fisher for Christmas" – Spike Jones
After achieving Christmas novelty song nirvana with "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," which was both cute and funny, Spike put out lots more Christmas songs. But somewhere between "Mommy Won't You Buy a Baby Brother (or Sister for Me)" (1950) and this 1954 shout-out to a fellow RCA artist just past his prime, funny turned into saccharine.

3. "I Farted on Santa's Lap (Now Christmas Is Gonna Stink for Me)" - The Little Stinkers 
The title is all you need to know. But if you insist on knowing more, this 1998 release is done in the style of an elementary-school sing-along. The great revelation from the little guttersnipe on lead vocals: "I realized that even old St. Nick rips one now and then." 

2. "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" – David Seville
Yes, it was an instant smash in 1958, and deservedly so…highly original and splendidly produced and promoted. So why is it on this list? Because it was the first Christmas hit that's only about the presents. I want this, I want that. Nothing about giving or anything else we love about Christmas. Just greed, pure and simple. It doesn't even mention Santa Claus, for crying out loud!

Drumroll, please. My choice for all-time worst Christmas song:

1. "I'm Gonna Put Some Glue 'Round the Christmas Tree (So Santa Claus Will Stick Around All Year)" Eddie Pola, who wrote the tune with Robert Colby in 1954, also co-wrote another terrible song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," which you'll probably hear even more often at the mall than "A Holly Jolly Christmas," and it's almost as banal. Peggy King cut "Glue" for Columbia in 1954, and it's cute and sweet, but that's not the version I have in mind. That same year, Joel Grey of Cabaret fame recorded the song for the Majar label, and it's indisputably worse. He was in his early 20s when he recorded it, but bizarrely he's imitating a child, milking every treacly line -- "I'll catch him like a fly/ And I'll have him for Easter and the Fourth of July" -- for all it's worth. It's as hard to digest as Aunt Agnes' fruitcake.

Listen to a sample of Grey's version here.

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