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The Creepiest Of Christmas Carols

December 22, 2009

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”:  Jolly  Promise Or Veiled Threat?  You Decide.

photo from Awkward Family Photos

photo from Awkward Family Photos

Back in the old days, it was perfectly acceptable for a public school to hold a Christmas assembly, and I looked forward to that day like no other.  How I loved belting out the Christmas carols, blissfully  unaware of what the context actually meant.

I’ve come to the sobering realization that these songs take on a different meaning altogether when you dissect the double entendre behind their lyrics.

There is no shortage of candidates for creepiest Christmas song.  ”Santa Baby” is guaranteed to give me the heebie jeebies anytime I hear it piped through the speakers at a department store. The original version with Eartha Kitt oozes sexuality, and I don’t like it when sex and Santa intersect. In the You Tube video, Kitt is draped in some sort of fur throw, and when she urges Santa to “hurry down the chimney tonight”  I think we know what she is getting at.  *shudders*

However, there is one song that rises above the rest, and that is “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town.” The song was first written and performed in 1934, a decidedly more innocent era than the one we live in.  Now we have to worry about pedophiles, stalkers, kidnappers and various other unsavory types.  Take all that into account, and the lyrics for “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town” is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Witness the photo with the innocent (albeit awkward) family in the foreground.  You can see that Santa is lurking in the window behind them.  His finger on his lips is a warning to the photographer not to give him away, or he will put the kibosh on the kid. At least that’s the way I see it.

Let’s take a look at the lyrics, shall we? Just imagine if you read these lyrics, and Santa is some sort of monster, like the bogeyman.  All the kids have heard about him for years, and parents use him to intimidate their offspring into behaving well.  Watch how quickly this light hearted song takes a turn toward horror.

You better watch out because he is coming to get you

You better not shout isn’t this what killers say when they have their hands over your mouth?

You better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Clause is coming to town foreboding warning

He’s making a list of his victims

And checking it twice

Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice so he can punish the naughty ones

Santa Clause is coming to town 2nd warning

He sees you when you’re sleeping because he is right outside your window, watching

He knows when you’re awake Stalker!

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake! parent pleading to their child to be good so they don’t get killed

Repeat chorus

All kidding aside, this song really did freak me out when I was little. In particular,  the “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake” line.  I distinctly remember contemplating the consequences of an omniscient being making the call on whether I got my Christmas loot.  Can he see me when I’m pooping? Is pooping bad/naughty?  Should I be embarrassed?  Can he see me in the bathtub?  What about when I am picking my nose?  Is picking my nose bad/naughty?…I could go on, but you get my gist.  Clearly, I have some deep rooted psychological issues attached to this song.

Sweet Dreams!


One Response to “ The Creepiest Of Christmas Carols ”

  1. Nat on December 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I’ll still take this one over “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” “The Goddamn Drummer Boy,” and “F*cking Silver & Gold.”

    We should do our most hated Christmas songs for the podcast.