December 9, 2003
BY MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporter
National Public Radio host Jim Nayder has produced "The Annoying Music Show" for six years.
A collector of all tunes mildly, moderately and extremely grating, he thrills in unearthing and airing displays of musical hackery: Lorne Greene interpreting "As Time Goes By," William Shatner mauling "Rocket Man," and thousands more.
Here, his picks for the absolute most annoying holiday songs.
"Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore" by Larry Nestor: It's kind of a cute song, but some of the lyrics get to me. There's a line about, "Santa must have heard the Surgeon General's warning."
"Uncle Mistletoe" by Buddy Max: It sounds like everybody's uncle that you really dreaded when he came over. The chorus is, "Uncle Mistletoe, I'm your Uncle Mistletoe."
"The Dreidel Song" by the Chickens Symphony Orchestra: Normally we don't play animals or novelty tunes, but the Chickens is kind of an orchestra, and they've included a few barnyard animals, which I think is cutting edge.
"O Holy Night" by Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady): The thing about this song is it's actually Marcia [Maureen McCormick] and Greg. Marcia starts out, she does kind of country-western stuff and it's pretty good. But then Greg comes in.
"Santa, Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Dr. X-mas: As rap songs go, I think even rappers would be annoyed by this.
"Deck the Halls" by Dan Blocker (aka Hoss Cartwright): Who doesn't love Hoss Cartwright? But he's not someone you want to have on karaoke night.
"Here Comes Santa" Joe Pesci: Actually, this is kind of historic, because Joe Pesci wanted a career in singing. Before movies, he called himself Little Joe Ritchie. And it sounds like Joe Pesci singing "You think I'm funny?"
"Hanukkah Rocks" Gefilte Joe & the Fish: The only senior-citizen Jewish rock band. It's a fun Hanukkah song, but the band just sounds cranky, like they didn't want to be there doing it.
"Even Squeaky Fromme Likes Christmas" by the Rev. Glen Armstrong: I'm sure very few of the folks buying CDs today even remember who Squeaky Fromme is. She was part of the Manson family, a psycho murderer. And I think we can just say that a Christmas carol about a psycho murderer probably is enough said.
"Amazing Grace" by Donald Duck: "Amazing Grace" really isn't a Christmas carol per se, but it's one of those religious songs that I think everybody can sing no matter what faith you're from ... and Donald gives it his all. It's tough for him to sing.
"Winter Wonderland" by the San Francisco 49ers: It sounds like they rounded them up and made them stand in the showers and sing like some sort of punishment. They put the "wonder" in wonderland.
"Silver Bells" by Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin: I don't think I have to comment on this one, but this goes beyond annoying music. It kind of defines all things annoying. I think Kathie Lee Gifford, who has a pleasant voice, universally annoys almost everyone. They bicker at the beginning of the song, where Kathie doesn't think Reeeege is doing it nicely enough. And she says "Reeeege" about nine times, which is annoying, in a 30-second opening. And then she just takes over the song and says, 'This is the way it's gotta be done,' like she is the definitive Christmas carol singer. And then Reege, or Mr. Philbin I should say, just complains through the whole song.