(1) Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas by John Denver vs.(2) Leroy the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie
Hey, a #1 seed vs. a #2 seed. This one comes to us by Jim Croce-wannabe John Denver, and it is very possibly his worst song.
But… is it worse than this truly awkward countrified version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?” It’s going to be a close one.
(1) Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas by John Denver vs. (4) Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen
Oh wow, this one is tough. Which of these odes to intoxication and dysfunctional families do you prefer?
Denver’s song is bad, but it doesn’t have the unpleasant vocals of Robert Earl Keen. Keen has called this “The Rocky Horror Picture Show of Christmas songs,” which is pretty offensive to Rocky Horror… and Christmas songs… and metaphor.
(2) Leroy the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie vs. (3) If We Make It Through December by Merle Haggard
Why did someone go to the trouble of animating a video for a song this terrible? Why did Joe Diffie think a mullet was a good idea? Why don’t I have a creative third question?
I still hold to this not being all that bad, but I blame it for leading to a lot of really depressing songs.
As we move on to Day 2 of the Worst Christmas Song Tournament, let’s take a look at a genre that seems to never stop releasing lousy Christmas songs. Country radio is just infested with the stuff in December, and I’ve whittled it down to eight of the worst.
(1) Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas by John Denver vs. (8) I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus by Brenda Lee
The title of this #1 seed says it all. There’s nothing like a Christmas song to treat an abusive, alcoholic father as just a well-meaning but goofy harbinger of Christmas joy. Plus, it has that unbearably stupid lyric, “Just last year when I was only seven, now I’m almost eight as you can see.”
Another song where the title says everything. Brenda Lee is famous for recording “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” which is one of the most iconic modern Christmas songs, but rockin’ this is not.
(4) Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen vs. (5) Santa Got Lost in Texas by Jeff Carson
Oh I hate this song so much. If I wasn’t trying to be unbiased to some extent, this would be at least the #2 seed if not #1. It’s ridiculously overblown and Robert Earl Keen’s voice is so twangy that I thought it was someone mocking country music, but nope Keen is from Texas. I’m done with this song every time it gets to “Little sister brought her new boyfriend/He was a Mexican/We didn’t know what to think of him until he sang/Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad.” So what did you think of him then? You acknowledged that he celebrated Christmas and now he’s OK? Perhaps this song isn’t worthy of that kind of grammatical analysis.
Yeah, it’s about as dumb as it sounds. It’s not offensive and it’s mostly forgettable, but it sure is dumb.
(3) If We Make It Through December by Merle Haggard vs. (6) I Only Want You for Christmas by Alan Jackson
This Merle Haggard song is the epitome of everything wrong with country radio at Christmastime. It’s not even necessarily the worst thing ever in-and-of-itself but it’s the king (and perhaps originator) of the super depressing country Christmas song, and it needs to pay for its sins.
And on the flip side, we have the definitive throwaway upbeat Christmas song (to be fair, nearly everything Alan Jackson ever recorded is a throwaway). You’ll forget this song ten seconds after hearing it.
(2) Leroy the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie vs. (7) Santa Claus is Comin’ (In a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train) by The Tractors
In 1995, life-sized mullet Joe Diffie offered this up this hillbilly sequel to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. In addition to being stupid, unfunny, and not catchy, it doesn’t make any sense. Does Leroy also have a red nose? Otherwise, what’s the point in him taking Rudolph’s place? These are things Joe Diffie really needed to think through.
OK, so there’s only one real problem with this song. The Tractors had just one hit—”Baby Likes to Rock It (Like a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train),” a fairly catchy song with abysmal lyrics, of which this is just a cheap re-write. You shouldn’t be able to pump out a Christmas song this easily.
As always, you’ve got 24 hours to vote for the worst on my @matchupmovies account!