12.20.2010

2010's Christmas Shoes

As with everything, there has to be a shittiest and worst, and Christmas is no exception. For years, the award for shittiest, worst Christmas song was bestowed upon Newsong's The Christmas Shoes. In the event you have no idea what I am talking about, please watch this brief tutorial courtesy of Patton Oswalt.



There. The very best descriptor of The Christmas Shoes. Anyways, it seemed that there was no way that there could ever be a Christmas song worse than that of The Christmas Shoes. Well, hold on to your hats, because ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Dan Fogelberg's Same Old Lang Syne:



The worst part is that it's not even new; it's from 1981. But for some reason, I had not heard it until this winter. And when I say heard it, I mean hearing it every hour on every radio station playing Christmas music. Here's the jist of this shitty, shitty song:

Dan Fogelberg (really unforch name) stops into a grocery store on Christmas eve. While walking down one of the aisles, he sees a High School sweetheart. Oh, what luck! So he approaches her and taps her on the arm. Now, here is where the story gets a raised eyebrow from me; whenever I see exes in the grocery store/liquor store/drug store (where I'm usually buying Pepto or tampons or both, of course) I never approach them in a "Hey! What a co-inky-dink to see you here?!" sort of way. I usually bolt for the exit. Now, not all guys I've seen have ended on a sour note, but sometimes it's just easier to avoid an awkward situation. Plus, exes are the only people who can catch you ducking them in a store and just shrug it off because they get it - they don't want to have that shitty, fake-friendship chit-chat either. Anyways, Dan Fogelberg apparently does not subscribe to this philosophy, so he runs down his ex for some awkward chit-chat (something that he wouldn't feel the need to do had he ran into his High School sweetheart during the advent of Facebook, but if Ifs and Buts were Candy and Nuts, you know?). They get to talking and move their shit to the check-out line where they stand there filling the dead air with awkward faces. One of them suggests they go to a bar. NOOOO! That's the worst idea! Dan Fogelberg's love interest, check your shit and get in your car. This isn't Studio 54, this is Farm Rite Grocery and you're stocking up on tins of cat food to put in your kittie's stockings. Homegirl, go home. But she doesn't, so they decide to find a bar. Of course no bars are open, because it's Christmas eve (you fucking dumbasses. That's like someone going "Shit, the mall isn't open on Sunday night? When did this happen?" I have no idea how long they're driving around, but they finally settle on a 6 pack in her car. A SIX PACK OF BEER IN HER CAR. This is a terrible idea. Firstly, because we find out the woman is married. Um, I do not have a jealous boyfriend by any means, and I'm not jealous of him, but we'd both be pissed if either of us got a text that read "Srry wont be home 4 awhile, just ran n2 ex from HSchool. Picked up a 6-er and r getting drunk n their car in the RiteAid parking lot. Will try not 2 fool around w them. C u at 2am!"
Cut to shady lady and Dan Fogelberg sitting in a beat up Gremlin in a parking lot on Christmas Eve drinking a 6-pack of Coors (I'm imagining cans, of course) and playing catch-up. She's married, but to a rich Architect she doesn't like. In the words of The Church Lady: How Conveeeeeeenient. She mentions that she's seen Dan Fogelberg's records in music stores and he must be getting pretty A-list. Meep meep, Gold Digger alert!! Nobody slugs back shitty beer in a parking lot on Christmas Eve unless they think they're about to upgrade from Architect to Rock Star. He tells her he's single (and ready to mingle) and that he loves being a famous musician, but hates touring because it's so lonely. Okay, match point, Fogelberg. The only easier way to get laid would be if he pulled out all the stops and told her he's got brain cancer and his dying wish is to 'make love' one last time. This would be where you assume they high tail it to the nearest Motel 6, but instead they finish off their beers and she tells him to hit the road. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and drives away, leaving Dan Fogelberg standing in an empty parking lot with a case of holly jolly blue balls. Then the snow turns into rain. THE END.

Here are my thoughts:
1. The only thing Christmassy about this song is the mention of it being Christmas Eve. This song could quite literally be about reconnecting with an old flame on April Fools Day, Guy Fawkes Day, or a Wednesday night. Dan Fogelberg probably knew this song was so fucking lame, the only way it would get radio play is if it had some kind of Christmas element because, let's face it, radio stations will play anything at Christmas. I think I've heard Taylor Swift's version of Santa Baby 29 times now, and it's just horrendous.

2. With a little help from Wikipedia, I found out that Dan Fogelberg has admitted that this song is entirely autobiographical. And, with a little more detective work, I found out he was married at the time he wrote it. Not so innocent, are we Fogelberg. All this time we're listening to it being like "Oh, poor guy! He still likes her, but she's tied up to that bastard of a husband. Make the first move, Dan! Save her from this loveless marriage!" Then you find out he was married at the time too, and the song suddenly becomes the An Ashley Madison Christmas Carol.

3. If she was married and didn't plan on breaking the most sacred of man-made laws, why the fuck would she drink warm beers in her car with a practical stranger? If she hates her home life so much that she's willing to chug brewskis in a gas-station parking lot with her High School bf rather than even imagine going home to her husband, then why doesn't she just divorce the guy? Oh yeah, SHE'S A GOLD DIGGER. Let me tell you this; if the lyrics were "She said she'd married her an Janitor / who kept her warm and safe and dry" they'd be at the La Quinta Inn so fast, a seagull would eventually be stuck in the 6-pack holder their beer came in (which is to say, so fast they would not have time to cut the plastic rings so as to prevent seagulls from getting their necks caught).

4. Speaking of this broad's husband, he doesn't sound like a bad guy. He's an Architect, which is a really interesting job. He's not a dummy and he's got a job where he gets to be a little creative. Also, I bet they have a cool-looking house. He keeps her warm (that's good, nobody likes to wear Snuggies), safe (they're not waking up to home invasions every Saturday night at 3am), and dry (remember how after Katrina the divorce rate skyrocketed to 400% or something? Well, there you go). She says she'd like to say she loves the guy, but she doesn't want to lie to Fogelberg. Hmmm, sounds like she doesn't love him, and not the other way around. So here we have a sad, cuckolded man who's wife is running around town entertaining guys in her bar-car like some kind of 1980s Don Draper. I feel bad for this guy! Shit, he's probably at home sitting in front of the fireplace in a homemade Christmas sweater, checking his watch over and over again going "Gee whiz, Sarah went out for egg nog 3 hours ago. I sure hope she comes back before midnight. I'd love to watch White Christmas together in our matching Christmas PJs."

5. Dan Fogelberg acts flattered when she mentions that she's seen his records and tapes in the music store and he acts all flattered. Dude, I had to Wiki you to find out if I could recognize anything you've done, and I wasn't able to identify ANYTHING. You're basically the same as if I ran into the guy from Len at Tim Hortons.

6. This song is basically the TV show Cheaters (Joey Greco!!) Meeting in a parking lot? Check. Drinking in a busted hatch-back? Check. Missing an important holiday with a loved one? Check and check. A delusional wanna-be rock star? Check mate.

So there you have it! The Christmas Shoes has been officially de-throned as the worst Christmas song of 2010. With that being said, I'm going to hole myself off from the world and listen to Wham's Last Christmas over and over and over and over....

8 comments:

alex davey said...

I always thought this was about Christmas rape. When the lyrics are there for you to red you realize it is MEGA BORING.

The Mayor said...

No, you're thinking of "Baby It's Cold Outside". I always thought this song was about Christmas suicide, but then I read the lyrics too and fell faaaaaast asleeeeep

Anonymous said...

It's not one of my favourite's either but I would gladly listen to it all day everyday instead of the crappiest of all....Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time". BARF.

dylan said...

true story: i once kicked the dude from len out of my apartment at 4am. i consider it a personal victory.

The Mayor said...

I know I'm a minority, but I love Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime". It's so....poorly and lazily written (I LOVE IT). Also Dylan, you made my day with that story.

Renee said...

This song needs sleigh bells. Where are the sleigh bells?? I ASK YOU!

Renee said...

This song needs sleigh bells. Where are the sleigh bells?? I ASK YOU!

James L. Greenlee said...

Brilliant! THIS is what I was going for when I wrote my own Christmas Shoes critique, but I didn't even come close. You're wrong of course. The Christmas Shoes is the worst Christmas song. But your critique of Dan Fogulburp's song is the best I've seen. Hilarious.

If you're intersted, here's my post. Compared to yours, the chuckles are few, but I'm particularly fond of the gnarly feet reference. http://greenleegazette.blogspot.com/2010/12/anatomy-of-christmas-shoes-revisited.html