RFT Music Presents the Worst Christmas Song of All Time

Categories: Holiday Jams

Linda Bennett with Ricky Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1960, fifteen years before the atrocity that is "An Old Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)."
Yesterday Jezebel anointed "The Christmas Shoes" the worst Christmas song of all time. We at RFT Music agree that this maudlin tale of a little boy who wants to buy his dying mom a pair of shoes so she'll look all classy when she meets Jesus in the Great Beyond and, in the process, teaches the song's narrator the True Meaning of Christmas is unspeakably awful.

But it has nothing -- we repeat nothing -- on "An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)," a rare gem recorded by Linda Bennett in 1975. Brace yourself -- and maybe pour yourself a good stiff cup of egg nog -- and give it a listen.

"The Christmas Shoes" at least has a message of love and charity. The people in "An Old Fashioned Christmas" are a bunch of assholes. Upon hearing that Daddy's usual bus has just skidded on ice and crashed into a tree and there are no survivors, what is their immediate response? (We're just going to tell you, since we doubt you've had the stomach to get past the painfully boring introduction or the fake radio announcer.)

Sis: "Who's going to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day?"

Little Brother: "Who's going to buy me presents and take me out to play?"

And then the doorbell rings. Is it the cops to deliver the bad news? Why no, it's Daddy! He missed his bus because he was out buying presents! Everyone is happy because Daddy is alive and because they're going to get presents and Mommy sings the chorus again without giving a thought to all those other people who died when their bus crashed into a tree. Doesn't Daddy have commuting buddies? Doesn't anybody in this family feel the slightest bit of existential dread over Daddy's narrow escape? Don't they feel the urge to do a little Tebowing and thank God for their good fortune? (We can't believe we just wrote that, but if there's ever a time for such a response, wouldn't it be after you avoided a deadly bus crash?)

Oh, hell no! There are presents! Christmas has been saved!

Plus there's the fact that the song has no redeeming musical qualities whatsoever. The only thing we could possibly point to is that Daddy has what could be a New England accent, which is appropriate since they're all supposed to live in Connecticut. Points for verisimilitude?

There's a reason you have all heard "The Christmas Shoes" and not this hot, steaming pile of reindeer dung. "An Old Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)" is proof that, even at Christmastime, some things are too awful to be played on the radio, to be novelized or turned into a TV movie (even on Lifetime).

Bonus: Fox News spent a year tracking down Linda Bennett for an interview, wherein it is revealed that Bennett had an extensive career in the '50s and '60s, performing on various TV shows and on Bob Hope's USO tour, and that she doesn't remember recording "An Old Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)" at all. Someday, we, too, may be so lucky.

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3 comments
Larrysminton
Larrysminton

I was in the audience for the 1968 Bob Hope USO show at Osan AB, Korea about 50 rows from the stage.  I remember that Linda Bennett impressed me even more than Ann-Margret.  Linda had a great voice and was beautiful.  The show made us all so homesick especially after we joined in singing Silent Night at the closing. 

A Linda Bennett fan'Larry M.

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