The Return Of Depressing Christmas Songs, Ctd

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

This is a great list. Might I suggest a couple additions?

"She Won't Be Home" by Erasure

"Christmas Every Year" by Frazier Chorus

The first is a powerful lament  from the perspective of an LGBT adult unable to go "home" for the holidays because of an unaccepting family. The second is a vicious skewering of the holiday, trashing the materialism of the modern celebration as only Frazier Chorus can.

Another writes:

The Return Of Depressing Christmas Songs

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

Hey, how about some links to those dreadful Christmas songs you posted last year?  Or am I going nuts and it was another blog?

Twas us. Enjoy:

Charlie Brown – "Christmas Time Is Here"

Sarah McLachlan – "Wintersong"

John Eddie – "Another Lonely Christmas"

Judy Garland – "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

Judy Garland – "After the Holidays"

Depressing Christmas Songs, Ctd

A reader writes:

Perhaps because I'm a church musician, I find it interesting that many of these "depressing Christmas songs" have nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever.  They're straight up pop songs stuffed onto a Christmas album because the lyricist managed to find a way to put the word Christmas in there somewhere.  Believe me, there are plenty related to the season that top these if you really think about it.  Peter Warlock's "Bethlehem Down" comes to mind. The message?  All is sweet for now, but you know soon enough the babe is going to be crucified.  If you don't fully buy the notion of the resurrection, what could be more maudlin?

Lyrics after the jump:

Depressing Christmas Songs, Ctd

A reader writes:

You're going to have a hard time finding any Christmas song more depressing – or chilling – than Woody Guthrie's "1913 Massacre". Based on a horrible chapter in US labor history, it is one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard. It also demonstrates why Guthrie was among the greatest of American songwriters.

Another reader passes along an unreleased Bob Dylan cover from 1961. Lyrics after the jump:

Depressing Christmas Songs, Ctd

Several readers have recommended “How To Make The Gravy” by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. One writes:

It has depressing, slightly schmaltzy subject matter (man in jail missing Christmas writes a letter to a family member), but leaves you really appreciating what we often take for granted during Christmas.  Throw in a recipe for gravy (light on the specifics, but good on the general idea) and references to Nina Simone and Junior Murvin and you have, IMO, one of the best damn Christmas songs ever.  Lyrics after the jump:

Depressing Christmas Songs, Ctd

A reader writes:

I have to nominate "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."  It was written for the classic musical Meet Me In St. Louis, a depressing tune in which Judy Garland tries to cheer up her distraught family forced to move from their beloved St. Louis home when the father gets a promotion in New York.  And in the context of the film, yeah.  It's pretty depressing.  Here are the original lyrics, changed to become slightly more upbeat after Garland complained it was too depressing:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,