Just Another Sad Song...Five Really Sad Christmas Songs

Why be merry and bright, when you can be dreary and contrite?

Charlie Brown had a sad sad Christmas season too. 
There are so many reasons to be joyous around the holidays. Listen to any Christmas radio station and all the reasons are there: family, snow, fun, gifts.  But for every cheery tune, there seems to be one that is equally as sad.  So here is a list of the top sad Christmas songs, chosen because of social commentary or how many times they are played on LiteFM's continuous Christmas music playlist.


1. Boys II Men, Why Christmas
So true story, I thought this song's lyrics were "It's going to be a White Christmas, my brothers and my sisters, they don't have any toys."As a child, I felt really bad for all the non-white kids in Philadelphia. Why did no one give them toys? I later learned the song said "Why Christmas." The sentiment remained. Life for a shorty shouldn't be so rough.

2.Stevie Wonder and every cover after, Someday at Christmas
 This is a ubiquitous Christmas song. The most famous versions come from the Motown Family (Stevie, Diana, The Jackson Five), but others including Justin Bieber have lent their vocals to the song. This song has wars, hungry children, hate, and apparently enslaved people. Some day is just a day far away. It seems like it's never going to come, until the Good Lord himself returns. This is such a depressing thought. Merry Christmas!


3. Dan Fogelberg, Same Old Lang Syne
You meet your ex at a grocery store on Christmas Eve. Despite the fact that she's married-and it's Christmas Eve- the two of you try to catch up via drinks, can't find an open bar, so go and drink a 6-pack in the car. Who drove home after this brilliant idea? The love is frail, the jobs are okay but not completely fulfilling, and the years just continue Of course I feel warm and amazing now. Don't you?

Christmas bells are supposed to be cheery, not ringing sad sad news. Is the listener supposed to be amazed by a love so deep that the holidays cannot be celebrated without one's partner? Or should the listener be saddened that there is only one way to have a happy celebration? Why are you begging? Also see Elvis, Blue Christmas for the same reason. 

5. Bing Crosby and every cover after, "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
Some may feel that this song doesn't deserve to be on this list. But that one last line, "if only in my dreams," invalidates everything else. Of course I can count on you to do anything in your dreams. But what about in reality? Sigh.

Bonus: Band Aid 1984 and 2014 , Do They Know It's Christmas

This song is sad, but mostly confusing. Do they know it is Christmas? You mean, do they know the date? There won't be snow in Africa this Christmas. Guess what, I've spent several years celebrating Christmas in New York without snow. Did I know it was Christmas?  In this song,  the bells become clanging bells of doom. How awful! But you know, thank God it's them, and not us!



The point of this song is to move you to care about an epidemic. There is one directive: Feed the World.   It is a wonderful timely reminder that everyone isn't enjoying the holidays in the commercial way. But it distills an entire continent of people (of varied religious backgrounds) to one group of suffering souls. But it doesn't come off as sincere as much as it comes off as belittling and insensitive.


So, now that I have thoroughly depressed you:

What are your favorite sad songs to love to hate but sing along to anyway at Christmas? 

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