Wait, what was that?

Wait, what was that?
Photo Morgan Ashmead and Public Domain Not all Christmas songs are what they appear to be

Hold up, did that song say what I thought it said?


Christmas time is here, and with it, war. The fight has begun months ago and is getting more and more intense since December arrived. The fight of Christmas songs.

Some people absolutely love Christmas songs and will sing them all year round, and will blast them from October to December. Others absolutely hate Christmas songs and will do all they can to forget about them. The only time they allow them to be played in their presence is sometimes on Christmas Day.

Disregarding whether you like them or not, Christmas songs are a part of life this time of year. But, what do they really mean? Almost all of them have peppy tunes and bright lyrics, but were they meant to be holiday cheers? These are some Christmas songs that aren’t exactly what everyone thinks they are.

  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus This song has mixed messages. It’s obviously a play on the joke that Santa Claus isn’t real, and that their child doesn’t realize that it’s his dad, not Santa Claus, kissing his mom. But, let’s think about that. A child is watching his mother have an affair and doesn’t seem too concerned about it. And no one else seems concerned…
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? This song seems kind of basic, right? If you listen to the words, it sounds like a story of Jesus’s birth. Wrong. This song was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s actually a prayer for peace. The composer had already suffered through World War II and watched as there was fear instead of hope during the crisis at Christmas time. He came up with the song after watching babies, or little lambs, acting happy while everyone else was grieving. If you listen, you can hear the despair and sadness as a ‘star’ streaks across the sky with a tail as big as a kite.
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside This song is very controversial. As you listen to the lyrics, it can sound very suspicious. “It’s strange to me that we still hear it so much, especially with the whole Me Too movement,” said senior Kylie Howse.

          However, others disagree. “It is an older song,” said senior Shannon Lynch. “Homer and Jethro were popular in the                     40s-60s. It is very unlikely, especially with the culture of the time, that a              date rape song would have gotten                       popular.”

         So, which is it? It depends on what time period you’re in. Back when it was written, it could have been very much a piece           about society’s expectations. If you listen, the female singer never says that she personally wants to go, just that others            would talk if she stayed. However, in the modern world, it’s more interpreted as a rape-culture piece, with the woman              wanting to leave, but the man wanting her to stay. The song has actually been banned in Cleveland, Ohio and in multiple          radio stations across the nation due to its potentially graphic interpretation.

  • Jingle Bells This one’s hilarious. Jingle Bells is probably the most iconic Christmas piece. But, it wasn’t even written for Christmas. It’s about Thanksgiving. Let that sink in.
  • 12 Days of Christmas This piece is actually a rebellious piece. It was written back when Catholicism was banned in England. Adults wrote this song to teach the young kids about their religion during Christmas using symbolism.
  • Carol of the Bells Surprise! Another iconic Christmas piece you hear in every Christmas movie wasn’t even written for Christmas. It was a Ukrainian folk song about the coming of spring that an English composer changed.
  • Deck the Halls Today, this song doesn’t sound bad at all. What hidden meanings could there be? However, this song was changed by Thomas Oliphant into the words we know and love today. Before the change, it was rather inappropriate. Basically, all that is the same is the tune and the ‘fa la la las’.

I’ll bet, the next time you listen to a Christmas song, you will actually listen.

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