Tag Archives: John Denver

The Worst Christmas Song – Ever

I had no idea that ranking Christmas songs (from worst to best) is all over the web, so when I saw the ranking by Alexandra Petri in the The Washington Post, I was intrigued. Petri picked “The Little Drummer Boy” as the worst ever. I beg to disagree. IMHO the worst Christmas song ever is John Denver’s “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas.” What was he thinking?

If only John and I could have a conversation, I’d say…

“Oh, John, you were such an important part of my young life. How I loved “Rocky Mountain High,” “Annie’s Song,” “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders.”

Your lyrics to “Rhymes and Reasons” still resound today – especially during this on-Covid-alert holiday season:

So you speak to me of sadness
And the coming of the winter
Fear that is within you now
It seems to never end

For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day

And the song that I am singing
Is a prayer to non believers
Come and stand beside us
We can find a better way

And, John, I’m sure we’d all agree that your songs were generally a little schmaltzy, a little philosophical, kinda sweet – and usually uplifting. Yet the song you wrote that will stay with me forever is Leaving on a Jet Plane” (“I’m leaving on a jet plane; don’t know when I’ll be back again”). You recorded it in 1969, and in March of that year Andy and I hugged and kissed and cried and said good-bye to each other at the San Francisco airport; I flew back to Colorado and he flew to Vietnam for the start of his one year of service there. We were practically newlyweds. So I guess it’s not surprising that both Andy and I tear up and get goosebumps when we hear that song – even now more than 50 years later.

Lyrics from Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane

I was getting my holiday music organized the other day (I traditionally begin overwhelming Andy with my Christmas song tracks on the day after Thanksgiving) and was humming this one…and that one…and inadvertently started humming The Worst Christmas Song – Ever. The lyrics are brutal and sad and anything but Christmasy.

Why in god’s name did you record “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas,” John? We found out after you died in that plane crash that you had a dark side most of us weren’t aware of, so maybe that explains a little. But you first recorded this in 1973, when it seemed you were on top of the world. Didn’t you realize how dreadful that song was – and how wrong for the holiday season?”

I guess we all have dark sides. In today’s Andy’s Corner we get a closer look at the dark bark side of Wynn, our 5-month-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Now – to lift our holiday spirits – and to counter John’s depressing song – I’d like to propose a toast…and hope that a toast is not inappropriate under the circumstances. Here’s to holiday Mocktails!

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