I was riding in a taxi in Athens, Greece on Thanksgiving day. The driver was listening to the radio and on came a the song “Last Christmas” by Wham! Of course, I had heard this song many times in the past, but it really stuck out to me that day, sitting in a taxi, being surrounded by the song’s words, realizing that it was the first Christmas song I heard this year.
I quickly came to one adamant conclusion: this is a terrible song.
There are many great Christmas songs – hundreds of them both secular and sacred – and this is not one of them. If Santa ever got in a habit of wrapping his gifts of coal in song lyrics, I would highly offer this as a worthy companion to coal.
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, and the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me some tears, I’ll give it to someone special.”
Really? Please, save me some tears and stop playing this song.
What struck me in the taxi in Athens was the fact that this song was going to be prominently heard on the airwaves of that station and thousands more around the world for the next six weeks. The radio station was willingly lowering the standard of their content in playing this inferior song.
Just because someone writes a Christmas song doesn’t mean that it’s a good one. It was released in 1986. It should have been retired in 1987. But no. It was covered by Taylor Swift 20 years later and Ariana Grand six years after that. It’s like a song which has cast a spell on people in the industry and it has created a holiday monster which chews into playlists and keeping you from hearing superior songs.
This is probably why I don’t like suggested playlists because too many people without taste select the songs.
What would I suggest instead? Well, try the Christmas album by little-known artist David Ian, for starters. It’s terrific, and it will put you in the holiday mood, something “Last Christmas” has never done for me.
So please, let’s make this the last Christmas for “Last Christmas.”
PS: Shoot! I just found out that there is a Christmas movie coming out in 2019 called “Last Christmas” and it’s inspired by the song.
We are doomed!