“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie

This song is a special kind of awful, even by shitty Christmas novelty song standards. The tune is one of the genre’s most annoying, ultra-simplistic, infuriatingly perky and a brainslug-level earworm, but there’s a deeper problem with the song besides its surface obnoxiousness.

Despite being heard far too often in media ostensibly intended for adults such as mainstream radio stations and shopping establishments, this is for the most part a children’s song, and it instills in children one of the worst messages you could teach them. Essentially, it’s saying, “Be good, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because life will magically reward you for your goodness”. I’ll grant you that mindset is an inherent problem with the Santa Claus mythos in general, but rarely is it spelled out as baldly as it is in this song.

This may seem harmless, except that a surprising number of people grow up without ever growing out of this mindset…you’ll notice that there are several major branches of organized religion that essentially promise the same thing using the exact same incentives. So if you think about it, a lot of the most serious problems of the modern world could conceivably be traced back to childhood exposure to this particular song. I think that in itself is enough to seal the deal on a negative verdict.

Verdict: This song is garbage.

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