This article is over 6 years old

Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Episode 112: The Ugly Christmas Sweaters Of Classical Music, With Alecia Lawyer

There’s a lot of beautiful Christmas music out there. This isn’t it. Learn what makes bad Christmas music bad in this episode.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>
Alecia Lawyer
Photo by Julie Soefer.
Alecia Lawyer

It’s four days until Christmas. Chances are, you’ve heard a lot of beautiful music. If you’re looking for more of that, you’ve come to the wrong place. Welcome to Jingle Hell, where bad songs are born, and good songs come to die. Alecia Lawyer, founder, artistic director, and principal oboist of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) talks about the worst musical offerings of the season, and what makes them so bad. Songs that include entire scales? Check. Songs with completely bizarre lyrics that we sing along with anyway? Check. Wookiees? Yeah. This episode has all of that and oh so much more. Listen if you dare! And, uh, merry Christmas. You’re welcome.

Audio production by Todd “Good King Wencelastodd” Hulslander with two eyes made out of coal by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Music in this episode:

  • “Dominick the Donkey.” Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell.
  • “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” John Rox. Performed by Gayla Peevey.
  • “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Randy Brooks. Performed by Elmo and Patsy.
  • “White Winter Hymnal.” Written and performed by Fleet Foxes. From their self-titled album.
  • “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” By John Frederick Coots. Performed by the Cheeky Monkeys.
  • “Ding​-​a​-​ling​-​a​-​ring​-​a​-​ling.” Written and performed by Sufjan Stevens. From Silver and Gold.
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Frank Loesser. Performed by Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone. From the Elf movie soundtrack.
  • “Vader Did You Know?” Vic Mignogna.
  • “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?).” From Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.
  • “Mary, Did You Know?” Lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. Performed by Pentatonix.
  • Greensleeves. London Festival Orchestra.
  • “Joy to the World.” Isaac Watts.
  • “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Performed by the Bach Choir.
  • “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Performed by Celtic Woman.
  • “Good King Wenceslas.” John Mason Neale.
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Performed by Sandi Patty.
  • “The Cherry-Tree Carol.” Performed by King's College Choir.

If you enjoyed this episode, you can also hear Alecia talk all about the oboe in Episode 10!