There's really so much to unpack in all of Netflix's delightfully cheesy Christmas movies. But between the holiday tropes and hilarious, but very unrealistic romantic moments, there's something else that we really need to talk about: the music.
You may have been fooled into thinking that the Netflix Christmas movies are using classic tunes like "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," but you would be wrong. In A Christmas Prince, that's actually "A Happy Holiday" and it just sounds like the familiar Christmas tune. But because these melodies sound normal, so it's easy to miss the often completely bonkers lyrics. But miss them, no more, because it's time to address the songs from Netflix's many Christmas movies once and for all.
The OG Netflix holiday movie, A Christmas Prince, was the first to employ a fresh take on traditional holiday music back in 2017. "A Happy Holiday" plays over the opening credits of the movie, and while the lyrics are definitely not at all "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," the melody is so similar. Instead, the song has lyrics like:
"It’s our favourite time of year / the snow falls through the night / all our friends from far and near / will share the Christmas lights / kids from two to 92 all have eyes aglow / Christmas time at last is here / and the stars put on a show."
One of the best parts of that tune is the line "sing the songs we know from childhood," in a song that no one has ever heard.
The tune was written by Alan Paul Ett and Scott Liggett. Ett's Soundcloud indicates that modern Christmas songs are kind of his jam. He's also written "I'm Home For Christmas" and "Only Gift I Want Is You" (which isn't not trying to be "All I Want For Christmas Is You") among others.
Next up is 2017's Christmas Inheritance, which opens with what seems to be a perfectly normal version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" until you notice that some of the classic lines have been changed to mirror a more chaotic modern Christmas season.
"Oh, we wish you a swingin' Christmas," the singer croons. "We wish you a crazy Christmas. We wish you a naughty Christmas, and a frantic New Year." Um, thanks?
This singer's version later shows up in 2018's A Holiday Calendar. And, during a party scene in Christmas Inheritance, the Christmas Prince "A Happy Holiday" song plays in the background. These movies have all been subtly referencing each other with wacky songs for years and none of us noticed.
Speaking of the "naughty Christmas" line from Christmas Inheritance, A Holiday Calendar contains some lyrics that you definitely wouldn't find in a Hallmark movie. When Abby is getting ready for a date, an unnamed song plays over the scene with these raunchy (for a holiday movie) lyrics:
"Hey, baby, I’m coming down your chimney tonight / So get it right / Don't want no milk or cookies / 'cause I just want to love you outta sight / All night."
Also an honourable mention goes to The Holiday Calendar song "Underneath the Tree" by Jean Luc Leonardon, Eric Starczan, and Cristophe DeSchamps with the extremely relatable lyrics, "We are young and haven't got a cent, barely have enough to pay the rent, can't buy no gifts for Christmas Eve."
In some cases, the unique movie tunes are actually supplied by the actors themselves. For The Holiday Calendar, stars Kat Graham and Quincy Brown each wrote one of the fun Christmassy numbers that viewers hear in the film. Graham's song "Christmas Wish" is a duet with her co-star and its lyrics that basically sum up the whole movie.
"This ain't your normal story, no / Boy meets girl, boy has to go / Girl meets boy, he's not the one / it's just for fun, right? / Girl thinks that she likes him more / but what she doesn't know is that I loved her so."
It even contains the awkward (but cute!) phrase, "mistletoe-y kiss." Graham told Brief Take that she wanted to create an old school sound for the song when she wrote it. "What I love about Christmas, or the holidays around this time, is listening to Frank Sinatra and all of that kind of old school music, like something that would have been done by Desi Arnaz at the Tropicana," she said, adding that it was the first song she'd ever written like that, although she's been singing for years.
Her co-star Quincy Brown is also a singer, and his tune "Christmas Time" is featured towards the end of the movie with lyrics like:
"Girl, light up that tree / this Christmas, love won't stop / I'ma put you at the tip / 'cause you're a star / you belong on top."
The song that opens and closes The Princess Switch was also written and sung by the movie's male lead. Sam Palladio, who plays the prince in the film, used to be on the country music show Nashville. Sample lyrics of The Princess Switch's "Bring the Snow" include the, again, kind of suggestive for a Christmas movie — which I suppose sets these Netflix movies apart from Hallmark and Freeform's lineup:
"I swear I hear a reindeer on the rooftop / No one in the neighbourhood can sleep / All the anticipation / We're sitting and we're shaking / Only present I've been waiting for is you and me."
At one point in the song, he also buys his gal a dog:
"Happy holidays, baby / I got you a puppy with a bow / Couldn't fit him in your stocking / But you've been a good girl / So, baby, take him home."
One of the newest Netflix movies, 2019's The Knight Before Christmas features leading man Josh Whitehouse singing the original song "Before Christmas." Whitehouse wrote it from the point of view of his character Sir Cole, according to Billboard. Sample lyrics include:
"Who is this lady / I happened to meet? / An elegant woman / right at my feet / who is this stranger? / Where did she come from? / I feel like I like her/ could she be the one for me?"
Somehow, we've all been watching these movies for two years without noticing any of this.
Still, it's worth noting that classic Christmas tunes have their fair share of absurd lyrics. There's the terrifyingly sultry "Santa Baby" ("Think of all the fun I've missed / Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed"); everything about "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" (no lyrical explanation needed); the implications of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (no one wants to see "mommy tickle Santa Claus"); and lastly, the horrifying notion that we'd all better "watch out" because Santa is straight up spying on us as "Santa Claus is Comin' To Town" reminds us.
So, who knows? Maybe it's only a matter of time before we starting wishing each a "naughty Christmas and a frantic New Year," too.