At this point in the holiday season, you probably fall in one of two categories. Either you feel like you might crack and start screaming old Britney Spears lyrics if you hear. One. More. Santa. Claus. Song. Or, you're trying to rally all your friends to go caroling with you this weekend and have all the Christmas specials on your DVR. This story is for both groups of people.
Unlike, say, the offerings for Hanukkah, the sheer variety of Christmas songs written through the ages is staggering. And the stories behind many of them aren't just heartwarming tales of faith and family. Some of these tunes started off as raunchy odes to ladies or drag racing, while others were unapologetic commercial grabs for shoppers' dollars. They've also been proven useful beyond spreading yuletide cheer, too: Just ask the Americans fleeing Vietnam in 1975, or a goat farmer in Yorkshire, England. Here are a few of our favorite weird and curious stories about the Christmas songs we love (and hate).