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'Annoying Music' for the Holidays

The cover of the new Annoying Music Show CD, <em>Songs for People</em>.
The cover of the new Annoying Music Show CD, Songs for People.

Forget the sugary Muzak that permeates malls this shopping season. When NPR's Scott Simon and Weekend Edition Saturday do Christmas music, Simon says, "we do it our way — the Annoying Music way!" Simon and Jim Nayder, host of public radio's The Annoying Music Show, continue their holiday tradition of subjecting listeners to excruciatingly bad Christmas music, including a howling "O Holy Night."

Exclusively for, Nayder lists what he calls "the Top (Bottom) Ten Best (Worst) Holiday Songs" for 2002.

10. "Deck The Halls" by Hoss Cartwright (aka the late actor Dan Blocker). "No one has done it better, except perhaps Ed Asner," Nayder says.

9. "Hanukah Rocks" by Gefilte Joe and The Fish, which Nayder says bills itself as "the world's only senior citizen Jewish rock band."

8. "Silver Bells" by Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin. In the second chorus, Nayder claims "Dr. Phil arrives to restrain Regis."

7. "Disco Jesus" by Tammy Faye Bakker. "So unfair," says Nayder, "that her onetime hubby Jim did the prison time."

6. "Hava Nagila" by Singin' Cats and Dogs -– a tune that Nayder says "just narrowly beat out the Singin' Chickens version of 'Adeste Fideles.'"

5. "Material Girl" by Petty Booka. Nayder says this tune embodies "the true meaning of Christmas — a Japanese bluegrass tribute to Madonna."

4. The Exercise (Holiday Pounds Away) to John Lennon Album. "What lovelier tribute," Nayder asks,"for this legendary Beatle?"

3. Nayder declares this a three-way tie: "Jingle Bells" by The Klezmonauts (a Klezmer band that performs Christmas carols); "Jingle Bells" performed completely with rubber bands; and "Jingle Bells" performed completely with power tools.

2. "Oh Holy Night" by The Brady Bunch. Nayder: "Enough said."

And Nayder's pick for Worst Holiday Song for 2002:

1. Caroline & Scott Simon's original composition "The Anthrax Blues," sung live on stage by the Simons earlier this month at The Annoying Music Show's holiday show.

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