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December 24th, 2008
11:47 AM ET

Top eight historically incorrect Christmas songs

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Ted Olsen
The Christian History Blog

I love Christmas music. Not as much as the blogosphere’s Ernie (Not Bert), Andy Cirzan, or some of the Christmas music nuts I’ve met. But still, 10,000 Christmas songs on my hard drive probably qualifies me as a fanatic.

There are ample songs that grate (if you think the Chipmunks are bad, try the Chippers, Woody the Chipmunk, or any of the Chipmunk ripoff albums that came after “Christmas Don’t Be Late” hit it big in 1958). But there are other songs that are just plain wrong—and many of them are among the most popular of the season. Here, for your interrupting pleasure during your family singing, your Christmas Eve neighborhood caroling, or similar opportunities, are the best songs to cluck at.

8. I Saw Three Ships

An easy one just to start the list. Bethlehem is landlocked, so it is historically improbable that our savior Christ and his lady came sailing in on Christmas day in the morning. But that’s not all that’s problematic about the song. Where’s Joseph? If it’s just Jesus and Mary, why do they need three ships? Surely Mary didn’t just arrive in Bethlehem the morning of the birth…

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Filed under: Ted Olsen