Contrary to popular sentiment, there are good Christmas songs. The problem, of course, is that living through late November and all of December means that you will hear even the best tunes more times than any composition in human history is capable of withstanding. “O Holy Night” may do the trick once or twice; on its 42nd rotation of the year, it becomes so unbearable that you want to travel back in time to stop Bing Crosby from ever being born.
A good example of this is “The 179 Days Of Christmas,” a song that understands the evil of holiday music repetition and employs it to nuclear-grade effect over the course of just about 9 hours of increasingly grating good cheer.
The track sees animator Joren Cull and musician AJ Ing come together, like cheap rum and spoiled eggnog, to mix up an aural cocktail guaranteed to curdle your brain. Following a chorus of synth mermaid sopranos and a hype-man Christmas clown, the track begins with a simple drum machine beat and a countdown of the dreaded “179 Days Of Christmas.”
Like the 12 Days it’s based on, the first recitation isn’t so bad. The singer’s true love gives them a partridge in a pear tree and that’s that. The simple beat, moving ever forward with a digital wood block, is goofy and fun. Everything’s all right. As the list of gifts goes on, though, the horror of the project at hand dawns on listeners. The structure of the song requires every verse to repeat, snowballing to greater and greater proportions until Cull and Ing are listing out the usual items—turtle doves, lords a leaping—alongside new presents, like “sticky Band-Aids,” “signs of depression,” “unpaid mob debts,” “totaled cop cars,” “people with a podcast,” and much, much more. It last more than a third of a day.