A reader writes:

Perhaps because I'm a church musician, I find it interesting that many of these "depressing Christmas songs" have nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever.  They're straight up pop songs stuffed onto a Christmas album because the lyricist managed to find a way to put the word Christmas in there somewhere.  Believe me, there are plenty related to the season that top these if you really think about it.  Peter Warlock's "Bethlehem Down" comes to mind. The message?  All is sweet for now, but you know soon enough the babe is going to be crucified.  If you don't fully buy the notion of the resurrection, what could be more maudlin?

Lyrics after the jump:

When he is King we will give him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes,” said the young girl to Joseph,
Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight
Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When he is King they will clothe him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary,
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here he has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close-huddled oxen to keep him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

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