We were driving along, happily criticizing some familiar Christmas standards, when we heard a song. A song unlike any other song. A song that was released in 2000 and that I somehow missed until now. A song that caused us both to lapse into a stupefied silence and then dementedly and desperately struggle for words as though trying to speak English for the first time in the middle of an emergency.
The song is called "Christmas Shoes", and it's by a Christian group called New Song. It may well be the most stunningly appalling song ever written. If it were only half the song it is, it would still probably be the most appalling song ever written. And it keeps getting worse - that's the most amazing thing about it. You hear one verse and think, "surely that has set a new standard of awfulness and the next verse cannot be any more astonishingly awful" and then you hear the next verse. And it is worse. You start with a poor and raggedy child who wants to buy shoes for his mother. Then you find out his mother is very sick. Then you get the raggedy child looking forward to his dying mother MEETING JESUS. Then you get the narrator claiming that God has made this urchin's mother terminally ill to help the narrator appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. Then, when you think your brain can hurt no more, there is a children's choir.
Here's a link to the youtube video. It's actually worth going to the website itself to read the comments section and to realize that you are on one side or the other of a great and unbridgeable divide. You will either be one of those people who questions why a young ragamuffin would want to buy his dying mother footwear, why the be-turtlenecked (I was going to go with "en-turtlednecked", but decided the "be" sounded more sophisticated) singer is sitting on a giant tree, and why anyone, ever, would listen to such a song by choice, or you're one of those people who can barely type your response to the video through the tears you're crying over that poor, poor boy who wants to make sure his mother is well-shod for Jesus.