Bruce Springsteen’s live version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (from C.W. Post College in 1975) is the WORST Christmas song EVER.

Yeah. I feel so passionately about this topic that it may force me to spend Christmas alone because I run the risk of being disinvited from my Bruce Springsteen-loving family’s Christmas celebration if this link is shared with them.

It's a favorite for many people, but around this time every year, I find myself legitimately wondering if we're listening to the same track.

Now, having said that: I recognize that we live in New Jersey, so there is basically NO chance I will change your opinion of the song with the list below. But, read it anyway, so you can try to tell me why I’m wrong.


It’s the time of year where we can listen to the INCREDIBLE voices of performers that influenced generations like Bing Crosby & Gene Autry. Or we can listen to modern-day vocal powerhouses like Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Martina McBride.

Yet, let’s all gather ‘round to listen to Bruce Springsteen's incredibly breathy singing voice? He’s reminding us that he is NOT a great singer… at all.

That being said: sing-alongs are fun this time of year. We all sing and carol to the classics. But if you enjoy this song, you have to admit… Bruce does not sound good… at all.

He gets breathy, and dare I even say it, he sounds constipated?

Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

If he’s not constipated… he may have had a lung issue? At this point in his career, he was quite young. So he should be able to breathe comfortably on stage.

Take it easy, dude!


Think about this the next time you’re enjoying this one: the end of the song is a PARTY & you’re not invited.

It’s obvious by the end of the song that there’s a party happening on stage with Santa, Bruce, the band (and maybe even the crowd).

But, if you’re listening… now… 30+ years later… you clearly were NOT invited to join in the fun.

Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIII Halftime Show
Getty Images

“Sannnta… “
Lots of breathing #constipation
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.”
More breathing #stillconstipated
“Oh. Oh. Oh.” 

I’d be OK with the festive party. It’s the holidays. But, as a result of the chaos on the stage (which may have been entertaining if you were inside the arena), Bruce actually skips MANY words. And we're not talking about a few words. He misses ike... half of the song.

BRUCE. KEEP SINGING. It’s “Santa Claus is coming to town!”

Photo of Bruce SPRINGSTEEN
Harry Scott, Redferns via Getty Images

Given the chord arrangement at that moment in the track, all you had to do was keep repeating those words. It’s so easy that most kindergarteners could do it.


“Clarence, you (have) been rehersain’ real hard now
So Santa (will) bring you a new saxophone.”

If SANTA was bringing Clarence a new saxophone, Bruce wouldn’t know about it. Nobody knows what Santa is going to bring. So it’s safe to assume that he’s talking about what gifts “Bruce Claus” will bring.

ALSO: “Bruce Claus” is going to reward his employee (legendary E Street Band performer, the late Clarence Clemons) with a tool necessary to complete his JOB?

Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIII Halftime Show
Getty Images

This would be like the boss at 94.5 PST giving Chris Rollins a new microphone because she’s been doing a great job every morning.

Don’t patronize legendary performers, Mr. Springsteen-Claus. Don’t act like a martyr. I see right through you.

In fact, do Clarence a favor: save the saxophone for his next employee review. Then give a more traditional Christmas gift (you know… like a fun new coffee mug or a sweater from Macy’s).


Everybody out there been good… or what?”
[Crowd LOUDLY cheers]
“Oh, that’s not many! Not many!
You guys in trouble out there.”

Gee, Bruce. Thanks for judging the audience who just paid their hard-earned money to come to see you perform. It's bad enough you're hardly even singing. Now you're judging me?

Let ME take my behavior up with ol’ Saint Nick myself. It’s not on Mr. Springsteen to judge my behavior this (or any) holiday season.

Rock in Rio 2013
Getty Images

By the way, the crowd audibly cheered. They were SAYING they were good. Bruce "the Martyr" Conspitated Claus-Springsteen is choosing to ignore the response to the question.

Author's note: This post was written in good (festive) fun in a lighthearted nature. I LOVE all things Christmas-related, and I actually listen to Christmas music year-round so I am NOT being a Scrooge. I just feel passionate about the Christmas spirit being properly distributed.

Mom always said to say something nice. So I’ll simply close by declaring that I have no complaints about Bruce’s other popular holiday song, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

[The views expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of 94.5 PST or Townsquare Media.]

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