The Dutch win the prize for most disturbing Christmas song, 1978’s Flappie by Youp van ‘t Hek.
Flappie is a lovely Christmas song about a boy and his rabbit. The boy’s beloved rabbit goes missing on Christmas morning – the hutch is empty (“Mijn konijnenhok was leeg”). The boy resolves to find his poor rabbit. His mother tells him not to look in the backyard shed (“En moeder zei dat ik niet in de schuur mocht komen”) and says that if he plays nicely then he will get a treat later (“En als ik lief ging spelen dat ik dan wat lekkers kreeg”).
The boy searches for Flappie the rabbit all Christmas, worried that he himself had left the hutch door open overnight and that Flappie might have frozen in the cold winter air. Distraught, he settles down to Christmas dinner, and for the main course… a suspicious roast. His father, with macabre delight, announces to the boy “there’s Flappie!” (“daar is Flapte dan”).
Boxing Day, the boy’s father is missing. His mother, distraught, asks him where the father is. To which the boy replies “En ik zei dat zij niet in de schuur mocht komen / En als ze lief ging spelen dat ze dan wat lekkers kreeg.”
Don’t look in the shed. Play nicely, and later you’ll get a treat.
Apparently what Christmas songs need to really become popular is more family cannibalism. Flappie is so popular in the Netherlands that the welfare of real rabbits is in danger as people try to recreate the song (hopefully just the first part). This year Todd Rundgren released an English version, so maybe it’ll catch on in time for 2021.
[Thanks to David S. for suggesting this topic.]