Christmas songs are often met with divided opinions, but one couple hate Wham!’s 1984 anthem ‘Last Christmas’ so much, they’ve raised £50,000 to buy the licensing rights so they can scrub it from existence.
Speaking to the South West News Service (via the Daily Mail), Hannah Mazetti said her contempt for the song began when she was 20 (she is now 33), when she worked at a café in Oxford and her boss would play it ad nauseam.
“The owner of the cafe had planned for a super cosy holiday season and had his own made CD with a number of ‘hits’ on it,” she explained. “He was only in now and then, so he didn’t fully appreciate the agony the rest of the staff felt when ‘Last Christmas’ played for the 111th time of the working day.”
Mazetti went on to say that she and her husband, Tomas, had the idea to buy the song’s rights after a friend let them know such a feat could (theoretically) be achieved. On the origins of their endeavour, she said: “It started last Christmas – pun not intended – when we asked friends how much they would be willing to pay never to hear the song again. Quite a lot it turned out, and when the song started playing this November we were reminded.
“Then someone told us it was theoretically possible to buy the rights to the song and then take it off all streaming platforms! We asked around among our friends and word spread. It’s fun because people either love or hate the idea! Maybe next Christmas will be the last Christmas!”
So far, the Mazettis’ campaign has raised a little over £51,500 from around 330 contributors. Unfortunately for them, they have a few million quid to go: the rights to ‘Last Christmas’ are owned by Warner Chappell Music UK, and according to the Daily Mail, have an estimated price tag in the ballpark of £15-20million.
The couple have set their goal at the lower end of that estimate. Should they achieve it, Mazetti said, they’ll send the master tapes off to a nuclear waste site in Finland “where it’ll rest for at least two million years”.
Stressing that she and her husband don’t harbour any animosity towards Wham! themselves, Mazetti asserted: “I’m sorry, but this is the way it has to be. We don’t hate Wham!, but we hate this song. It is because it is being played 5,000 times per day, but we felt something had to be done to support the people that suffer like us.”
Mazetti also noted that some people have reacted to the couple’s campaign with disdain of their own. “50 per cent get really angry and 50 per cent get really happy,” she said. “Some people seem to love to hear the song 500 times a day. And those people are our enemies.
“They said that there are even worse songs that should be taken off before this – like Mariah Carey‘s ‘All I Want For Christmas [Is You]’ – and that if we don’t like it we could wear headphones, and that it is strange to want to remove something beautiful for the rest of humanity just because we don’t like it.”