I have now learned that this song is very divisive. People who love it, really love it, and people who hate it, really hate it. Obviously I fall in the latter category. Oddly enough, my very own grandmother loves this song. I think she has fond memories of the time when I was about 10 years old and, along with my cousins, serenaded Grandma with this song.
What was I thinking???
Anyway, there are so many things wrong with this song, it’s best to take it line by line.
The song starts out okay–wait, what am I saying? The song starts out terribly:
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
walking home from our house Christmas Eve
you can say there’s no such thing as Santa
but as for me and Grandpa, we believe
Okay, this isn’t going anywhere good. A homicidal Santa in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a major grudge against the elderly does not bode well.
She’d been drinking too much eggnog
Yet you let her try to walk home alone?
And we begged her not to go
Well it sure doesn’t look like you begged very hard.
But she forgot her medication
so she staggered out the door into the snow
Okay, so we’ve got a drunk, staggering Grandma who forgot her medication, which is so vital it required walking home in a snowstorm. Which then begs the question, should she even be mixing alcohol and that medication in the first place?
When we found her Christmas morning
at the scene of the attack
Not only were you completely ineffective at begging her not to go, you don’t even notice or think to check whether she, like, made it okay? I mean, she staggered out drunk and unmedicated. You’d think that would raise some kind of alarm when she didn’t return.
She had hoofprints on her forehead
So blunt force trauma, then?
And incriminating claws/Claus marks on her back
Seriously, I hate puns.
Then there’s the chorus.
Now we’re all so proud of Grandpa
he’s been taking this so well
sitting in there watching football
drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel
At this point I’m kind of wondering whether Grandma’s untimely departure was actually deliberate. Maybe it’s not Santa who’s the real killer here.
It’s not Christmas without Grandma
all the family’s dressed in black
Oh yeah, NOW you care.
and we just can’t help but wonder
should we open up her gifts or send them back?
Well this seems pretty obvious to me, given a big bunch of people who couldn’t even have bothered to turn around and be like “Hey, has anyone seen Grandma lately?”
And the chorus again.
Now the goose is on the table
and the pudding made of fig
and the blue and silver candles
that would just have matched the hair in Grandma’s wig
So speaking of Grandma’s wig, should we draw lots or play rocks scissors paper for it?
I warned all my friends and neighbors
better watch out for yourselves
they should never give a license
to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves
Dude, your grandmother just DIED. Is this REALLY the time for jokes about her murderer?
And then the chorus twice.
The narrator bugs me too. So he’s like a kid (or adult child, whatever) and somehow he and Grandpa are the only ones who believe that Grandma was killed by blunt force reindeer even though they all supposedly found the body the next morning? I just get this image of Grandpa and the narrator with his siblings and cousins. In my head they’re young, and Grandpa’s like “well kids, it must have been Maw Maw’s time to go” and then he’s all telling them about how Santa didn’t even swerve, and the narrator’s like “yeah, yeah, it’s true!” and the other kids are like “Give me a break–you’re just sucking up to Grandpa now that Grandma’s dead.” Boy, that sure gets me into the Christmas spirit.
Now I know this song is supposed to be over-the-top humorous, but I just really hate it.
Ugh, I’ve always hated that song too! For exactly the same reasons you detailed from each line! Thank you!!! If I were compiling a list of worst Christmas songs I may have listed this one as #1. So I’m looking forward to your top 3.
Thanks! I’m looking forward to my top 3 too ;).
Yup, I hate it, too. Partly because the tune is an ear worm that invariably ends up repeating itself over and over in my head.
I always heard the lyric as “Cousin Nell,” but in any case, in the original video, Grandpa is playing cards with a young woman in a sexy dress who is flirting with him and vice versa…which is “ew” by itself, since she would have to be his granddaughter if she’s “Cousin Nell.” (Yes, I hate myself a little bit for knowing that.)
OMG, Cousin Nell?!?!?! EW!!! That just makes me hate the song all the more. And glad that I didn’t watch the original video.
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In case you feel the need to gift, there is a lovely hat that plays this fine tune at a very large national discount retailer. It is a pseudo-huting cap with camoflauge top, orange bill and lighted antlers.
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