MA Residents Express Their Past & Present Thoughts On A X-MAS Novelty Song
Since early December, we have been saturating our airwaves with holiday music in the Berkshires as Bay State and neighboring residents have been indulging in some of their favorite sounds of the season, but there are a few that make the so-called "Naughty" List which includes this early 80s novelty song that some find humorous, but others (present company included) consider it an offensive song and this gives the Christmas spirit a black eye in more ways than one.
(Image of record cover courtesy of www.wikipedia.org)
The tune I'm talking about: "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" which was recorded by Elmo Shropshire and his then wife, Patsy Trigg. It truly does NOT bring any aspect of the true meaning of Christmas as they present a sardonic version of what the holiday is all about. Here is the video clip of this monstrosity. You decide for yourself if it signifies the holiday spirit.
(Video clip courtesy of www.youtube.com)
To sum it all up in a nutshell: The lyrics tell the story of Grandma celebrating Christmas Eve with her family and then made the mistake venturing out into a snowstorm sans her medication while apparently tipsy after indulging in too much egg nog. She is found dead the next morning, after being trampled by Santa's sleigh (reindeer included) Her husband, Grandpa is unfazed by his wife's demise and spends the holiday watching football, drinking beer and playing card games with Cousin Mel.
What gets my goat is when the family wonders if her gifts should be opened or returned.(Commercialism at it's BEST) Later, the family has a goose for dinner, and the song closes with a warning that Santa is unfit to carry a driver's license. There is NO mention of the true reason why Christmas is celebrated and this song provides a complete antithesis.
Another example of how people detest this song: Back in the 1990's when I worked south in Sharon, Connecticut, the owners emphatically mentioned we could NOT play this record over the air or the alternative was immediate dismissal, no questions asked. I had no problem with this decision and surrounding stations would NOT even add it to their Christmas rotation of music. That rule of thumb STILL applies as some locations in Massachusetts do NOT include this sarcastic parody of a song on their playlists during "the most wonderful time of the year".
There were various covers of this novelty record (The question is WHY??) Even the master of comedy songs, Ray Stevens recorded his take of this song. If you ask me, I'd rather listen to "Gitarzan" or "The Streak", two of his classics, if you ask me. Some of the remakes were worse than the original with bizarre titles to boot. The record elicits mixed reaction: You either love it OR hate it (I cast my vote for choice B. I HATE IT due to it's lack of traditionalism and insult to the true meaning of Christmas).
Shropshire says the song is "a beloved holiday favorite" (far from it) but has also acknowledged a great deal of negative feedback, noting that for the first several years, he expected this song to lose its popularity and be a forgotten Christmas carol, only to be astonished when it returned in popularity year after year. Again, WHY??
Statistics also show it was the top rated holiday songs in New England and across the country for three years in a row (1983, 1984 & 1985). Yes, I played it during it's reign of popularity as a current single, but with "major trepidation". I can safely say it is one of my 10 WORST Christmas songs of ALL TIME!
BOTTOM LINE: I commend stations that by pass this sarcastic holiday song every year. We should ALL join in on this campaign. Sorry, Elmo! I'll stick with the traditional holiday music that benchmarks the TRUE meaning of Christmas.
(Some information obtained in this article, courtesy of www.wikipedia.org)
LOOK: Controversial songs from the year you were born
Gallery Credit: Stacker