6. Elmo and Patsy, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”
If this were based on a tragic true story (ex: “Edna Kay Young of St. Louis never knew what hit her when she went walking home on Christmas Eve, but the hoofprints in her back led police to suspect a certain jolly man dressed in red”), it would be a much cooler origin story than any other Christmas song. Alas, “Grandma Got Run Over” is simply a clever novelty song recorded by the married duo of Elmo and Patsy Shorpshire in 1979. By 1984, the song was such a staple that the duo re-recorded it. Elmo went solo and helped keep the song alive by participating in an animated special based on the song in 2000 (because the world was finally ready for such a thing, apparently), in which Grandma lived to tell the tale and point the finger at gold-digging Cousin Mel. The song continues to have a special place in Christmas-music lore, for Elmo’s bizarre singing and for the story of how the family coped with Grandma’s passing (should they keep her gifts or send them back?). You can offer scientific proof that there’s no such thing as Santa, but as for me and Grandpa, we believe. Merry Christmas, y’all.
So what do you think, are these songs classics or classically bad Christmas songs? What songs did I miss? Feel free to make your case for your favorite holiday tune.
Email Trevor at tlseigl at yahoo dot com.