Originally posted December 20, 2006.
I have decided that I don’t like the song “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” anymore. At least not the song. I feel sorry for the poor chap, Rudolph. Let’s break down this statement a little, starting with the song lyrics themselves.
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!
Here is where the song breaks down for me. The first verse points out how little Rudolph was different. He had a shiny red nose. Not normal fare for a young reindeer. He should have a black nose. Moving on to the second verse. It talks about how the other reindeer “laughed and called him names”. Sounds like bullying to me. Rudolph was different, and the other kids made fun of him. They picked on his one flaw that he was probably most self-conscious of and ridiculed him. Again, bullying. Wouldn’t you agree?
Now here is where it gets more interesting. Look at verse three again. There is a mixture of bad weather and a lack of fog lights. Today, this wouldn’t be a problem. But back when this song was written, fog lights hadn’t been invented. I digress. Anywho, Santa needed some extra light out front so he could see where he was heading in order to make it to all the houses. And who did Santa pick? None other than our poor little mistreated reindeer, Rudolph.
Verse four. Well, at this point Santa has turned Rudolph into the hero of this little story. He has been chosen to guide the most famous sleigh in history. And remember those jerks, I mean other reindeer, from the beginning of the song? Wouldn’t you know it, now that Rudolph is famous, all the other reindeer want to be his friend. They want to be able to tell their children in a few years that “I knew Rudolph before he was famous.” HA! Those reindeer “knew” Rudolph, but they were his enemies. They picked on him relentlessly and probably made him go home crying more than once. I bet Rudolph’s mom read him the story about the Ugly Duckling and Rudolph probably doubted that it was ever possible for him to be “a beautiful swan”.
Why is is that every year, we sing over and over about how it is acceptable to pick on someone who is different, and then, once they turn out to be someone better than us, or they become famous, we want to be their friends and expect them to forgive us for everything we did and said to them? Honestly, with all the concern over bullying and pointing out when people are different, why is this song allowed to be part of our culture? Isn’t it only instilling these exact problems? This song is about bullying, name calling, and false friendship for our own betterment. I vote that it should be outlawed during all future Christmas seasons.
Stay tuned for my next installment. I may talk about how “Frosty the Snowman” teaches kids a blatant disrespect for the law and turns children into juvenile delinquents.