The other day I was in the car listening to the radio, when the popular Christmas song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came on . I began singing along with it and for the first time realized how the words to this catchy tune tell a very sad story.
t starts off fine describing a reindeer with his red nose as the lyrics are:
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows
Then it goes on to describe how the reindeer was bullied and ostracized, simply because he looked different. This verse actually saddened me as I listened to the following verse:
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Play in any reindeer games.
Luckily for Rudolph, Santa became Rudolph’s savior as Santa came to his rescue by acknowledging Rudolph’s difference and turning his physical difference and uniqueness into an advantage and an asset. It was because of Rudolph’s unique difference which allowed Santa to navigate his sleigh through the foggy night.The lyrics are as follows:
Then one foggy Christmas night
Santa came to say
“Rudoph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh night?
Now here is the part that disturbs me. Only because Rudolph was useful and did something heroic based on his physical difference did the other reindeer finally accept him. Otherwise , they would never have accepted him into their group and allow him to play reindeer games with them. Below are the lyrics which disturbed me.
Then all the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
You’ll go down in history.
These superficial reindeer needed to accept Rudolph red nose and all from the beginning, not because he did something which helped Santa. Obviously these TOXIC reindeer only liked him because he now had Santa’s blessing who accepted Rudolph’s uniqueness which allowed him to become a hero.
I don’t think the song should end there. To me, it is not is finished. It’s missing several verses in my view so I took my songwriting and skills to task and took the liberty to write some very much needed verses that apply in this his day and age of zero tolerance for bullying. So here are the additional lyrics I wrote to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Then Rudolph told all the reindeer
You hurt my feelings when teasing me
Just cuz someone looks different
You don’t have to be a bully
We come in all shapes and sizes
And just to be direct
We all want love and kindness
And to be treated with respect.
I hope you learned your lesson
That teasing makes others blue
Everyone has feelings
Just like me and you .
So in the Spirit of Christmas
Where forgiveness is number one
Never tease others
Cuz you can really hurt someone.
While the song written back in 1939 by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward and adapted into songs, television specials feature films and has become a figure of Christmas folklore, I believe that these additional meaningful verses are now needed to teach children about the consequences of bullying and hurt feelings in this age of Zero Tolerance for Bullying.
MERRY CHRISTMAS XO