I came across a classic Christmas song the other day and after examining the words I have come to realize how easily humans accept ideas at face value without scrutinizing them for philosophical and/or cultural flaws. The song I’m referring to of course is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

Here are the lyrics with my copious notes:

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”…

Stop! First off, why bring up the red nose? If you have a red-nosed reindeer it is fairly obvious and social decorum would dictate you keep it to yourself to save the reindeer’s embarrassment. We don’t treat others that way normally. Who goes around introducing others like “Hey there’s Jimmy the Pockmarked postman”, or “ Have you met Nancy the lazy-eyed court reporter”? No. In the past the only time we emphasized a physical flaw in others is when were trying to sell tickets to a sideshow. I’m pro sideshow mind you but I’m looking for an alligator skinned women or a snouted man, before plunking down good money. For a red nose?, ..Not so much.

“had a very shiny nose”..

Wait a minute. You just told me in the first line it was red, now it’s shiny? Ball bearings are shiny; patent leather shoes as well, not necessarily a color. So which is it red or shiny?

”and if you ever saw it”..

Why would I? I don’t need too since you already described it to me.

“you would even say it glows”…

GLOWS!? The moon glows, candles glow, how could you possibly confuse a glow for red or shiny? Why can’t you get your story straight? Who are you protecting?

“All of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names”..

Why not, he’s a reindeer with an indecipherable nose issue; something needs to be said.

“they never let poor Rudolph”..

Poor? How do you know? You have access to his tax returns, what, suddenly it’s a class struggle; we have to play the poor card? Fear not Rudolph, Obama’s in office, redistributed wealth is coming

”play in any reindeer games”

Does he care? What could a reindeer game consist of anyway? They have hooves for Pete’s sake. Hooves not fingers. That rules out any board games that involve dice. (Can’t grip em) no ball games. (Can’t hold a bat, catch a football or dribble a basketball) or any charades since it would be impossible for him to indicate how many words or syllables. Sounds like he’s not missing much!

“Then one foggy Christmas eve..”

huh, foggy where the North Pole? It’s probably foggy a lot there but what are you saying the entire earth got foggy on the same night? That sounds like the apocalypse to me. What’s next, locusts and boils?

“Santa came to say..”

finally Santa shows up. Where was he all the times Rudolph was being ridiculed and in pain? Can anyone believe in a Santa that seems to ignore us in our darkest hour?

“Rudolph with your nose so bright..”

Santa please! Keep up, here are your options the nose is either red, shiny or glowy. None of which fit the category of bright or someone would have said so long ago during the reindeer-mocking Rudolph sessions.

“won’t you guide my sleigh tonight”?

Let me get this straight. Santa spent a year using magic elves to build, paint, box & wrap every possible gift imaginable. From Lego’s to tennis bracelets, yachts to wii’s. He is able to pack every gift for every human on earth in one sleigh and deliver it, via chimney, to every human on earth in one night, but somehow you were unable to fashion a couple headlights to your sleigh and needed to call on the freak?

“Then how the reindeer loved him..”

Oh yeah that’s gonna happen, when they hated and mocked him his whole life and suddenly he’s thrust into the spotlight to accomplish something these brats were incapable of, thus putting him in the category of Santa’s favorite; Suddenly they’re all going to let bygones be bygones and embrace him as misunderstood and they’ll receive the revelation of their own arrogance and bullying and suddenly repent asking his forgiveness which he’ll grant readily as he is an enlightened soul? Who wrote this story the Hallmark channel?

”as they shouted out with glee”..

Glee? Who uses the word glee? Yeah that’s what the song was missing, an archaic word from a nineteenth century romance novel to keep the song exciting.

“Rudolph the red, (shiny, glowing, bright,) nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history”.

Why not? There isn’t a lot of competition for classic songs featuring reindeer. As a matter of fact it may be the only reindeer song ever penned. The fact that he was genetically mutated just gave the song the conflict it needed to give it legs.

By the way I just heard about a buffalo in Wyoming that was born with 2 heads, 6 legs and it lived. Sounds like the making of a new Christmas classic. Where’s Mel Torme when you need him?


More from Beliefnet and our partners