I'm sure you know the Christmas song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The song, originally recorded by Gene Autry, has been a perennial hit since 1949. Then there's the TV special that we all seen countless times as kids. And been disturbed by when we rewatched it as adults.

I bring the song up because I was singing it with my daughter recently. I remembered that when I was in elementary school, in the panhandle of Nebraska, we'd sing a version that included some extra lyrics. It was like little commentary echos of the main lyrics. I was trying to remember these lyrics and my daughter thought I was being funny. It blew her mind that no, I wasn't making it up and I learned it in school.

For example, "They never let poor Rudolph, join in any reindeer games. (Like Monopoly!)."

Do you remember doing that? I've asked around and some people do and some don't. It's like cinnamon rolls with chili, it happens in some places but never heard of in others.

Or maybe it has to do with where your elementary school music teacher went to school. Because I learned these extra lyrics when we did a Christmas play in the first grade.

I remember being so excited for that play. I had new boots and dressed up in my finest polo shirt with a fancy ring of paper around my head with sticks stapled to it (so I looked like a reindeer). We practiced for something between one day and five weeks, I don't really remember.

What I do remember is shouting out "Like the toothpaste!" Because there was a toothpaste brand in the olden days of the early '80s called Gleem. And that was somehow a funny joke, I guess.

And "Like a lightbulb" in reference to Rudy's nose. I have found some variation among people that remember singing the song this way when it comes to how Roudoulph will go down in history. Some folks recall shouting "George Washington!" or "Like Columbus!" But I am 90% sure we sang "Like Nixon!" This was 1982, so maybe that was a funnier reference for the time?

Those lyrics are so engrained into my mind that I can't not shout them out with glee every time I hear the song. Much to the chagrin of my Christmas music-loving daughter.

Here are the lyrics I remember:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Had a very shiny nose (like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it, You would even say it glowed (like a flashlight)
All of the other reindeer, Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph, Join in any reindeer games (like Monopoly)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say 
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him, And they shouted out with glee (Like the toothpaste)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, You'll go down in history (like Nixon)

Original lyrics by Johnny Marks, 1949

Do you remember lyrics like that?


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