Textual Analysis Of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”

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bill-swift - December 6, 2012

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the most beloved Christmas carols of all time. I posted a wonderful rendition by DMX yesterday. The tale of a mutant ruminant has entertained millions of people all over the world since it was written in 1939. It was penned by a dude named Robert May as a poem that the department store Santa could give to kids at Montgomery Ward. His brother-in-law Johnny Marks composed the song that gets stuck in people's heads until they wanted to split their own skulls open with a hammer. But have you ever really thought about the lyrics of the tune? Lucky for you I will use my useless advanced education in writing to tear apart this classic children's song.

"You know Dasher and Dancer And Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid And Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall The most famous reindeer of all?"

May is assuming that I've heard The Night Before Christmas poem that lists these reindeer. What if I'm from Uzbekistan and never learned it? You know what happens when we assume, right? Ass = You + Me.

"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose and if you ever saw it you would even say it glows."

How did he come about this shiny red nose? Was he born that way? Was he exposed to radiation? Context. We need context.

"All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games."

Ah, the cruelty of adolescent forest creatures is heartbreaking. However, what games can reindeer possibly play? Surely not Monopoly like the popular response to the song says. Reindeer have hooves and can't hold the pieces. Plus they don't understand the complex capitalist system that Monopoly represents.

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

How did Santa guide his sleigh before he heard about the phosphorescent reindeer? He'd since the 500's when he was bishop of Turkey. Did he use candle powered headlamps? Also, how ethical is it to use animals in this way. P.E.T.A would probably have something to say about this.

"Then all the reindeer loved him and they shouted out with glee, "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you'll go down in history!"

Oh how fickle ye are, feckless changeable reindeer! don't you think Rudolph knows that you are just sycophants that are kissing his fuzzy-wuzzy butt now that he's famous. It's one of the pitfalls of celebrity, Rudolph. Hangers-on come out of the woodwork with their hooves out.

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