Reindeer with a Shiny Nose

Chuck Berry recorded ‘Run Rudolph Run’ on his 1958 Christmas Classics album and this song charted #36 in both the US and the UK.  Rudolph led the group of 8 reindeer which included Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen.  Another reindeer named Randalph also made his way into this song and Randolph is supposedly the name of a tenth reindeer who had a brown nose and was much smaller.  Berry based this song on the Johnny Marks tune ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’, and since the character of Rudolph is copyrighted, Berry had to give a co-writing credit to Marks.  Chuck’s Rudolph makes Santa’s sleigh whizz like a shooting star running down the freeway like a Saber jet as he delivers the toys.  In 1953, Homer and Jethro an American country music duo recorded the parody ‘Randolph the Flat Nosed Reindeer’ which is spelled slightly different, but it starts off with the lyrics, “Randolph the flat-nosed reindeer had a funny-lookin’ snout, So Santy cut his nose off, just to try an’ smooth it out.”

This song is a 12-bar blues tune, which refers to the number of measures, or musical bars, used to express the theme of a typical blues song.  Musically it is very similar to Berry’s song ‘Johnny B. Goode’, and it is melodically identical to his song ‘Little Queenie’.  This Chuck Berry song peaked at #2 on Billboard’s list on April 8, 2017 and it went to #30 this year on December 8th.  In 2018, ‘Run Rudolph Run’ received its first-ever official video, a festive new animated affair that brings the song’s lyrics to life with a cartoon version of Berry that features flying reindeer, Santa Claus, and Chuck playing electric guitar.

Out of all the reindeers, you know you’re the mastermind
Run, run Rudolph, Randalph ain’t too far behind
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

Said Santa to a boy child, “What have you been longing for?”
“All I want for Christmas is a rock-and-roll electric guitar”
And then away went Rudolph, a-whizzing like a shooting star

Run, run Rudolph, Santa got to make it to town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, wheelin’ like a merry-go-round

Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

Said Santa to a girl child, “What would please you most to get?”
“A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, drink, and wet”
And then away went Rudolph, whizzin’ like a Saber jet

Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenge #172 ‘Last Christmas’.

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