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Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy” is the Christmas Song We Need

At some point in time you loved the classic Christmas song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” That time was probably when you were five-years-old. Oh how you laughed and pointed at your sweet old grandmother, singing along and screaming, “Send them back!” every time the song came on the radio. Then you heard it more and more, year after year, until it was no longer funny, until you hoped a reindeer would run you over rather than listen to it again. This is what happens with most Christmas songs, they wear you down and lose the joy that once defined them. It’s how a fun, light-hearted song about the horrible death of a grandmother at Christmas can suddenly feel so dark and terrible.

Which is why you need another song to remind you of the magic of Christmas, one where yuletide death and merry violence still mean something. Well it just so happens that the best Christmas song you’ve never heard is Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy,” and it makes the gore of Die Hard seem tame.

And you thought Christmas was only for children.

Okay, if you’re a Weird Al fan you already love this song. Like most of his albums, the parodies get the headlines and radio play, but it’s his original pieces that tend to be the best. What makes this a great Christmas song though isn’t just the topic (poor Santa finally realizing “he’d been getting a raw deal” and…uh…dealing with it), but the fact that it sounds, unlike grandma and that reindeer, like a Christmas song. The opening is as sweet and tender as the most beloved holiday songs, and all of us tear up a little whenever we hear “Yes, Virginia,” let alone when sung with such tenderness.

Even if it is to let Virginia know Santa really is a mass murderer.

I’m not kidding when I say this song deserves a permanent place in the Christmas song rotation. If we have room for some grandma drunk on too much eggnog, wandering the city streets on Christmas Eve, being trampled by a reindeer, surely we have room for Santa Claus picking up a flamethrower and making Blitzen into a wonderful barbecue dinner.

Besides, Weird Al’s song has much funnier lyrics and much better music. Not every Christmas song can be or should be as meaningful as “The Little Drummer Boy” or “The Christmas Song,” nor would you want them all to be as saccharine or as childish as “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” or “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”

So make “The Night Santa Went Crazy” a part of your family’s tradition. It’s what Christmas is all about.

What off-the-path Christmas song do you think should get a spot in the annual Christmas song rotation? Go crazy in our comments section with your ideas, and check out the lyrics to Weird Al’s delightful story of Santa below.

Down in the workshop all the elves were makin’ toys
For the good Gentile girls and the good Gentile boys
When the boss busted in, nearly scared ’em half to death
Had a rifle in his hands and cheap whiskey on his breath
From his beard to his boots he was covered with ammo
Like a big fat drunk disgruntled Yuletide Rambo
And he smiled as he said with a twinkle in his eye,
“Merry Christmas to all – now you’re all gonna die!”

The night Santa went crazy
The night St. Nick went insane
Realized he’d been gettin’ a raw deal
Something finally must have snapped in his brain

Well, the workshop is gone now, he decided to bomb it
Everywhere you’ll find pieces of Cupid and Comet
And he tied up his helpers and he held the elves hostage
And he ground up poor Rudolph into reindeer sausage
He got Dancer and Prancer with an old German Luger
And he slashed up Dasher just like Freddy Krueger
And he picked up a flamethrower and he barbequed Blitzen
And he took a big bite and said, “It tastes just like chicken!”

The night Santa went crazy
The night Kris Kringle went nuts
Now you can’t hardly walk around the North Pole
Without steppin’ in reindeer guts

There’s the National Guard and the F.B.I.
There’s a van from the Eyewitness News
And helicopters circlin’ ’round in the sky
And the bullets are flyin’, the body count’s risin’
And everyone’s dyin’ to know, oh Santa, why?
My my my my my my
You used to be such a jolly guy

Yes, Virginia, now Santa’s doin’ time
In a federal prison for his infamous crime
Hey, little friend, now don’t you cry no more tears
He’ll be out with good behavior in 700 more years
But now Vixen’s in therapy and Donner’s still nervous
And the elves all got jobs working for the postal service
And they say Mrs. Claus, she’s on the phone every night
With her lawyer negotiating the movie rights

They’re talkin’ bout – the night Santa went crazy
The night St. Nicholas flipped
Broke his back for some milk and cookies
Sounds to me like he was tired of gettin’ gypped

Whoa, the night Santa went crazy
The night St. Nick went insane
Realized he’d gettin’ a raw deal
Something finally must have snapped in his brain
Whoa, something finally must have snapped in his brain
Tell ya, something finally must have snapped… in his brain

Image: Weird Al/Twitter

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