As a round-faced (combo of squishy cheeks and serious bangs) five-year-old, I battled stage fright to sing a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer duet with my cousin Amanda. In front of an adoring crowd of sixty people from our church, we wore matching antler headbands.
I know, so cute.
But even then, I thought the story of Rudolph was incomplete. All the reindeer wouldn't play with Rudolph, and then he helped Santa, so they decided to be friends with him? After a couple of decades, or at least the Decembers of those decades, I have over-thought the lyrics enough to produce a fury of questions:
Is this song trying to teach children that in order to be accepted they just have to use a physical feature they feel insecure about to impress the ring leader? Or, is it more that people will like you if you save them from danger? Or save them from inconvenience? Why didn't Santa, or Mrs, Claus, or an elf, intervene if Rudolph was excluded over and over from playtime? And why would Rudolph even want to be friends with the reindeer who were so rude for so long?
I'm not alone in this. Jack Johnson would agree with me, I think. I heard his rendition of Rudolph (on my Pandora She & Him Holiday station--who doesn't have a crush on Zooey Deschanel?)
So, I found Jack's Rudolph on YouTube just for you: