What a horrible song! I’m not joking, wipe that smile off your face. This song is horrible. It’s just wrong. I always knew it was a bit irreverent but until today I never truly sat down to listen to the words. Well, ignorance is bliss but it is no excuse. I didn’t actually pick these twenty-five songs. They are a result of a survey and a request for input. I told some people what I was planning to write and then asked them to help decide what songs I should use. More than one person included this song in their suggestions but even still I should have used my veto powers to kill it.
Kill it. Perhaps I shouldn’t use such a phrase when writing on this song. It almost seems as flippant as the song itself regarding what should be a horrible tragedy. The chorus that we all know tells us what that tragedy is but the verses set it in a context that makes the song just so much worse. In verse one grandma gets drunk and wanders out into the winter night. In the second verse grandpa is doing fine watching sports and playing cards while the rest of us consider divvying up grandmas presents among ourselves. In the third verse, as everyone sits down to dinner, the singer mocks grandma’s hair and suggests Santa is a reckless lunatic (or pedophile). This is just a horrible, horrible song.
It is also a song I know will now be stuck in my head for days. As evil as the song is, it is definitely well made. The tune has just enough verve and the melody is such that it is easy to get in your head and hard to get out. That’s the way it usually is with unhealthy things, isn’t it? In a way “Grandma Got Run Over” is like that unhealthy food we know we shouldn’t be eating. There is a reason there will never be a legitimate market for fat free, low carb pizza. You would have taken away everything that makes the pizza worth eating. Every single peanut M&M you eat has ten calories. Yes, I said ten. You could go a day eating whatever you want, or you can have one 7oz bag of M&M’s. But they’re sooooooo good. When I had friends here visiting America, I had them bring me back a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Each one of those little suckers was 40 calories and more than half of that was from fat. What’s your favorite holiday candy? Just remember, every single candy cane you give to your kids this winter is another ten grams of sugar to help them better bounce off walls.
I could go on and on with example after example of foods that are so nefariously addictive. Most of us pretty much automatically assume that this season we will put on a few pounds. No worries… topping off the list of those New Years resolutions we will keep for at least a week or two is a membership to the gym so we can shed them back off. “Grandma Got Run Over” is also like the halfhearted resolutions we are all so quick to break. Only in early January can you get a good workout just by walking from the closest available parking space to the front door of Planet Fitness. Why is it that these resolutions end so quickly? I don’t know about you but for me the answer can be summed up in two words: “snooze button”. I know the right thing to do. I know the healthy thing to do, but my warm comfy bed is just too inviting. I’ll get up in five minutes. Sometimes I think I say that about ten times each morning. By the time I finally roll out of bed I no longer have time for the gym. Tomorrow I’ll do it. I promise. No really. I will.
“Grandma Got Run Over” is also like a bad habit. Pick an addiction. Pick a sin. It’s the same story. We know it is wrong. We know it isn’t healthy. When it gets inside you, though, it is just so hard to get out. Like a catchy tune with awful lyrics we know we should tune it out but we just can’t. It’s so much easier to know whats right than to do what’s right. In my current Christmas music collection I have 2,287 songs. Before I started writing this post I had five more, but each of the five versions of Grandma have been deleted. I wish it was that easy to delete a bad habit. I wish it was that easy to delete an addiction. I wish it was that easy to delete sin. Maybe this year I will start a couple resolutions twenty-eight days early. There’s no need to wait. There’s no need to delay until the calendar rolls over. Most of us know what our guilty pleasures are. We also know that pleasure rings hollow when looking at the long view. We know what steps we need to take to delete it out of our life. Its just that the doing is not easy. So why not start now instead of waiting? This Advent season there will be no grandmas getting run over by reindeer.