Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
This was recorded by the then husband-and-wife duo of Elmo Shropshire and Patsy Trigg, although Patsy does not sing or play an instrument on this song. It was released in 1979 in the San Francisco area where they lived, and each year more and more radio stations picked up on this holiday novelty classic, and by 1984 the song hit the national chart. Unfortunately, a year later Elmo and Patsy divorced. (thanks, Jeff - Boston, MA)
This was made into a TV special of the same name in 2000. After Grandma disappears on Christmas Eve, it's up to her grandson to find out what happened to her, prove Santa is real, and keep an evil family member from claiming her stuff. We won't tell you how it ends, but you'll be happy to know that it is available on DVD.
This was written by Randy Brooks, author of several other catchy novelty songs including "I'd Rather Be Sailin' with Governor Palin" and "It's Halloween (A Christmas Song)." Brooks played this while sitting in with Elmo and Patsy at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe in December 1978. After the show they asked him for a taped copy. Elmo and Patsy recorded their own version a year later and began selling it at their shows. A friend brought it to the attention of Gene Nelson of KSFO San Francisco. (thanks, Ekristheh - Halath, United States)
Dr. Elmo (a veterinarian) does more radio and TV interviews each holiday season than just about anyone - in 2005 he was on 11 TV shows in major markets, and did 150 radio interviews, most of which were syndicated to reach 3500 markets. Each morning during the holiday season, he starts his interviews at 4:30 - 5:00 AM (West Coast) and does an interview every 15 minutes until about 11:00 AM. Then he gets ready for his TV appearances, concert or personal appearances.
In 2005, this song sold on 200,000 CDs in retail stores, was downloaded over 100,000 times as a ringtone, and sold 40,000 downloads through Sony and 6,000 on iTunes.
There have been millions of plush reindeer toys sold at major retailers that sing Elmo's version of this song. It's the #1 plush toy sold during the holidays.
There was a "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" animation that played on the WB channel each year, several times, in prime time. Elmo wrote the 5 songs that are in this animation. He also narrates it and plays the part of Grandpa.
Elmo, who turned 70 in 2006, ran his first marathon (New York) in 2005. (thanks, Kathy - San Francisco, CA)
A group of high school students from South Mississippi recorded "Downtown Got Run Over By Katrina," which is a parody of the after-shocks that Gulf Coast residents felt following Hurricane Katrina in late 2005. The song created quite an interest during Christmas shopping season on the Mississippi/Louisiana Coast. Elmo gave them permission to use his tune. (thanks, Robby - Pascagoula, MS)
The Real Nick Drake
The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.
Dean Friedman - "Ariel"
Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.