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Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

by

Elmo & Patsy



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)
Elmo & Patsy
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Comments (13):

Rainier Beer was a popular brand of northwest beer. A spoof of this song was put out called 'Grandma Got Hungover Drinkin' Rainier.'
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
I always loved this song and video!
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
The movie is now shown on Cartoon Network.
- Sara, Greenville, AL
During the summer of 1982 I was an entertainer on the Royal Viking Sea Cruise ship to Alaska. Elmo & Patsy were booked on as an act. They were the most friendly couple and very entertaining!! Elmo was especially kind, and was very complimentary and supportive of my night club. What a great memory of these two!!
- Kristopher, Hollywood, CA
I remember playing this song several times over on a CD in one of the early CD players when I was plowing a mall parking lot in Montana just before Christmas in 1989.
- Darrell, Eugene
Elmo has not performed with Pasty in over 17 years. 17 years ago, Elmo re-recorded the Grandma song. Patsy is no longer in the business, and it's Elmo who has been doing all the performing and promotion for "Grandma" for all this time.

Elmo and Patsy was the name of the group, although Patsy does not sing or play an instrument on the Grandma song.

Elmo 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.

In 2005, Elmo sold over 200,000 CD's in retail stores, (The Dr. Elmo version)

"Grandma" downloaded over 100,000 ringtones(Sprint 71,500, T-Mobile 12,694, Verizon 5,000)

There were 40,000 downloads of the entire song from Sony and 6,000 on itunes.

Elmo has become an Icon, crossing several generations.

When Elmo does major concerts, the headliners (Pat Benetar, etc.) are always blown away to meet him and usually ask for his autograph for their child/niece/nephew, etc.

There have been MILLIONS of plush reindeer toys sold at major retailers, which sing Elmo's Grandma song. It's the #1 plush toy sold during the holidays.

There is a "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" Animation that plays 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.

Each holiday season, Elmo (on the west coast) starts radio interviews at 4:30 - 5:00 AM, and has an interview set up every 15 minutes until,about 10:00 AM. Then he gets ready for TV interviews and concerts.

Elmo will be 70 this year, and last year he ran his first marathon - New York. He hopes to run again this year. www.drelmo.com
- Kathy, San Francisco, CA
Dave:
The line in the song goes "You may say there's no such thing as Santa, but as for me and Grandpa, we believe," which to me indicates that Santa does exist - according to the song. I would suspect any child who sings the song and doesn't believe in Santa had already come to that conclusion on their own, not because of the song.
- Allan, Vanderhoof, Canada
this is the best christmas song!!!
- Erik, Willow Hill, PA
Just a thought... How many times does this song suggest there is "NO SANTA"... Sign of the times, but how many children sing this song and start not believing.

Personally I think it is too bad to promote dis-belief of a great mystery that children all love.
- Dave, Falmouth, ME
Another parody of this song is "Osama got run over by a Reindeer" by Bob Rivers.
- Eddie, Acton, ME
A parody of this song was written in the late 80s-early 90s with the title "New Kids Got Run Over By a Reindeer" indicating that then-highly popular boy band New Kids on the Block were the victims in the hit-and-run.
- Patrick, Conyers, GA
Elmo is a veterinarian and has his own website.
- Steve, San Jose, CA
The song had four separate issues on four different labels. The first three were in 1979, on Kim-Pat Enterprises, Oink, and Soundwaves. In 1984, Epic released the song. There were also two separate versions released. The Kim-Pat Enterprises and Soundwaves are the same take, as are the Oink and Epic versions.
- Fred, Summit, NE
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