You know "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but do you recall the most famous "Rudolph" parody of all—that one featuring a cowpoke with a very shiny gun? There are many, many more song parodies that use the tunes of familiar Christmas songs. We’ve rounded up just a few others that you might not know, but should.
1. JOHNNY THE REDSHIRT FRESHMAN
Johnny Manziel was a redshirt freshman for Texas A&M in the fall of 2012 when he blew past all competition and won the Heisman Trophy, the first freshman ever to win the award. Michael Cordova wrote a little song about it, set to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
You know Matthews and Michael and Joeckel and EZ Stewart, DaMonster, and Harris and Nealy But do you recall the most famous Aggie of all? Johnny the redshirt freshman strikes a lovely Heisman pose But if you ever saw him, you would even say OH NO... no no no... YES YES!
The song is short, but it was really popular with Aggies that year.
2. DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE
Walt Kelly drew the syndicated comic strip "Pogo" from 1948 to 1975. Pogo the possum and his animal friends in the Okefenokee Swamp talked a lot of nonsense that hid social and political satire among the laughs. For Christmas, the satire gave way to downright silliness, as the cast sang classic Christmas carols with nonsense lyrics. The best known was “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie,” a take on "Deck the Halls," which ran year after year.
Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo! Nora's freezin' on the trolley, Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo! Don't we know archaic barrel Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou? Trolley Molly don't love Harold, Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!
3. BUZZFEED CHRISTMAS
Randall Munroe at xkcd put new lyrics to a few lines of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which is a list in itself, to parody the list makers at Buzzfeed.
4. AUSSIE JINGLE BELLS
“Jingle Bells” isn’t specifically about Christmas—it's really just about riding through the snow on a wintry day. But in Australia, Christmas occurs during the continent's summer season. So the Australian duo Bucko & Champs (Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion) recorded a new version with Australian lyrics in 1993 called "Aussie Jingle Bells.” It became so popular down under that they re-released it on their Christmas album Aussie Christmas with Bucko & Champs in 1996. The lyrics are here if you want to sing along.
5. THE FIRST HARD SELL
Want to express your displeasure about the overemphasis on the shopping part of Christmas? Try out this parody song, attributed to Christopher Hershey, that's sung to the tune of “The First Noel.”
The first hard sell comes sometime in June When last season's Christmas cards take too much room, So they put them out in an off-season bin, For in June they are getting their new shipments in. Hard sell, hard sell Hard sell, hard sell This is the Christmas we all know so well. About midway in July the lay-away plans Make their laying-away-in-a-manger demands, And installment plans begin their attempt to entice You end up paying twice the original price. Then early in the fall there's a pre-season bluff To sell gift wrappings, ribbons and other such stuff Buy it now! the ads demand, if you don't buy it, you Will discover we're out of it when you want to. By the time October comes, every store's lined with snares With Halowe'en, Christmas and Thanksgiving wares; What once were festivals that were simple and plain All have become mere excuses for capital gain
6. WARNER WONDERLAND
Musician Jim Keyes posted a video in which he played “Winter Wonderland” on YouTube several years ago. Warner Music Group had it removed on grounds of copyright infringement. Keyes knew that there’s a way around that: Parody songs are protected from charges of infringement. So he altered the lyrics of “Winter Wonderland” to tell the story of what happened.
7. HAMLET, THE DANISH PRINCELING
Mya Gosling runs the webcomic Good Tickle Brain, where she turns Shakespeare on his head for a laugh. On Christmas Day 2014, she gave us "Hamlet, the Danish Princeling," with lyrics to be set to the tune of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." In the same post, she also has the parody songs "Good King Henry V" and "Hark the Herald Witches Sing."
8. THE CHEMISTRY TEACHER’S COMING TO TOWN
Here’s one that might bring a little smile to the face of students studying for finals, set to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
You better not weigh You better not heat You better not react I'm telling you now The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town. He's collecting data He's checking it twice He's gonna find out The heat of melting ice The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town. He sees you when you're decanting He knows when you titrate He knows when you are safe or not So wear goggles for goodness sake. Oh, you better not filter And drink your filtrate You better not be careless and spill your precipitate. The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.
This and 13 other Christmas songs converted to chemistry jokes can be found at Wesleyan University’s Physics department.