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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Documenting When People Sung Extra Lyrics For "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" & What Extra Lyrics They Sang

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post compiles comments from various websites that document when people recall singing extra lyrics (add ons; call backs, echos) for the Christmas song "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer".

These quotes also include which extra lyrics were sung and where these commenters lived when they sung this holiday song.

Five video examples of add on lyrics for "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Johnny Marks, the composer of the standard lyrics for "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" in 1949. Also, thanks to the unknown composers of the add on lyrics for this song. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this post on YouTube.

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SUMMARY STATEMENTS ABOUT THE CUSTOM OF SINGING EXTRA LYRICS FOR RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER
Somewhat Standardized Lyrics
Extra lyrics that are sung or shouted while singing the lyrics to the 1949 song "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" are somewhat standardized, but not necessarily according to regional or community locations. I'm using the term "somewhat standardized" because there are a number of different words that are sung after particular lines of "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" instead of the more widely used call backs.

Continuity & Change
These extra lyrics-which are also referred to as "call backs", "add ons", "echos" etc.. These add on lyrics may remain the same or may change within a given geographic location.

Early Dates For This Custom (1950s through 1970s]
The earliest date that I've found online for the custom of adding extra lyrics for "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" is the late 1950, Chicago. However, that commenter's example [given in two different straightdope.com discussions] is the only online example from 1950s that I've found as of this pancocojams blog post's publication date.

Also, I've only come across one online example of this custom from the 1960s [late 60s, early 70s Virginia]. The very small sampling of examples from the 1950s and 1960s may be because of the smaller number of people who grew up in those decades who post on internet social media forums. That said, I grew up in the 1950s (in Atlantic City, New Jersey) and as I note in Excerpt #1 below, I didn't hear any examples of extra words that are sung with the standard "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer lyrics" until 1997 (in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

As documented below, there are a large number of online examples of extra lyrics for "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" from the United States in the 1970s. I've also come across a few examples of the extra lyric versions of this Christmas song from the Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. There's also an example cited below from Finland, albeit that it's from an international school attended by students from the United States.

I'm curious whether add on lyrics for "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" are sung elsewhere, and if so, what add on lyrics are sung.

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COMMENTS THAT MENTION THE DECADES WHEN THE ADD ON LYRICS "RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER" WERE SUNG
Pancocojams Editor's Note:
These excerpts are given in chronological order with the oldest comments from each website given first. Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only. Multiple comments within an excerpt are also numbered and I've added italics to highlight the decade/s mentioned in these comments.

Excerpt #1:
From https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=87050
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kid's Parodies
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 08:25 AM
The first time I heard children add a word or phrase to the lines of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer was somewhere around 1997 {in Pittsburgh, Penn}. I've heard other {African American} children singing it since then. I don't remember singing Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer this way when I was growing up in the 1950s.

Here's the version that I remember kids's singing:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose (like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it (saw it)
You would even say it glowed (like a flashlight)
All of the other reindeer (reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Join in any reindeer games (like Monopoly)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say (What?!)
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him (loved him)
And they shouted out with glee (Hurrah!)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
You'll go down in history...(like Columbus)

-snip-

About two years ago, [2003] I heard some {Black} children say "You'll go down in history...(like Martin Luther King}".
-snip-
For the record, the children I heard singing the first version that I gave were also Black.

Note that I no longer consider "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" songs with extra lyrics to be parodies.

Here's the only other online comment that I've found that gives "Martin Luther King Jr" as the response d after the "You'll go down in history" line of the "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" song:
From http://www.landthieves.com/board/showthread.php?47530-Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-Goes-Down-in-History-Like
"DECEMBER 19TH, 2012
smot
We always said Martin Luther King Jr, but I wasn't raised in a racist household like some of you"

****
WARNING: The straightdope.com discussions that are linked in this pancocojams post include some comments that contain profanity or profanity abbreviations. However, none of those examples are featured in this pancocojams post.

Excerpt #2:
From http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-496823.html Full Version:Who came up with "extra" lyrics of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

[Pancocojams Note:
These quotes from straightdope.com are all of the comments from those discussions about the "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" song that include dates. These comments are from much longer discussion threads.]

1. 12-10-2008, 12:47 AM
Bryan Ekers
Location: Montreal, QC
First time I heard them was Bart shouting them out at the end of the first episode of The Simpsons, back in '89. His response to the last line ("You'll go down in history!" / "Like Attila the Hun") angered Homer into strangle-mode.

**
2. 12-10-2008, 10:13 AM
jayjay
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sateryn76
I don't know, but whoever did should burn in hell. I first heard them at my cousin's school concert, and they are designed only to make Special Little Snowflakes shine...


Blarghhhh...[end of quote]
Oh, please...they've been around for decades. We used to sing them when I was in grade school (in the 70s). They're not designed for anything...they're kidlore, like Bloody Mary (the ghost, not the queen) and Mirror, Mirror Disappear and Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts and that song about the school burning down and all the kids forcing the teachers back into the flames.

Wow...we'd have been in SO much trouble if we were kids today with that kind of repertoire..

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3. Old 12-10-2008, 01:44 PM
BurnMeUp
Location: Redmond, WA USA
They were in place when I was a kid back in the 80's and I am sure they were from waaaay before that.

On a side note, if you rerally want to annoy some people, next time you're caroling, add in those verses. Then, every song after that, after the last verse add "Like a lightbulb!" We did that one year much to the chagrin of many people.

"sleeeep in heavenly peeeace.... LIKE A LIGHTBULB!"

**
4. 12-11-2008, 09:40 AM
D. Fenestrator
I learned the song as "Randolph the bald-headed cowboy," and after he shot Santa's wife he went down in history, but our version of the song didn't discuss how. Our teachers hated that song and forbade us from singing it, which of course made it even more popular among us kids.

I have heard the original version of Rudolph, the one that begins with the names of the reindeer, and it doesn't include the "like a light bulb" bits. I would't be too surprised if a newer version including them does exist, but the original was done straight. The "light bulb" version that I learned as a kid in the '70s was definitely meant to be irreverent and as subversive as one can get in grade school.

If we had ruined a school concert by singing the "light bulb" lyrics, we would have been in deep trouble, like we were when we sang the "mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school" song on the school bus...

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Excerpt #3:
From https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=635774 [Rudolph] You'll go down in history (like ???)
1. Dr. Righteous
12-22-2011, 11:44 AM
Mine are different than others have posted thus far. Just quoting the differences:

Used to laugh and call him names (like Dumbo)
...
Join in any reindeer games (like football)
...
As they shouted out with glee (hoo-ray!)
...
"Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!" (like Paul Revere)

1970's Long Island [New York], if anyone cares.

**
2. FrancisCastle
12-22-2011, 05:06 PM
Join in any reindeer games (like football)
---
"Rudolph the red nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!" (like Lincoln)

Wisconsin, late 80s

**
3. 12-21-2011, 05:45 PM
Larry Mudd
Location: Ass end of Alberta
For us it was "Like Linda Lovelace." (c. 1977 - 1980)

**
4. IvoryTowerDenizen
12-21-2011, 05:51 PM
Columbus. Always was Columbus (mid 1970s).

Here are the added lines:

Reindeer
Like a lightbulb
Saw it
Like Donner
Like Pinocchio
Rudolph
Like Monopoly
Loved him
With glee!
Reindeer
Like Columbus!

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5. Lord Il Palazzo
12-21-2011, 06:20 PM
I always heard George Washington referenced growing up in the 90's in a suburb of Washington DC. I also always hated the added lines for some reason. They just don't fit with the rest of the song and they feel like added commentary rather than part of the song's narrative.Here's what drives me crazy about this song:

Opening line: You know Dancer and Prancer and...."

And then: But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?"

Well, if he's the most famous, then Rudolph is the one we'd recall more than the others, right?I'd never realized that, but it's now going to bug the heck out of me every time I hear the song. Thanks for that.

**
6. 12-21-2011, 08:21 PM
jayjay Location: Central Pennsylvania
Pinocchio and Columbus (mid-70s, central PA)

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https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=635774&page=2

7. auRa
12-22-2011, 06:40 AM
[quote]Why have I never heard any of this?[end of quote]

To be honest, I'm a little surprised at all the "never heard of it" answers coming from Americans. I'm just discussing this with a Finnish friend of mine. In the early-to-mid-90's, she was at the English School in Helsinki, I was at the International School, and we both definitely sang Rudolph with the add-ons. It just seems funny that we'd know about this in northern Europe and someone in the States would have managed to miss it. :D

(She had "George Washington", I had "Columbus". Although I think I heard "Napoleon" once.)

**
8. Old 12-22-2011, 09:04 AM
LaurenIpsum
Location: Buffalo, NY

In my upstate NY elementary school in the 80s, it was always "Like George Washington." I never heard a version with Columbus or any other name.

**
9. 12-22-2011, 09:12 AM
tim-n-va
I'm more in favor of "Randolf the Bow-legged Cowboy" with the poker games and "with your gun so bright won't you shoot my wife tonight".

ETA: Georger Washington and Dumbo in VA [Virginia] in the late 60s and early 70s.

**
10. Old 12-22-2011, 10:22 AM
Wolverine
Location: Not Beijing
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer (reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it (saw it)
You would even say it glows (like a lightbulb)

All of the other reindeer (reindeer)
Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Join in any reindeer games (like monopoly)

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say,
"Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight"

Then all of the other reindeer loved him (loved him)
As they shouted out with glee (like toothpase)
"Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!" (like George Washington)

Differences in RED, non-controversial words in GREEN

I learned it this way in the 80s in Michigan.
-snip-
Sorry, all of the words are in black in this pancocojams post :o)

**
11. 12-22-2011, 11:12 AM
Jas09
Location: St. Louis, MO
Like George Washington. And the shouts of glee are to be followed by "yippee!". The game is Monopoly, and Donner is not mentioned except in the intro.

Midwest, Mid-80s.

**
12. 12-22-2011, 11:20 AM
ZipperJJ
Location: Northeast Ohio
Let me blow everyone's minds and say that in my little midwestern elementary school in the 80s we said "Like the Flinstones!" True story!

Second to that is George Washington. Never heard "Columbus."

**
13. 12-22-2011, 11:44 AM
Dr. Righteous
Location: overlooking ObamaNYC
Mine are different than others have posted thus far. Just quoting the differences:

Used to laugh and call him names (like Dumbo)
...
Join in any reindeer games (like football)


As they shouted out with glee (hoo-ray!)
...
"Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!" (like Paul Revere)

1970's Long Island, if anyone cares.

**
14. 12-22-2011, 01:38 PM
HenryGale
Pinocchio and Columbus here, born in '79, grew up in the NW 'burbs of Chicago.

Except, we added a syllable to Columbus to match Pinocchio... "Like Co-lum-bi-us!"

**
15. 12-22-2011, 03:20 PM
Jophiel
Location: Chicago suburbia
Columbus (Chicago c.1978 onward)

**
16. Old 12-22-2011, 05:06 PM
FrancisCastle
Join in any reindeer games (like football)
---
"Rudolph the red nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!" (like Lincoln)

Wisconsin, late 80s

**
17. Old 12-22-2011, 10:53 PM
Lamia
Quote:
...What I remember from when I was a kid (late '80s in the Southeast) was:

...shouted out with glee (Whoopee! or Yippee!)
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you'll go down in history!" (Like toothpaste!)

I figured this was because toothpaste is a famous invention, but that it was also a joke because you don't learn about toothpaste in history. Until today I don't think I've ever even heard of using a famous historic person's name at that point, although it makes a lot more sense that way.

Oh, the insult I learned was funny face, and the reindeer game was football.
-snip-
As some commenters mentioned on this discussion thread or others, the reason for the "toothpaste" response after the line "shouted out with glee" is that in the 1970s there was a brand of toothpaste called Gleam.

**
18. 12-23-2011, 09:41 AM
Pai325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09
Like George Washington. And the shouts of glee are to be followed by "yippee!". The game is Monopoly, and Donner is not mentioned except in the intro.

Midwest, Mid-80s. end of quote
Exactly!

Chicago area, late 50s

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=635774&page=3

19. 12-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Bearflag70
Location: Sacramento, CA
call him names > like Pinoccio
games > like Monopoly
glee > HOO-RAY!
history > like Columbus

1970s SoCal

[...]

****
Excerpt #4:
From http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-710870.html Rudolph, you'll go down in history (like ___)
1. Skywatcher
12-19-2013, 11:47 AM
Columbus

New Orleans 'burbs, mid-80s.

**
2. Miller
12-19-2013, 12:45 PM
Always heard "Like Lincoln" when I was growing up. This would be California in the 1980s.

**
3. smaje1
12-19-2013, 01:12 PM
I love that there are users on this board that have no idea what we're talking about here.

Chicago, grew up in the 80s:

Called him names: Like Pinocchio
Reindeer games: Like Monopoly
History: Like George Washington

**
4. Ulf the Unwashed
12-19-2013, 01:19 PM
Chicago, seventies.

Like Bobby Orr...

**
5. Jas09
12-19-2013, 01:33 PM
Chicago, grew up in the 80s:

Called him names: Like Pinocchio
Reindeer games: Like Monopoly
History: Like George WashingtonSame on all counts, but replace Chicago with St. Louis.

**
6. Miller
12-19-2013, 02:05 PM
Always heard "Like Lincoln" when I was growing up. This would be California in the 1980s.

To round out the other options:

...call him names ("Like Dumbo!")
...reindeer games ("Like football!")

Also, on "Santa came to say," a hearty "Ho Ho Ho!" and "...as they shouted out with glee," was followed by "Yippee!" The toothpaste reference would have been lost on us, I'm afraid - we never had that brand around here.

**
7. kaylasdad99
12-19-2013, 01:46 PM
Born in NW Indiana.

"Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinocchio!)"
"Join in any reindeer games (like Monopoly!)"
"You'll go down in history (like Columbus!)"

I love that there are users on this board that have no idea what we're talking about here.

Chicago, grew up in the 80s:

**
8. The Universe Lashes Out
12-19-2013, 02:25 PM
Lightbulb, Pinocchio, Monopoly, George Washington. I grew up in Alabama in the mid-1980's. Although when I have kids, I'm gonna teach them to say Linda Lovelace, thanks Czarcasm.

**
9. E. Thorp
12-20-2013, 05:13 PM
Like Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson...and Paul Reveeeeeeere...

(southern Ohio, 70s)

**
10. Pai325
12-19-2013, 05:47 PM
George Washington. Chicago in the 50s.

**
11. Kimble
12-19-2013, 05:59 PM
lightbulb, Pinocchio, Monopoly, ho ho ho, whoopee (or yippee), George Washington

Knoxville TN, late 1970s

**
12. IvoryTowerDenizen
12-19-2013, 06:05 PM
Columbus. Western New York, mid 1970-1980s.

Here's all of the additions I learned:

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose (Like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it (Saw it)
...
All of the other reindeer (Like Blitzen)
Use to laugh and call him names (like pichnoccio)
They wouldn't let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Join in any reindeer games (like monopoly)
.....

Then all the reindeer loved him (loved him)
And they shouted out with glee (WITH GLEE)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
You'll go down in History (like Columbus)

**
13. Ferret Herder
12-19-2013, 07:13 PM
Alexander Graham Bell. Wisconsin, late 70s.

**
14. fisha
12-19-2013, 09:10 PM
Mn, Jackie Gleason, 1970's.

Never heard of any of the others….
-snip-
Mn = Minnesota

**
15. Qwisp
12-19-2013, 10:48 PM
"Like a lightbulb" this was in the Chicagoland suburbs in the mid nineties.

**
16. E. Thorp
12-20-2013, 05:13 PM
Like Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson...and Paul Reveeeeeeere...

(southern Ohio, 70s)

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17. Ferret Herder
12-19-2013, 07:13 PM
Alexander Graham Bell. Wisconsin, late 70s.

**
18. Tess Trueheart
12-20-2013, 07:58 PM
Like a lightbulb
Like Pinocchio
Like Monopoly
Ho ho ho
Yippee!
Like Columbus

Texas in the 90s

**
19. expectopatronum
12-22-2013, 11:57 AM
like a lightbulb
like a flashlight
like pinocchio
like monopoly
ho ho ho
like toothpaste
like george washington

central florida, late 80s early 90s.

**
20. BigDadWolf
12-22-2013, 08:54 PM
Dallas - mid 70s - we sang it like this to be best of my recollection:

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
Had a very shiny nose (like a light bulb)
And if you ever saw it (saw it)
You would even say it glows (like a light bulb)

All of the other reindeer (Like Dasher)
Use to laugh and call him names (like pichnoccio)
They wouldn't let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Join in any reindeer games (like football)

Then one snowy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say (Ho Ho Ho)
Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won't you guide me sleigh tonight?

Then all the reindeer loved him (loved him)
And they shouted out with glee (Whoopeee!)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
You'll go down in History (like the Indians)

Anyone else ever use "like the Indians" for going down in history?

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1:!!! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer -with extra verse Carolling for Charity!!!



Candace McGuire, Published on Dec 22, 2009

Carolling for charity December 09
-snip-
I think the boy said "in his underpants" after the line "Santa came to say"

A commenter on one of the straightdope.com discussion threads wrote that in Canada "in his underwear" was a common add on after the line "Santa came to say".

Can you tell what other add on words the boy sang in this version of "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer"?

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Example #2: Like a Light Bulb!" 1993



dgfehling, Published on Sep 12, 2011

The kids singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on Christmas Eve 1993.
-snip-
Note the line: “You’ll go down in history “Like Beethoven"

****
Example #3: Rudolph the red nose reindeer.MP4



Andi Sumartono, Published on Dec 24, 2011

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer)
had a very shiny nose (like a lollipop)
And if you ever saw him, (saw him)
you would even say it glows. (like a light bulb)
All of the other reindeer's (reindeer's)
used to laugh and call him names. (like Pinocchio)
They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
join in any reindeer games. (like monopoly)
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then all the reindeer's loved him (loved him)
as they shouted out with glee, (yippee)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!
-snip-
In this first line of this song, for some reason these lyrics had “5x” after the name Rudolph. [?]

****
Example #4: RUDLOPH the RED NOSED REINDEER - Alternative and fun lyrics. Christmas Songs.



Nursery Rhymes TV, Published on Nov 30, 2014

RUDOLPH the RED NOSED REINDEER- alternative lyrics!!!
Made in the UK. Quality animation & music.
-snip-
Notice that there's no add on words after "You'll go down in history".

****
Example #5:[TSVN] Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Song by the Simpson family



The Simpson Song. Published on Apr 18, 2016

Episode: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (Season 1 Episode 1)
Song/Track: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Artist/Group: Johnny Marks
-snip-
Here's a transcription of this segment from
https://mormonhub.com/forums/topic/58478-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-add-on-lyrics/
Jamie123
Location: UK
Posted December 16, 2015
"If I remember rightly, the Simpsons' "add-ons" were:
...say It glowed (Bart: "Like a Light Bulb!" Homer: "Bart!!")

...reindeer games (Bart: "Like Strip Poker!" Homer: "I'm warning you!")

...Santa game to say (Marge: "Take it away Homie!" Homer (sings solo): "Rudolph get your nose over here, so you can guide my sleigh to...er...day" Patty and Selma: "Groan!")

...down in history (Bart: "Like Attila the Hu.....uuuugh". Homer starts strangling him.)


My daughter and I always sing "Attila the Hun" at the end, though my wife always tries to drown us out with "George Washington".



(I think "Attila the Hun" scans better)"

****
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3 comments:

  1. Here's an example of an extra lyrics version of"Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" from Ireland:
    https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=635774&page=2
    Old 12-22-2011, 09:22 AM
    irishgirl
    Location: Belfast, Ireland.
    "Glows (like a Glow-worm)
    Reindeer (like Blitzen)
    Names (like Pinocchio)
    Games (like Monopoly)
    History (like Napoleon)

    I think The GW/Columbus versions didn't make it across the Atlantic."
    -snip-
    "GW" = George Washington

    ReplyDelete
  2. That example of an extra lyric version of "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" from Ireland caused me to wonder whether any people throughout the world who sing this song have made non-American substitutions for its United States based extra lyrics.

    For instance, if children in Ghana sing this song, do they say "Kwame Nkrumah" instead of "George Washington" after the "He'll go down in history" line?

    And do children in South Africa sing "Nelson Mandela"?

    ReplyDelete
  3. On December 16*, 2015, mordorbund, a commenter from https://mormonhub.com/forums/topic/58478-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-add-on-lyrics/ wrote:
    ..."I can tell you that you call a red-nosed reindeer 'pinocchio' because they both have strange noses. You may also try 'Cyrano' if you think the audience will know the reference."...

    *December 16 happens to be my birthday :o)

    ReplyDelete