Meet the Artist
December 23, 2015
What was your inspiration for writing this song?
I wrote it as a parody of a song on Merle Haggard’s Christmas album. His song was called “Grandma’s Christmas Card.” I thought that instead of one of those country song where a beloved person dies in the third verse, you should break the news immediately, like people do in real life, and then tell the circumstances.
Did you think the song would gain as much popularity as it did? Why do you think it became so popular?
I wrote it to sing in bars and lounges. I had no idea that it would ever be recorded. I think the punch lines made it popular initially, but I am baffled that it has stuck around to become a fixture.
Many artists end up not liking their most popular songs, are you still fond of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”?
I went through a period of not liking it myself, because I always sensed that audiences were disappointed that I sound nothing like the record. But I realize that it’s my calling card, and it’s expected that I’ll do it. And now that I’m performing more in the singer/songwriter world, where audiences come as much to hear the stories behind the song as the songs themselves, I’m really enjoying it again.
Do you have a favorite cover of the song by another artist?
Other than the hit version, my nephew Adam and it his band the Smoky Nights, from L.A., have a fun version and video on Youtube this year.
Who else, if anyone, worked on the song with you?
I alone am guilty.
Did “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” influence any of your music career in the future?
Absolutely. Now I get to play at songwriter festivals and places like Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe which would probably never have been available to me without the hit song.