The Night Santa Went Crazy

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"The Night Santa Went Crazy"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Bad Hair Day
B-side "Christmas at Ground Zero"
Released November 26, 1996 (1996-11-26)
Format CD
Recorded December 1, 1994
Genre Comedy rock, Holiday music
Length 4:03
Label Scotti Brothers
Writer(s) "Weird Al" Yankovic
Producer(s) "Weird Al" Yankovic
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"Spy Hard"
(1996)
"The Night Santa Went Crazy"
(1996)
"The Saga Begins"
(1999)

"The Night Santa Went Crazy" is an original song by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The darkly humorous Christmas song is performed as a style parody of "Black Gold" by Soul Asylum, with melodic references to "Mama I'm Comin' Home" by Ozzy Osbourne and "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Greg Lake. The juxtaposition of violent gunplay and psychosis with happy instrumentation and a holiday theme is also similar to The Kinks' tune "Father Christmas" (in which Santa is threatened with murder but survives).

It is the twelfth and final track on the album Bad Hair Day, released as a single during the 1996 Christmas season. "The Night Santa Went Crazy" was also included in the compilation album The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic. Both albums have received positive critical reviews.

Recording and composition[edit]

The song starts with Santa's elves making Christmas presents for good, "Gentile" children. Suddenly, a drunken Santa bursts in with a rifle in his hand, and covered with ammunition. He says, "Merry Christmas to all / Now you're all gonna' die!", then proceeds to destroy half of the North Pole, bombing the workshop, murdering elves and holding the survivors hostage, and killing 7 of the 9 reindeer in various gruesome ways (Donner and Vixen were spared, although not without post-traumatic stress disorder). The National Guard and FBI come to restore order, with the Eyewitness News broadcasting the incident and the ensuing battle between Santa and the government forces. Finally, Santa is arrested and locked up in a federal prison, with the possibility of release for good behavior in 700 years; Vixen gets therapy and Donner is placed in an asylum; the elves get jobs working for the postal service; and Mrs. Claus negotiates film rights for the incident. Near the end of the song, Yankovic explains why Santa went insane.

Release[edit]

"The Night Santa Went Crazy" was released as the third and final single from Bad Hair Day on November 26, 1996; the CD single featured "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and "Christmas at Ground Zero", another holiday-themed song from Yankovic's 1986 album Polka Party![1] For its cover art, Yankovic used the original drawing of Santa Claus by Mark Osborne that inspired him to write the song.[2] While the single did not chart upon original release, it later peaked at number 35 on the United States Billboard Holiday Digital Tracks chart in 2010.[3]

An "extra gory" version of the song was included as the third track on the "Amish Paradise" single.[4] In this version, none of the reindeer survive, Santa is killed by a member of the SWAT team, and the elves file for unemployment benefits. Another rendition combining elements of the album and the "extra gory" versions was written for Yankovic's Touring with Scissors tour in 1999; it is featured on the "Weird Al" Yankovic Live! video album.[5] He later performed "The Night Santa Went Crazy" on the television variety show Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular – having just recovered from a bout of laryngitis, Yankovic had difficulty performing some of the song's high notes.[6][7]

The "Extra Gory" version appeared on the compilation album The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic. [8]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Night Santa Went Crazy" – 4:03
  2. "Christmas at Ground Zero" – 3:07

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Bad Hair Day liner notes.[9]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
US Holiday Digital Tracks (Billboard)[3] 35

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Night Santa Went Crazy (Track listing) (Media notes). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1996. SBCD 78102-2. 
  2. ^ "'Ask Al' Q&As for May, 1999". "Weird Al" Yankovic. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Weird Al Yankovic – Chart History: Holiday Digital Tracks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Amish Paradise (Track listing) (Media notes). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1996. 72392 78061-2. 
  5. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic (performer) (1999). "Weird Al" Yankovic Live! (VHS). Volcano Entertainment. 61422 32121 3. 
  6. ^ "'Ask Al' Q&As for July, 1999". "Weird Al" Yankovic. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Performance on YouTube". 
  8. ^ Al's Blog - "The Essential Me"
  9. ^ Bad Hair Day (liner notes). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1996. SBC 5500.