You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

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"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is a Christmas song that was originally written and composed for the 1966 cartoon special Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas![1]


The lyrics were written by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, the music was composed by Albert Hague, and the song was performed by Thurl Ravenscroft. The song's lyrics describe the Grinch as being unpleasant, foul-smelling, bad-mannered, despicable, and diabolical, using increasingly creative put-downs, metaphors, similes and off-hand comments by the singer, beginning with the opening line "you're a mean one, Mr. Grinch".

Because Ravenscroft was not credited in the closing credits of the special, it is often mistakenly attributed to Boris Karloff, who served as narrator and the voice of the Grinch in the special but who himself was not a trained singer. Until Ravenscroft was publicly credited, Tennessee Ernie Ford was also speculated to be the voice behind the song.[2]

The soundtrack to the special won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children at the 10th Annual Grammy Awards.


Glee Cast version[edit]

Chart (2010–11) Peak
US Holiday Digital Songs (Billboard)[3] 45

Thurl Ravenscroft version[edit]

Chart (2019–2020) Peak
Global 200 (Billboard)[4] 90
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 32
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[6] 14
US Rolling Stone Top 100[7] 24


  1. ^ Green, Joey (2012). Weird and Wonderful Christmas: Curious and Crazy Customs and Coincidences from Around the World. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-57912-924-8.
  2. ^ McCracken, Elizabeth (December 25, 2005). "Our Cereal Hero". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  3. ^ "Glee Cast Chart History (Holiday Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "Thurl Ravenscroft Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  5. ^ "Thurl Ravenscroft Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  6. ^ "Thurl Ravenscroft Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 24, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.

External links[edit]