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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 15 - "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - 25 Days of Christmas Angst

Preview the remaining days of angst or review the previous days here:   
The Grinch, his dog, and Clifford hang
out behind my desk in my classroom.
I was originally going to compare The Grinch to Ebenezer Scrooge.  I encountered another character to compare him to though.  After yesterday's tragedy, I felt the need to watch It's A Wonderful Life today.    

Henry Potter, like The Grinch, never has his jealousy and wickedness explained. 

"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the 1966 animated version of the Dr. Seuss story describes The Grinch's evilness but it never tries to explain it.  You can hear Thurl Ravenscroft singing it here:  http://youtu.be/3pQgSvN7hYo.  An interesting note:  Ravenscroft was also the voice behind Tony The Tiger and many other cartoon and commercial characters.

Nowhere in the original story is The Grinch's evil explained.  The live action movie version from 2000 adds a back story for The Grinch that becomes pivotal to the plot of the film. 

Dr. Seuss' story, however, opens with this:

"The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But,
Whatever the reason,
His heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town."

In It's A Wonderful Life we get even less of an explanation of Potter's wicked ways.  There is one scene where George's father says that Potter is jealous of anything he can't own like the friendship and community support that the Bailey's have.

Both people do horrible things as well.  The Grinch steals Christmas from all of Whoville.  Potter tries to destroy the Bailey family many times and nearly succeeds by stealing $8,000 and trying to frame George for the theft. 

The difference is that The Grinch actually sees the error of his ways at the end of the story.  Potter never has his heart grow.  It is this awakening that makes The Grinch such a compelling figure.  Everybody loves a redemption story. 

The Grinch has also inspired many other stories.  One of my favorite spin-offs occurred in the series, Glee.  You can see Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester donning green face paint and destroying the Glee club's Christmas as k.d. lang sings, "You're A Mean One, Sue The Grinch" here:  http://vimeo.com/33812637.

I almost moved my discussion of The Grinch to a different day.  Perhaps, though, today is the perfect day to contemplate a character who highlights the potential for people to choose to be better.

You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
performed by Thurl Ravnescroft

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel,
Mr. Grinch.
You're a bad banana with a
greasy black peel.

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders.
You've got garlic in your soul, Mr Grinch.
I wouldn't touch you with a
Thirty-nine and a half foot pole.

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch.
You have termites in your smile,
You have all the tender sweetness of
a seasick crocodile, Mr Grinch.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I'd take the seasick crocodile.

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a nasty wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks.
Your soul is full of gunk,
Mr Grinch.

The three best words that best describe you,
Are as follows, and I quote:
Stink!
Stank!
Stunk!

You're a rotter Mr Grinch
You're the king of sinful sots
Your hearts a dead tomato
splotched with moldy purple spots,
Mr Grinch!

Your sole is a appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr Grinch
With a noxious super nos.
You're a crooked jerky jockey and,
You drive a crooked horse,
Mr Grinch!

You're a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich,
With arsenic sauce!

Resources:

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27re_a_Mean_One,_Mr._Grinch

The Text of the Book by Dr. Seuss 
http://xmasfun.com/stories/Grinch/Text.asp

"Thurl Ravenscroft"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurl_Ravenscroft

Lyrics
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/g/grinch/your_a_mean_one_mr_grinch.html

"It's A Wonderful Life"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life


25 Days Of Christmas Angst
Day Song Download/Purchase Info
15 "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Buy the full album:

Buy the song:

Buy the DVD:

Buy the Blu-Ray:

Amazon Instant Video:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
Perhaps The Grinch is just misunderstood, or perhaps he is pure evil.
14 "Belleau Wood" by Garth Brooks Buy the CD:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
A song about the Christmas truce of 1914. One night of peace followed by so many days of death. There is no digital download of this one unless you go through iTunes.
13 "The 12 Days of Christmas" by Burl Ives Buy the full album:

Buy the song:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
Christmas is so great let's have 12 days of it!
12 "My Favorite Things" by Lorrie Morgan Buy the full album:

Buy the song:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
This song is not just for easing your fears of a thunderstorm. Lorrie Morgan proves it deserves to be considered a Christmas song.
11 "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Judy Garland (from Meet Me In St. Louis) Buy the full album:

Buy the song:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
The saddest Christmas song of all time?
10 "Christmas, Why Can't I Find You" from How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Buy the full album:

Buy the song:

Buy the DVD Blu-Ray Combo:

Amazon Instant Streaming:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
I think this song, more than any other, expresses the feelings that cause all of the angst. As we grow up or grow older and change it seems the world changes more.

Click this link to preview the remaining days of angst or review the previous days:  http://www.carneylentz.com/p/25-days-of-christmas-angst.html
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