Christmas Countdown 2009: No. 18. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by the Brian Setzer Orchestra


What’s not to love about this Seussian classic? How The Grinch Stole Christmas was written and published by Dr. Seuss in 1957 and made into a television production in 1966, featuring the voice of the legendary Boris Karloff. Most recently, in 2000, it was produced as a full-feature film starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.

This version of the song, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” was performed by the Brian Setzer Orchestra in 2005 and released on their Dig That Crazy Christmas cd — their second holiday big-band release following the successful Boogie Woogie Christmas released three years earlier.

I can’t say that this story was the origin of my understanding that there were more important things at Christmas time than presents and toys, but I remember being swept away in awe as these wonderful little Who’s of Whoville gathered around in the center of their town to sing Christmas morning, despite the Grinch’s greatest efforts to do away with any and all Christmas spirit.

And I remember thinking at that time, even as a little kid, that Christmas magic was real. It was bigger than Santa, bigger than anything I might find under the tree Christmas morning.

I still believe in that magic.

Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel did not just stumble upon this chance to make a point about the true meaning of Christmas. His stories were often filled with deeper meanings and commentaries — from natural conservation to nuclear annihilation. Seuss used a medium that reached large audiences to make this world a better place. At the very least, he got us thinking about the issues that mattered then and — surprisingly enough — matter just as much today.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

I wonder though, sometimes, why it’s so hard for so many to get the message about the importance of the simpler things in life (peace, community, love). Perhaps, if it can happen for the Grinch, it can happen for them as well….

On any level, though, the Grinch offers so much entertainment, no matter how old or young you might be. It is still a favorite among many of today’s teens, and I’m going to have to get a new copy to read to my kids in the coming weeks. We have fun with the words, the rhymes, and the illustrations.It’s an event whenever we pick up Seuss. 🙂

Make it an event in your life. Pick up a copy, bring the words to life, and sing a tune or two with Mr. and Mrs. Who (Yes! I’m talking to YOU!)!

One thought on “Christmas Countdown 2009: No. 18. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by the Brian Setzer Orchestra

  1. Out of all the Christmas cartoonish movies, tv shows etc, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favorites. I love the aniamation of the old, love the realism of the new version. I love the exaggerated make- up and costumes, the music, and of course, the sappiness of the happy ending. When the Grinch realizes no matter what, love conquers all. His little non existent heart become brighter, beats harder and just glows from within. Just goes to show, people can change, people can love again and their is hope in this world after all– even if just for a mere 2 hrs in the warmth of our own homes, with our family close by. What can be better than that?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s