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Songwriting Was My Only Grief Outlet After We Lost Grandma in That Reindeer Accident

You may say there’s no such thing as Santa, but me and my Grandpa, we believe. We know all to well that jolly old son of a bitch is out there and if you get in his way for just one second, God help you.

As an artist, I use my music as an outlet to process and express my emotions during the darkest times in my life. When my grandmother was tragically taken from us, I turned to song to express my grief when she was brutally stampeded by that God damn reindeer.

December 25, 1978, Grandpa and I found Grandma’s trampled corpse, a hoof print clearly imprinted onto her forehead and her torso covered in what the coroner would describe as “incriminating Claus marks.” It was an incredibly harrowing sight, forever scarred into my mind.

December 26, 1978, I went hunting. It felt only right—an eye for an eye, a life for a life. But no matter how many reindeer I killed, I only grieved more for the matriarch I had lost. 

That night I put down my gun and picked up my pen. It was time to share my pain the only way I knew how: through the power of song.

As soon as pen touched paper the words just flowed through me. You can call me a vessel of soul like it says on my Instagram bio but I like to think Grandma was looking down on me and channeling the very word of the Lord. I wrote the song in ten minutes. I mostly just described what happened, taking some creative liberties to protect our family. And to make stuff rhyme and shit.

I never imagined that my greatest artistic accomplishment would come at the expense of my beloved Gam-Gam, but life is funny that way. The song isn’t. But life is.

After many years of therapy, which I can afford thanks to royalties from my mega hit, the image of Grandma’s mutilated body haunts my dreams less. Ironically, the one thing I can’t get out of my head is my own song. Being a lyrical visionary is a blessing and a curse.

Now every year on Christmas, my family gathers around the piano and we all sing along to Grandma’s song. Nowadays I’m singing it with grandchildren of my own. Although they’ll never have the pleasure of knowing her, their great grandmother’s memory lives on through the tune. I can only hope that when I pass away, one of my grandchildren will write a novelty holiday song about my horrific, untimely death as well.