14 December 2009

A Christmas Case Study





As far as I know, this is the first song to deal with the combined themes of Christmas, backcountry skiing, and the often uncomfortable subject of grotesque deformities in elven children. All that in one heartwarming tune by everybody's favorite sausage salesman, Jimmy Dean.

"Little Sandy Sleighfoot" was released on a Columbia records 7" single in 1957 backed with "Whey They Ring the Golden Bells." The song was written by Philip Crane (who served as the State Senator of Illinois from 1969-2005) and composed by Joseph Savarino. Also published in 1957 was the book Little Sandy Sleighfoot written by June Unwin and illustrated by James Unwin. The book contains the Crane-Savarino sheet music. You can buy first edition copies for $850 at The Bookshop in Chapel Hill. Or, you can listen to Jimmy Dean's version to your heart's content without spending a dime. A true country music oddity.

Little Sandy Sleighfoot

His name is Sandy Sleighfoot,
And oh so sad was he,
For though he stood just 4 feet tall
His feet were 3 feet 3.
He tried to help make Santa's toys
But with his feet so long,
He'd trip and fall and break them all
Just every thing went wrong.

Now little Sandy Sleighfoot
Don't you feel so blue:
Even with your feet so long
God has a place for you.
The other kids made fun of him,
They laughed at him with glee,

But Sandy Sleighfoot learned one day
Without skis he could ski;
So when the night 'fore Christmas Eve
The reindeer stable burned,
He skied down hill and saved the deer
By remembering what he'd learned.

Now everybody loves him,
And Santa Loves him, too,
And ever since on Christmas eve
He's helped bring gifts to you.


Happy Holidays, you all!