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You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

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Written by: Albert Hague
Lyrics by: Dr. Seuss
Date: 1966

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is a song whose music was written by Albert Hague and lyrics penned by Dr. Seuss for the 1966 animated adaptation of Seuss' storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This song has been a classic favorite of all Grinch fans everywhere. Made popular by the late Thurl Ravenscroft (best known for his vocal talents as Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger), it made its mark with children and the young at heart who still remember the classic Dr. Seuss character. The song was originally going to be sung by Boris Karloff, but instead sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, due to Karloff's only narration.

In the live-action movie adaptation, Jim Carrey sang his own rendition, and on Radio Disney, a rock version of the song (performed by Korn) used to be played during the Christmas holidays. More recently, "A Very Glee Christmas" featured k.d. lang performing the song alongside the cast of Glee. Parody versions of the song appeared in Freakazoid! (in the episode "The Freakazoid", during a crime spree by the Lobe), The Simpsons (in "'Tis the Fifteenth Season") and ER (in "How the Finch Stole Christmas").

Album releases


Dr. Seuss wanted to make certain that the Grinch was not to be liked, even though he was the main character in the story, so he thought up the most disgusting descriptions about him. The song plays in three parts in the animated cartoon.

The first two verses are played when the Grinch is creating his Santa suit:

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel
You're as cuddly as a cactus
And as charming as an eel, Mr. Gri-inch...
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. Gri-inch...
I wouldn't touch you with a... 39½-foot pole!

The second two verses are played when he is in the first of the Whos' houses.

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Gri-inch...
Given the choice between the two of you,
I'd take the seasick crocodile!
You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch
You're the King of Sinful Sots
Your heart's a dead tomato splotch
With moldy purple spots, Mr. Gri-inch...
You're a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich... with arsenic sauce!

The last two verses play later, as the Grinch continues his theft spree through the other Whos' houses.

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch
With a nauseous super "Naus"
You're a crooked, jerky jockey
And you drive a crooked "Hoss", Mr. Gri-inch...
Your soul is an appalling dung heap,
Overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled-up knots!
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. Gri-inch...
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote:
"Stink... stank... stunk!"

The version of the song featured on the adjacent album release rearranges the order of the lyrics in the later three verses. Verses four and five have their last lines switched around, and also, the fourth verse switches places entirely with the sixth verse. Also, the "most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable" line is modified to say "assortment of deplorable rubbish".

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