Dec 022010

The song Mr. Grinch has got to be one of my all time favorite holiday songs and just a well written song in general  and I find myself singing it at anytime of the year. It’s quirky, dark and sinister with a snarky commentary on our modern society. The lyrics are by Dr. Seuss and the music is by Albert Hague. Hague was a classically trained composer from Germany who was also the music teacher, Mr. Shorofksy on the TV show FAME and he really got the whole feel of the song in the music he wrote.

The melody slinks and slithers just like the Grinch with a rolling 3 feel and the lyrics remind me of a Kurt Weill cabaret song performed by a nasty longshoreman. I took my arrangement to an even darker level by using junk instruments as the percussion section and the bass as the driving melodic instrument. I used toy piano and distorted electric guitar as accents to the pumping sound of the drums and bass and added a musical saw giving the arrangement a more Halloween-ish feel and a sinister whisper as the music pauses for the spoken portions.

The singing was difficult to get right. I didn’t want to imitate Thurl Ravenscroft (the singer on the original recording and voice of Tony the Tiger) even though I do have a boomy/low voice. I also felt that the lyrics needed a theatrical delivery so I played around with the phrasing and going from a nasal sound to a full sound. In this arrangement I only included three of the 6 stanzas for brevity and because these were the ones I liked the best.

Let me know what you think,

Merry Christmas ~

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.