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German Song Lyrics

German Christmas Carols

Rudolph mit der roten Nase
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (English)

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German 'Rudolph' Lyrics: Version 1 > Version 2 > Version 3 > English

Below are the original English lyrics for this popular Christmas song, first recorded and made famous by the cowboy singer Gene Autry in 1949. It should be noted that the story told by Johnny Marks' song lyrics and that in the original storybook by Robert L. May are different. In May's 1939 original tale, Rudolph had loving parents parents and a high degree of self-esteem. Nor did Rudolph live at the North Pole. He lived in a reindeer village somewhere, where Santa happened to discover his red nose one Christmas Eve as fog was setting in.

Johnny Marks' “Rudolph” lyrics are also responsible for a change in one of the reindeers' names invented by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823. (See German Myth 5 for more.) Other Johnny Marks songs: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,” and “Address Unknown.” Marks also worked on the music for the Rankin/Bass animated “Rudolph” television special (1963), including “A Holly, Jolly Christmas.”

Please see the full introduction for the German versions of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Also see: German 'Rudolph' Lyrics (versions 1-3)


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Text: Robert L. May (1939), Johnny Marks (1949)
Melody: Johnny Marks, 1949


You know Dasher and Dancer
and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and
Donner* and Blitzen,
but do you recall
the most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw it,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then how the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee:
“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!”


*In the original Clement Clarke Moore poem, this reindeer's name was “Donder,” but in the song the name was changed to “Donner” (thunder in German), perhaps to go with “Blitzen” (lightning). See German Myth 5 for more.

1 > German 'Rudolph' Lyrics (Version 1)
2 > German 'Rudolph' Lyrics (Version 2)
3 > German 'Rudolph' Lyrics (Version 3)

LISTEN > Melody for "Rudolph" (Midi version 1)
LISTEN > Melody for "Rudolph" (Midi version 2)

MORE > German Christmas Carols

WEB > Johnny Marks (Bio)


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