Though Reagan didn’t pardon his final turkey in 1988, George H.W. Bush resumed the practice in 1989, and every turkey since then has been pardoned, getting to live on a lovely farm with their myriad health problems brought on by morbid obesity, rarely living more than a year after being pardoned. Cute!


Modern Christmas Songs Were Written By Deeply Depressed People

One of the clearest signs that ’tis the season is the arrival of Christmas music, which by now starts right around Easter. And while most of the classic carols are from the 19 th century, there are plenty of swingin’ tunes from the ‘3 0s and ‘4 0s that have earned their places in the canon. But despite the pleasant melodies behind these sungs, they have some instead dark origins.

In late 1934, radio superstar Eddie Cantor was looking for a new Christmas song to perform on his depict. As time was of the essence, he made a deal with one Leo Feist, who promised Cantor he’d have an original ballad written for him by the end of the week. There was merely one problem: Feist wasn’t a songwriter. However, he did know a newspaper reporter with a knack for upbeat music named James Gillespie. But when Feist called Gillespie, he had just became aware that two brothers had died, so he wasn’t exactly in a merry mood. However, Gillespie did need fund be going for his brother’s funeral, so he devoted it a shot. During a subway ride home, he hastily penned a song called “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, “ utilizing memories of waiting for Santa with his brother as inspiration.

Unexpectedly, the song became a mega success, which was quite unfortunate for Gillespie, who never again could turn on a radio during Christmas without being remind ourselves his dead brother.

Then there’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, ” a lovely little ditty about … come to think of it, have you ever really listened to the lyrics? They’re fairly depressing. That’s because it was written by Hugh Martin for the movie Meet Me In St. Louis . In the movie, Judy Garland sings it to her younger sister, in an attempt to cheer her up when the family is told they will be moving to across the country.

Martin had gotten the memoranda that the anthem was for a sad scene, but missed the proportion where it was meant to cheer a little girl up. Consequently, he wrote a first draft that was about as cheerful as a Yuletide asteroid lunging towards the Earth ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

It may be your last

Next year we may all be living in the past

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Pop that champagne cork

Next year we may all be living in New York

No good times like the olden days

Happy golden days of yore

Faithful friends who were dear to us

Will be near to us no more

But at the least we all will be together

If the Lord lets

From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow

So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Garland and the studio rejected the sung, fearing that opening day audiences hanging themselves would have a negative impact on ticket sales. However, Martin stood his ground. Only after much arguing did Martin’s friend convince him by wailing, “You stupid son of a bitch! You’re gonna foul up your life if you don’t write another poem of that song! ” Martin eventually relented and rewrote it into the version we know today, though he insisted on leaving in the morose lyric about “muddl[ ing] through somehow.” Guess he wasn’t feeling very merry at that point.

But no anthem has such a depressing origin as perhaps the happiest-sounding of them all: “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, ” stimulated famous by vocalist Gene Autry. During the Great Depression, the manager of a Montgomery Ward store in Chicago decided that a Christmas-themed children’s book would help boost sales, so he tapped a copywriter in the ad department named Robert May to write it. May was at a rather unhappy with where he was in life, wanting to be a novelist but instead churning out shitty store catalogs. He channeled that into a story about an underappreciated reindeer who had the right skills when the boss needed them most. However, a few months into the project, May’s wife died of cancer, and when his manager offered to pull him off the book, May rejected, deciding if anyone could guide him out of a crippling depression, it was Rudolph.

The book was a huge success and sold two million copies — of which May, a company man, didn’t consider a dime. But the tale does have a happy ending. After World War II, a middle-aged May was ultimately given the rights to his creation by the store’s new CEO. He then convinced his brother-in-law to write an original sung based on his tale. That ballad was picked up by Autry, who turned into a massive hit, and in the end, May ultimately had the various kinds of success tale everyone who’s ever bitched about the performance of their duties should worship.

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