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Andrea Morris

Mr. Flores

English Composition II

8 July 2020

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch”

Many people have probably watched “The Grinch” movie around Christmas time and

heard the song “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” which was written by Theodor Geisel, better

known as Dr. Seuss. The song being about the Grinch who tries to steel Christmas and is being

described as a person that is not particularly liked. The classic version from 1966, which was

sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, could be more entertaining to an older group of people, versus the

new 2018 version, sung by Tyler, the Creator, which could be more entertaining to a younger age


If you have seen the Grinch, you know it is about a “man” named Grinch, who is all

green and furry and does not like the town of Whoville. When Christmas comes, he thinks if he

steals all of the Whoville’s presents that they won’t want to celebrate Christmas anymore. This

explains the title for the song “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch”. Someone willing to steal an

entire town’s Christmas presents can’t be described simply. The song does a great job on making

it fun but yet still describing the Grinch as a mean character. Some examples from the lyrics are

“as charming as an eel” and “You’ve got garlic in your soul” and the best part “I wouldn’t touch

you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole”.

The original 1966 version of this song is played by Thurl Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft has a

very deep voice and the melody is fitting for the time period. Growing up and watching TV you
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might have heard the cereal commercial “Tony The Tiger” where the cartoon tiger lets out a

great big “Theyy’reee Greeeaatttt!”. If you can picture this, this was also the voice of

Ravenscroft. The deep voice of Ravenscroft and the mysterious text surrounding the story of the

Grinch fits the classical version perfectly. It has a simple melody that sounds almost classical and

mysterious. During the classical video, it shows the Grinch preparing his outfit, with the help

from Max the dog, to play the part as Santa Clause. He then uses the outfit and sneaks into the

town’s homes to steal Christmas presents and decorations. This version is child friendly, but

from the style of melody that adults might enjoy this version better. The art used to make this

video is drawn by hand which is fitting for the time period that it originally came out. The 1966

version uses more of a Pathos appeal to the video and song because it emotionally is trying to

draw the listener into the story and make you understand that the Grinch is the bad guy. With

words such as “cuddly as a cactus”, or “Your brain is full of spiders” has to be a song that has a

little spooky mystery to it. This helps show a picture of what the Grinch looks like which helps

display the pathos appeal in the song.

This 2018 version is different than the classical 1966 version. This version is played by

Tyler the Creator, who is a somewhat well-known hip-hop rapper, which has an upbeat tone to it.

The song has been remade with a melody that makes your body want to dance. The video has

been updated to fit the new age and time period of viewers listening. This video version of the

song shows the Grinch getting ready for the day and Max, the dog, helping him get ready by

making his Coffee with a fancy homemade gadget and picking out his outfit. During this version,

the lyrics have words such as “Ayo”, “Homie”, and even references Halloween. The grinch in

this version treats Max a little better than the 1966 version. This version I think is more designed

for younger children with its catchy music tone and fun computer graphics but could also be
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entertaining to adults. The 1966 version could be for children but probably more children from

that generation, which are now adults who probably enjoy the original version more. Like stated

before, Tyler the Creator is a known hip-hop rapper, which could be more exciting for a young

adult age group. Again, the 2018 version is using a pathos appeal but in a little different way

than the 1966 version. The Video of this new version of the song hasn’t made the grinch look

like the bad guy just yet, but it still can draw you in and make you invested in the character and

what the Grinch is about to do.

In different ways, the classical version by Ravenscroft and the new version by Tyler the

Creator explains the same story but in different ways. The classical version by Ravenscroft the

music’s tone is more mysterious and sets more of the tone for what the Grinch is about to do.

Comparing that to the new version by Tyler the Creator, the new version has more of a “bop” to

it and isn’t as mysterious sounding as the classical version. The art skills used to make the

classical version are hand-drawn and are not as technical as the new version, which is

understandable for both the time periods that the videos where released. The soft, simple melody

and hand drawn graphics might be why the Classical 1966 version could be more interesting to

an older audience. The new version could be more interesting and appealing to a younger

generation again because of its upbeat music and computer-animated graphics. Some remade

versions of things such as songs or movies can be just as good as the original or even better, and

sometimes they can be worse, and people might like the original version better. This new version

of the grinch I think turned out to be pretty good and think it was well-fitting for the time period.

Personally, as a young adult I enjoy the new version, which could be from the new “bop” style

music. I also really enjoy the older version because growing up it was a classical Christmas
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tradition to watch “The Grinch”. This song “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” I think is a song

that almost anyone could enjoy at any age group.

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Works Cited

Ravenscroft, Thurl. “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” YouTube, uploaded by HolidayFavorites,

10 December 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6bqbPdGOZk


Tyler the Creator, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” YouTube, uploaded by Stark Productions,

24 January 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Eg-odlhJQE

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