Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Have you ever really thought about the lyrics to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
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 all the reindeer loved him [emphasis mine]
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!

What made all the other reindeer change their tune so suddenly? Were they just following Santa? Did Rudolph actually do anything to win them over? For that matter, why would Rudolph even want to be friends with the other reindeer after they “laughed and called him names” for seemingly no reason (other than unjustified prejudice based on his appearance which made him different from them)?

I’m not sure that I fully understand the message of this cherished holiday tune… I just find myself suddenly more skeptical of it than I used to be.

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