Here’s to making hearts grow three sizes in one day

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Albert Hague and Theodor Geisel, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft:

Video courtesy of horgemlingurinn

And here’s a version by the Pickens High School Jazz Band (really quite good!):

Video posted by Jennifer Bryan

To quote from Albert Hague’s obituary in the The New York Times:

“When he played the song he wrote for the Grinch assignment to Theodore Geisel, Mr. Geisel (a k a Dr. Seuss) exclaimed, ‘Any man who slides an octave on the word Grinch gets the job.'”


Whether you call him Dr. Seuss or Mr. Geisel, the children’s book writer/lyricist was not Jewish. (Although he was actively anti-Nazi even prior to the US entering WWII, and produced many anti-Nazi political cartoons.)

The composer, however–Albert Haguewas Jewish. He was raised Lutheran, because his German Jewish parents felt that their Jewish heritage was a liability (and of course in Germany at that time it most certainly was), but as that provided no shield from the Nazis he and his mother fled Germany in 1937. He served in the US Army during WWII and began to identify as Jewish.

After the war he had a varied and busy career as a musician and performer, but is probably best known for for writing the music for the 1966 TV version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and for his role as the music teacher, Mr. Shorofsky, in both the film and television versions of Fame:

Video posted by mark1814

Oh, and that song he’s singing in that clip there? He really did write the music for it, along with the other songs in the Broadway musical The Fig Leaves are Falling, with book and lyrics by Allan Sherman. (Yes, the Allan Sherman of “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!” fame. Who was also Jewish.)

You definitely should read the whole Times’ obit quoted above, because what with one thing and another, Hague had quite a life.