Song Lyric Sunday: “Weird” Al Yankovic, “Christmas at Ground Zero”

Jim chose the prompt "Bomb, Gun, Knife, Weapon" for today, and naturally I immediately thought of a …. Christmas song?

"Christmas At Ground Zero" is from "Weird" Al Yankovic’s 1986 album Polka Party!, which came out around Thanksgiving of that year. He was inspired by Phil Spector’s 1963 album A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, released on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting of his own volition and by himself (wink). The album included songs by The Ronettes, The Crystals, and Darlene Love. Yankovic decided to parody the style of the music, complete with Spector’s infamous "wall o’ sound." Naturally, the song combines Christmas with a nuclear attack.

The lyrics, from AZLyrics:

It’s Christmas at Ground Zero
There’s music in the air
The sleigh bells are ringin’ and the carolers are singin’
While the air raid sirens blare

It’s Christmas at Ground Zero
The button has been pressed
The radio just let us know
That this is not a test

Everywhere the atom bombs are droppin’
It’s the end of all humanity
No more time for last minute shoppin’
It’s time to face your final destiny

Well, it’s Christmas at Ground Zero
There’s panic in the crowd
We can dodge debris while we trim the tree
Underneath a mushroom cloud


You might hear some reindeer on your rooftop
Or Jack Frost on your windowsill
But if someone’s climbin’ down your chimney
You better load your gun and shoot to kill

Oh, it’s Christmas at Ground Zero
And if the radiation level’s okay
I’ll go out with you and see the all new
Mutations on New Year’s Day

It’s Christmas at Ground Zero
Just seconds left to go
I’ll duck and cover with my yuletide lover
Underneath the mistletoe

It’s Christmas at Ground Zero
Now the missiles are on their way
What a crazy fluke we’re gonna get nuked
On this jolly holiday
What a crazy fluke we’re gonna get nuked
On this jolly holiday


And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for January 16, 2022.

17 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “Weird” Al Yankovic, “Christmas at Ground Zero”

  1. Wow, this is a great Christmas song. I love Weird Al as I think he is brilliant in turning songs into parodies.


  2. Weird Al does have some good and funny songs. Hadn’t heard this one before, and yes, funny but creepy.
    That snow falling and all reminded me of years ago probably in the 50s when people were warned not to eat the snow, as it might have radiation or something bad like that in it from the nuclear tests being done. I was scared of snow for a long time.


    1. This is one of his early songs from 1986. I think he did a great job capturing the feel of The Ronettes and other Phil Spector-produced groups.

      Was that when they were doing nuclear testing in New Mexico? I can see that.


  3. This is funny and sad and creepy all at once. This reeks of the 80s when everyone was scared of a nuclear fallout. I also smiled at the Japanese anime that he used which was becoming quite popular then too.


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