♫ Snoopy Vs The Red Baron ♫

A few nights ago, I played Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, and our friend rawgod commented about a fun Christmas song he particularly likes by the Royal Guardsmen.  Well, turns out there are two … actually, there are four, but only two made the charts.  So, not being sure which one rg was referring to, I am planning to play both, albeit in separate posts.  Now, when I played ‘Grandma’, I hadn’t given any thought to doing more Christmas songs, but I now have a handful of other requests for Christmas songs that are fun or heartwarming, and I’m going to try to get to all of them.  If anybody else has a request for a fun Christmas song (no religious carols, please) let me know and I’ll try to fit it into the mix!

This is a novelty song about the imaginary World War I antics of Charlie Brown’s pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts.

xmas-musicThere really was a Red Baron. His name was Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (Baron Von Richthofen), and just like the lyrics state, he had 80 confirmed kills as a fighter pilot in World War I. In the song, he meets his demise when Snoopy shoots him down in a dogfight; in real life, he was fatally injured in an air battle over France, where he landed his plane in a beet field and died a short time later.

The Red Baron was so respected that the Allies buried him in France with full military honors. So grand was his legend that Peanuts author Charles Schulz devised a storyline pitting him against Snoopy.

The German muttering as the beginning roughly translates to: “We will now sing together the song of a pig-headed dog, and our beloved Red Baron.”  The band’s singer Chris Nunley came up with this part and did the vocal. He was studying German in college at the time.

For those who may not be familiar with the Royal Guardsmen, they were originally known as The Posmen, The Royal Guardsmen formed in Ocala, Florida, where they earned a deal with Laurie Records after developing a live following in the area.

The band was comprised of:
Barry Winslow (vocals, guitar)
Chris Nunley (vocals)
Tom Richards (guitar)
Bill Balough (bass)
Billy Taylor (organ)
John Burdett (drums)

This was a huge hit in Australia, where it went to #1 for five weeks in 1967. The last two weeks of that year, “Snoopy’s Christmas” was the #1 song in that country. The Royal Guardsmen reunited in 2005 to play some gigs. The following year, they released Snoopy vs. Osama, which finds the cartoon beagle hunting down Osama bin Laden.  Who knew?  I now give you Snoopy Vs the Red Baron, and stay tuned tomorrow for Snoopy’s Christmas!

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron
The Royal Guardsmen

After the turn of the century
In the clear blue skies over Germany
Came a roar and a thunder men had never heard
Like the scream and the sound of a big war bird
Up in the sky, a man in a plane
Baron von Richthofen was his name
Eighty men tried, and eighty men died
Now they’re buried together on the countryside

Chorus:
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
The Bloody Red Baron was rollin’ out the score
Eighty men died tryin’ to end that spree
Of the Bloody Red Baron of Germany

In the nick of time, a hero arose
A funny-looking dog with a big black nose
He flew into the sky to seek revenge
But the Baron shot him down–“Curses, foiled again!”

Chorus

Now, Snoopy had sworn that he’d get that man
So he asked the Great Pumpkin for a new battle plan
He challenged the German to a real dogfight
While the Baron was laughing, he got him in his sight

That Bloody Red Baron was in a fix
He’d tried everything, but he’d run out of tricks
Snoopy fired once, and he fired twice
And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight

Chorus

Fade on the chorus the second time

Songwriters: Arnold Shapiro / Dick Holler / Phil Gernhard
Snoopy vs. the Red Baron lyrics © Spirit Music Group, Barbara Schwartz Music

32 thoughts on “♫ Snoopy Vs The Red Baron ♫

  1. Jill, this song brings back fond memories. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of the WWI Christmas battlefield story where troops sang “Silent Night” or “Stille Nacht” at a break in the action during the Christmas season.

    It reminds us of our humanity and who suffers when egos at the top clash. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess I screwed up. Sorry, Jill, I thought my request was obvious, Snoopy’s Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen. I never guessed you wouldn’t know it. It was a huge hit in my part of Canada (but Winnipeg always had weird tastes), so I thought it was big everywhere.
    Please, friends, look it up on YouTube. My tablet won’t let me post it here, but it is terribly easy to find.
    But thanks, Jill, for playing almost my request. This song was the start of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Snoopy is one of the best! I love it when he pictures himself as being something else – a famous sportsman, a different animal, or, in tis case, a pilot. 🙂 I did not know the song, it’s cute – although the German at the beginning is pretty awful: if you would not have written down the lyrics, I probably would not have been able to decode it 🙂 🙂 Hugs & cheers, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear friend!!! I’m like you … I love Snoopy in every form! And Winnie the Pooh. You didn’t know the song? It was popular in the UK, but I cannot find any information about how it played in the rest of Europe, so I guess it didn’t. They probably used Google Translate for the German! 🙄 Hope you and the family are well and happy. Will you be going to Austria over the holidays? Hugs and cheers to you, dear friend!

      Like

      • It wasn’t so much that the words of the German snippet were wrong – the pronunciation was really bad 🙂 I mean, technically right, but so heavily accented I would not have thought it was German if I had not known otherwise … When concentrating really hard I could decode the words … 😉 (And I am pretty sure there was no Google translate at that time … 😉
        We will be staying here for Christmas this year, spending a nice relaxed Christmas, just the four of us. We already did a quick weekend-visit to Germany as pre-Christmas-thingy, and I will be going to Austria for a couple of days by myself in January.
        Hugs&Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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