The Reindeer Called Dunder!

Today someone enlightened me about a super amazing xmas reindeer fact!  (thanks Danny)  It seems we have called a few of Old Santa’s reindeer by at least three reindeerdifferent names over time.  I found this so interesting I had to write a blog about it!

Henry Livingston, Jr. (October 13, 1748 – February 29, 1828) has been proposed as being the uncredited author of the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more popularly known (after its first line) as “The Night Before Christmas.” The poem has always been attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, and the Livingston claim is hotly disputed.

     The original poem refers to “eight tiny reindeer” and gives them each a name:

      “Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!/On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Dunder and Blixem!”

     Dunder and Blixem were actually Dutch names written into the poem by Livingston.  These names were  modified by Moore in 1844.  The two names changed to German: Donder (close to Donner, thunder) and Blitzen (lightning), to better rhyme with “Vixen.”

     Finally, for some reason, in the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Johnny Marks turned “Donder” into “Donner.”   Since 1950 or so, the two reindeer names have been Donner and Blitzen in both the “Rudolph” song and the “Visit” poem.  Very Cool Indeed to learn a new fact!


About JayCooper

Puzzled WebWizard from Mount Juliet Tennessee. Married for 25+ years to a wonderful wife with three grown sons.

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