SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – For over 40 years the jingle “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” has been one of the most popular Christmas songs. It was originally performed by singer and songwriter Dr. Elmo Shropshire, who lives in San Francisco.

On Christmas Day in 1979, Shropshire says the song was played on the radio for the first time. In an exclusive interview with Nexstar’s KRON, Shropshire explains the inspiration behind the hit.

“Well, a friend of mine, Randy Brooks, wrote it. He said that his grandmother left him out of her will,” Shropshire said.

“Well the first time I heard the song, I thought it would be so unusual that everyone would pay attention to it. I thought after a year or so that would be the end of it.” It’s been a hit ever since. You can watch Shropshire perform the song in the video player above.