A Local Musician’s Holiday Song Gets Community Children Involved
By Brent Owen
There might be a new song popping up on your holiday playlist this year. Alongside well-worn classics, sung by Nat or Bing, you could hear an unfamiliar but soon-to-be classic called “An Elf Named Moe.” And the voice singing it might sound a little familiar too. It’s local singer and songwriter Carl Stuck.
Stuck has been a fixture on the local music scene for nearly 30 years. “I started wanting to play music because of Elvis,” he said. “I wrote my first song when I was seven years old. It was called ‘Little Red Rocket.’”
He joined his first band at age 15, then went on to play in a group called Under Fire, and eventually ended up a guitar tech for country music superstars Sugarland. Today, you can find him playing around town four or five nights a week—anywhere from Diamond’s to Louisville Billiards Club or The Exchange Pub and Kitchen. Stuck usually performs solo, but occasionally does gigs with his band Mary Mary. He plays every Wednesday night at Baxter’s 942 with the Full Contact Karaoke Band, which is karaoke alongside a live band.
Though Stuck has been in the business a long time, Moe’s musical journey only began three or four years ago with a simple exercise at a local songwriter’s workshop. At the end of every session, the group would choose a specific word or phrase prompt. The following month they each returned with a new song utilizing the previous month’s prompt. That particular month the group chose the word “December.”
“I thought of the opening line immediately, ‘It happened in an airport last December,’” Stuck explains. “I figured if I was going to write the word December, I might as well write a Christmas song. But I didn’t want to write a typical Christmas song about an existing character. I wanted to make up a whole new character and a whole new story.”
As he brainstormed, Stuck began to think about the logistical aspects of Santa’s herculean task of taking toys to every kid in the world. He questioned, “Santa can’t do that all on his own, right? There has to be a department that handles the wrapping, the labeling and the packing. It also seems like a big chore to pack the sleigh. You have to keep track of where the presents go and you must pack them in the right order. I remember thinking, ‘Someone has to keep track of that—Santa can’t do it all.’” And thus, “An Elf Named Moe” was developed with the idea that Moe handles all of the shipping from Santa’s workshop.
It’s a quirky, country-tinged number that finds Moe, just after the Christmas busy season, taking a well-deserved vacation. The song begins with Stuck bumping into “a short man” named Moe in an airport. He strikes up a conversation with the funny looking stranger and the conversation leads, as airport small talk often does, to his line of work at The North Pole.
Stuck took the song back to the workshop the following month, then mostly forgot about “An Elf Named Moe,” save for occasionally pulling it out to play for children of friends or family. “I really didn’t think much of the song,” he said. However, a friend’s children loved it so much they decided to name their Elf on the Shelf figurine Moe. “I thought if they loved it so much, maybe I ought to record it,” Stuck says.
A year later “An Elf Named Moe” has been released, and you can find the song on almost any of the platforms in which you can consume music: Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, etc. You can also listen to it on the website at AnElfNamedMoe.com, as well as on CD.
With the official release of the song, Stuck is holding an art contest for children who want to depict what they imagine Moe to look like. “I wasn’t even really sure what I thought Moe would look like,” Stuck says. “So I wondered how kids might envision him.”
It’s simple for your little ones to enter. Visit AnElfNamedMoe.com and click on “Contest” for full directions. Entries may also be sent through Instagram using the hashtags #AnElfNamedMoe and #MoeEntry, along with the artist’s full name and age (there are three separate age categories, so there will be three winners chosen by Stuck himself). Each winner will receive $50 cash.
Finally, to get schools in on the fun, Stuck will not only award the winning artists with cash but each of the three winners will get to select a favorite teacher who will also receive $50 cash. A little extra cash would be a nice find in your Christmas stocking this year—sent by Moe, of course. VT