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Christmas Songs

December 16, 2011 - Kim Collette
'Tis the Season! The Holiday Season is one of my favorite times of the year. Why? Because starting on Thanksgiving Day.....I can break out some of my favorite cds! I'd say my repertoire stretches from Bing Crosby to Harry Connick Jr. to Mariah Carey. My mom's singing group recently had a "gig" and before each song they gave a little history of the song. So, here are some of the tidbits on some favorite carols of mine.

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" Bing Crosby first recorded this song in 1943. Bing actually scored a top ten hit with this song. Now, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" has become a holiday standard. But, did you know the song is sung from the point of view of an overseas soldier during WWII, writing a letter to his family. Think about it......he tells the family that he will be coming home, and to prepare the holiday for him including: snow, mistletoe and presents under the tree.

"Jingle Bell Rock" This song was first released by Bobby Helms in 1957. "Jingle Bell Rock" has been performed by many by Helms' version is the most known in the world. Here's the fun facts....."Jingle Bell Rock's" title and lyrics are takeoffs on the old Christmas standard "Jingle Bells." It also makes brief references to other popular songs in the 50s such as "Rock Around the Clock" and mentions going to a jingle hop. Even an electric guitar can be heard playing the first notes of "Jingle Bells."

"Silver Bells" This song was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid filmed in July 1950 released in March of 1951. The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards and was released in October 1950. After Crosby's recording Hope and Maxwell were called back in to refilm a more "elaborate" version of the song. But, did you know.....the song was inspired by a tiny bell on the composer's desk? Other stories say that "Silver Bells" are the bells of the Salvation Army Ringers.

"Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1945. Here are some interesting facts.....The song was written in July 1945 in Hollywood, California during one of the hottest days on record. First recorded by Vaughn Monroe, it became a popular hit, reaching number 1 on the Billboard music chart the following year. One of the best-selling songs of all time, "Let it Snow" has been covered numerous times. Due to it's seasonal lyrics, it is commonly regarded as a Christmas Song. However, despite the cheery, holiday feel it is a love song that never mentions Christmas!

And....Now for my favorite.....

"White Christmas" "White Christmas" is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best selling single of all-time. Sales are in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. Following its prominence in the musical Holiday Inn, the song won the Oscar for Best Original Song. The most often version of "White Christmas" heard today is not the original 1942 Crosby recording. The master became damaged due to frequent use.


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