The Christmas Song

It’s a classic Christmas for many, and it has a fascinating story behind the lyrics. As we enjoy another week of December and might be listing our favorite memories of the season, The Christmas Song seems like a perfect tune.

So let me offer you a simple phrase…

Nat King Cole

Friends & Music

It was a blazing hot afternoon in California when Robert Wells started scribbling words on paper. He wrote about winter, trying to cool off by thinking of chilly memories. Wells’s friend Mel Torme – a performer with a famous career in jazz – stopped by and saw the phrases. Just forty minutes later, their collaboration looked like a song with possibilities.

The two friends headed to Nat King Cole’s home to show him their creation. Cole – a famous jazz pianist and singer – fell in love with the song and agreed to record it.

The Christmas Song released in October 1946 and stayed on the top ten list for two months. It consistently stayed on the music charts for 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1954. It was the first major classic Christmas song introduced to the world by an African American performer.

Wildly popular, the song has been recorded by more than 100 artists, including Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and Mel Tome (one of the original composers).

(Public Domain image)

Favorites of the Season

What makes this song so popular?

First, I think it’s the memories it prompts. Second, it’s got a great tune that captures the the lightheartedness of the season. Read through the lyrics and see if they prompt a lovely Christmas memory…

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by the choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny little tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

(Public Domain image)

They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is going to spy
To see if reindeer’s really know how to fly

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you, Merry Christmas to you

Enjoy The Music

May your Christmas season be filled with all your favorite things! And I’ll keep the ending simple: “Merry Christmas.”

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

P.S. What are your favorite things of the season?

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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