April 09, 2015
Top 10 Holiday Songs (& Fun Facts About Them)
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi
Fun Fact: The special debuted on CBS in 1965, and has been aired in the USA during the Christmas season every year since.
You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch
Fun Fact: The six-verse song was written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the music was composed by Albert Hague, and the song was performed by Thurl Ravenscroft.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
Fun Fact: Despite her mature-sounding voice, Lee recorded this song when she was only 13 years old.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
Fun Fact: The song was introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Frank Sinatra later recorded a version with modified lyrics, which has become more common than the original.
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
Fun Fact: “Jingle Bell Rock” has been performed by many, but Helms’ version is the most known in the world. Its title and some of its lyrics are takeoffs on the old Christmas standard, “Jingle Bells.” It makes brief references to other popular songs of the 1950s, such as “Rock Around the Clock,” and mentions going to a “Jingle hop.” An electric guitar played by Hank Garland can be heard playing the first notes to the chorus from “Jingle Bells.”
Frosty the Snowman by Jimmy Durante
Fun Fact: The song recounts the fictional tale of a snowman that is magically brought to life through a top hat that a group of children place on his head. Although Frosty enjoys roaming throughout town with the children who constructed him, the sun becomes too much for him to bear and Frosty is forced to leave town, promising he will be back again someday.
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Perry Como
Fun Fact: The song was written in 1951 by Meredith Willson and has been recorded by many artists, but was a hit by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra on September 10, 1951.
Carol of the Bells
Fun Fact: It was introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during its concert tour of Europe and the Americas, where it premiered in the United States on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall.
Fun Fact: The song was written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano with its simple Spanish chorus “Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad” meaning “Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness.”
The Little Drummer Boy
Fun Fact: The song was originally known as “Carol of the Drum” and was written in 1941 by classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis. It was recorded in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers and further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale.
photo via Sippanont Samchai, CC