Saturday, December 19, 2009

THE 5 BEST CHRISTMAS SONGS OF ALL TIMES


Well, it's the Saturday before Christmas, and I am sitting at home in New Jersey watching what is forecast to be one of the biggest snow storms of the year! I wanted to write at least one post about Christmas songs because you can't go very far at this time of year without hearing some of your old and new Christmas favorites.

But First, I wanted to talk about an observation that has been driving me crazy for years. Why is it that whenever the weather forecast is for bad weather especially snow, every senior citizen and his brother runs out to the grocery store to buy every roll of toilet paper they can find along with every loaf of bread and bottle of milk available. I have actually seen some of these seniors going from store to store because it seems they just can't get enough toilet paper to satisfy their needs. Does bad weather cause these people to get a serious case of the runs? What the hell is going on with all this toilet paper? I'm a senior and I must be missing something here. If these toilet paper junkies think that every storm could mean the end of the world, wouldn't you think they would be out buying other things like cases of VODKA? Well there you have it. I feel better, and now we can proceed to the "The 5 Best Christmas Songs Of All Times".
It's always been the dream of all song writers and singers to have the next great Christmas song on their resume', but only a few actually have found success. This thought brought me to ponder the following question:

"If you could only hear 5 Christmas song during the entire Christmas season, what would they be?". We all have our favorites, but picking the top 5 of all times is another more difficult task. Well here my list:

1. White Christmas: Written by the great Irving Berlin in 1940. According to Songfacts.com, this song is the biggest selling Christmas song of all time. An interesting story that is told about this song is that Mr. Berlin wrote this song in 1940 while staying at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. The story goes on to say that Mr. Berlin, upon finishing this song, told his secretary, "I just wrote the best song I've ever written". I don't know if this story is true or not, but the statement certainly is!

2. The Christmas Song: Written by Mel Torme & Bob Wells in 1944.

3. I'll Be Home For Christmas: Written by Buck Ram, Kim Connor & Walter Kent in 1943.

4. Let It Snow: Written by Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne in 1945.

5. Winter Wonderland: Written by Richard B. Smith & Felix Bernard in 1934

Did I miss one that you think should be in the top 5?

Merry Christmas Everybody!


3 comments:

  1. Glad you are doing this Bob... Although I played piano for 13 years and played riffs on the gym piano in junior high school (when no one was around) I would not know who wrote anything so I can not reply with a song... perhaps I could hum a few bars? lol. mxx

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  2. Hey MusicMan,
    White Christmas is indeed the best Christmas song ever written. White Christmas is the #1 BEST SELLING RECORD OF ALL TIME!The single sold in excess of 50 million copies and if you add albums and other sales the total is in excess of 100 million copies. Berlin was only 39 when he wrote it. The song is composed of only 54 words. Berlin's lack of formal musical training did much for his writing. Most of his songs were composed on the black keys in F-Sharp. This is why instead of emphasizing the words "dreaming "or "christmas" he emphasizes "I'm" then "white", absolute brillance! The song was introduced in the movie Holiday Inn by Bing Crosby. The first public performance was by Bing Crosby, December 24, 1941,on the Kraft Music Hall radio show. The event went unrecorded. The 78 was released prior to the film premiere in September, as many US service man went overseas into the depth of the Pacific war, far away in snowless climates. White Christmas is an American icon. Thanks for listing it as #1.

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  3. Thank you Zelda for the great history of "White Christmas". Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your comments but I am sure you know how busy it gets at Christmas time. Irving Berlin is still considered by many to be the greatest American composer of all times and your comments about the simple yet perfect way he constructed "White Christmas" give us a clue to his greatness. While "White Christmas" will always be the number one Christmas for us, the sad fact is it's popularity has been failing slightly over the past decade. Check out the next posting I am writing about "The most performed holiday songs of the last decade" later today. Thanks again for your always interesting comments.

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