History of Holiday Songs!

1-Let it snow

Sophomore Joe Kellys’ favorite holiday song, “Let it Snow”, was written by two musicians, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. Longing for winter during a scorching Los Angeles July, the two sat down and wrote this classic in 1945.  Since then, it’s been adapted by many musicians, with the most famous being the 1962 Bing Crosby rendition. ¨The Bing Crosby version is the one I know and love,” Kelly said.

2-Rudolph the rednose reindeer

Drawing inspiration off of the book “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”,  Montgomery-Ward, a retailer based in chicago, had been selling children’s christmas books for years. Then, in 1939, the retailer decided to make their own children’s books so as not to spend so much money buying them from authors. Robert L. May thought of and wrote the story the winter of that same year.

Originally written as a poem, the best-selling story sold over 2 million copies within the first year of its printing. The story was adapted into a song later that year by the brother-in-law of Robert L. May, Johnny Marks, the original author. Ten years later, popular artist Gene Autry recorded the most popular rendition,which became  number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks.

3-Jingle bells

Originally written in September of 1857 by James Lord Pierpont, “3-Jingle Bells” was meant to just be about winter and snow rather than Christmas. Originally  called “One Horse Open Sleigh” the title was eventually changed two years later. Overtime, this classic holiday tune became less about winter, and more about the holiday season.

4-Oh Chanukah

Did you know that the “Oh Chanukah” that is popular today isn’t the original version. Instead, the popular version of today is the English version of the traditional Yiddish Chanukah song, “Oy Chanukah.” This classic Chanukah song talks about many Chanukah traditions such as lighting the menorah, playing with dreidels, and having parties.

5-I’ll be home for christmas

One of the most melancholy songs of the holiday season, this tune was written from the point of view of a soldier overseas during World War II, dreaming about being home with his family.  When the song’s writer, Kim Gannon, pitched the song to labels, he was initially turned down across the board due to the heartbreaking final line, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

After being told that the song would extremely lower morale during war in the holiday season, Gannon was forced to shelf the classic crooner. This wasn’t the end for this song, as Gannon sang the song for holiday legend Bing Crosby during one of their regular golf matches. Crosby decided to record it and with a strong position in the industry, was able to release it in 1943. Surprisingly, the song turned to actually raise morale among the American soldiers.

Posted by Max Cline

Senior Max Cline, not to be confused with Ian Foster, is the Arts & Lifestyle editor for the JagWire.