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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

#6 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

Okay, I am not going to be wasting time with this one.  This is Day #20 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR and I will be posting Song #6 in my list of 25 favourite Christmas tunes.

And you can't get much more traditional than the song that I have chosen.

You know, I've been fortunate to experience a white Christmas on most occasions - well, except for that freakish heat wave we had back in 2015, anyway.  But growing up and living in Canada, we are accustomed to having some snow on the ground every December 25th.  Sometimes it's a dusting and other times Mother Nature forgot to shut off her sno-cone maker, but regardless, most of my Christmases have been white.

And personally speaking, I find Christmas more enjoyable when there is a blanket of snow on the ground.  It just makes it seem more like Christmas to me.  Though, I guarantee you that people reading this in Australia, or along the equator might completely disagree with me.

I suppose you've pretty much guessed the song I'm featuring today.  Yes, I am featuring the song "White Christmas", and yes, I'm featuring the version as sung by Bing Crosby.

Penned by Irving Berlin in the early 1940s, the song was first performed by Crosby in 1941 - just eighteen days after Pearl Harbor was bombed during World War II.  The song was broadcast over the radio on Christmas Day, 1941 and immediately became a huge hit.  In particular, the song was one of the most requested songs by the Armed Forces Network.  Certainly this made sense.  After all, with the world at war with each other, soldiers were often on guard in bases that were far away from home.  Often times, they were in areas that didn't receive snow for Christmas - hence the line "just like the ones I used to know".

The song was so popular that it was recorded with Crosby, the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, and the Ken Darby Singers for Decca Records in the astonishingly fast time of eighteen minutes!  Most artists now need eighteen minutes to begin setting up for a recording session, so this was amazing to see.  The single was recorded in May 1942 and subsequently released July 30, 1942 as part of the soundtrack to the film "Holiday Inn".

Of course, very few recordings of the 1942 version still remain, so the version that most people have likely heard (myself included) is the re-recorded version that was released in 1947.

But you know, regardless of what version you listen to, one thing is for sure.  This was one of the first examples of a secular Christmas song becoming not just a huge hit on the charts, but was also one of the first secular songs to be brought into homes as an annual tradition.  I know of some people who say that it isn't Christmas until they hear this song at least once.

So, as an early Christmas gift, allow me to play the song for all of you.  Enjoy it!

Now, I know some of you might be wondering why I don't have many religious songs on my chart.  It's nothing personal against the meaning of the season.  It's just the way this list went.  But I promise you that I have a very traditional tune coming up at #5.  And it's simultaneously one of the oldest songs on my list and the newest one.  I'll let you think about that one for a minute.  Or, rather...a day.

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