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The Summer Creation of the Christmas Song
Report to Moderator Old 06-08-2002 10:05 PM
MMC Editor
 
Category: Christmas Music
Views: 44,260
Replies: 0
By Sarita Mehra

It reads like a list of favorite things at Christmas, and has become one of the most well known Christmas songs, which isn’t hard to believe when you consider that Mel Tormé wrote it:

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
Everybody knows a turkey
And some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way
He's bringing lots of toys
And goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
And so I'm offering this simple wish
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said
Many times, many ways
Merry Chrismas to you

Born in Chicago, September 1925, Mel was a legend of the big-band era, breaking onto the scene at the tender age of 17, with Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher (1943). Mel considered himself more of a singer than a movie star and returned to singing. He was nicknamed The Velvet Fog because of his smooth sentimental style. In 1944 he formed his own group The Mel-Tones, which would become a major influence to future jazz- vocalist groups, like The Manhattan Transfer.

Mel branched off into other areas of music, lending his voice to many hits, including Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and movies like Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters.

Tormé wrote over 300 songs during his career. One blistering summer’s day in Palm Springs, he and fellow lyricist Robert Wells, put pen to paper and came up with the wonderful wintry images that make up The Christmas Song. You can almost imagine the two of them conjuring up images to keep themselves cool and suddenly having a song before them.

Nat King Cole brought the song to life in 1946, making it an instant hit. The song has appeared in various films, and been re-recorded by many artists, including Christina Aguilera.

But the most wonderful renditions are still the ones during the month of December; when someone is humming it as they shop; as it plays in the background as you hang ornaments on the tree; and as you come together with friends and family barbecuing in the sun, or roasting chestnuts on an open fire on a cold snowy day.
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