Skip to main content

Christmas songs that do not mention Christmas?

'picture print by Currier and Ives' mentioned in Sleigh Ride

Several of the very best 'Christmas songs'  make no specific reference to the festival itself.


  • Let it Snow, Marshmallow World, Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Ride are idyllic evocations of winter in the north-east of the USA. 
  • Jingle Bells (1857) was originally written for Thanksgiving under the name 'One Horse Open Sleigh'. The sleigh/Santa Clause association was planted in the public imagination and underlined by the more familiar title. Now the sound of jingling in the opening bar is one of the best known sonic symbols of Christmas.
  • Sleigh Ride is another magnificent example of this subtle process. It seems to have been with us forever but Leroy Anderson wrote the music during a heatwave in 1946 (Iriving Berlin was similarly inspired for White Christmas). The original version was an instrumental.


Mitchell Parish added his lyric in 1950 - and for me it ranks alongside his other masterpiece, Stardust.  Sleigh Ride is  now amongst the top ten most played pieces Christmas song across the world - and the most popular according to ASCAP survey of 2010.  
Sleigh Ride also a staple of most primary school Christmas concerts - mercifully the lyrical subtleties of I Wish It Would be Christmas Every Day remains confined to shopping malls and office Christmas parties.

What is Frankinsense? And Myrrh

A Paul McCartney story about the young John Lennon's late night encounter with a Nativity scene inspired this fun Fred & Rita playscript.
Christmas Carol Teaching Pack
More Christmas-related posts

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 most quoted lines of poetry in English?

Mark Forsyth (The Inky Fool) has analysed Google Search query result data for lines of verse requested online. Here is the Top Ten:

What is the origin of the word alphabet?

Why is English not the official language of England?

58 countries list English as an official language - but not the UK. The world's lingua franca or second language is not, technically, the 'official' language of its birthplace. The de factoofficiallanguage of the United Kingdom is English,[3][4] which is spoken by approximately 59.8 million residents, or 98% of the population, over the age of three.[1][2][10][11][12] An estimated 700,000 people speak Welsh in the UK,[13] an official language in Wales