I can hear Nat King Cole crooning…
Chesnuts 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
Will help to make the season bring
And tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded 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 phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said, many times
Many ways, Merry Christmas to you!
Humming the tune just yet? I am!
I couldn’t help but wonder when and where this song came about, so I’ve done a little research. The song is a classic, written in 1944 by musician, composer and vocalist Mel Torme and Bob Wells. According to Tomre, the song was written during a blistering hot summer and in an effort for them to stay cool, the most performed Christmas song was born.
Nat King Cole and his group first recorded that song in 1946. It was re-recorded later that year due to objections from their label with a small ensemble of strings. This second version became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts. The song was recorded again in 1953 and again in 1961 with a full orchestra. The second recording from 1946 was inducted into the Germany Hall of Fame in 1974.
Since the song’s creation, a number of artists have performed this beloved hit – from Aretha Franklin to Gavin DeGraw, Trace Adkins to Justin Bieber, The Jackson 5 to Christina Aguilera, and more.
My favorite, by far, would be Ginny Owens’ version, sung live. However, I couldn’t find it online, so I’ve settled for my next favorite by Michael Buble. Hear it here.