White Christmas

Liz Smith has an interesting column in the New York Post today about Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas."  It’s the "back story" of the popular song written orginally for the film "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and the movie "White Christmas" with Bing and Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt). 

I’ve always liked the verse at the beginning of the song.  "The sun is shining, the grass is green, The orange and palm trees sway. There’s never been such a day, in Beverly Hills, L.A. But it’s December the 24th, and I’m longing to be up north."  Some say the rest of the lyrics are much sadder and darker than most of us realize.  

Ms. Smith’s column also includes some of the very funny lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s "Hanukkah in Santa Monica."  "I’m spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica/Wearing sandals, lighting candles by the sea."   



3 Responses

  1. Charlie

    Not sure of the authenticity of this information, but it’s interesting, nevertheless:

    In 1939 Irving Berlin composed a Christmas song but thought so little of it that he never showed it to anybody. He just tossed it into a trunk and didn’t see fit to retrieve it until he needed it for a Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire movie, HOLIDAY INN 10 years later.
    Bing Crosby was a staunch Catholic and at first refused to sing the song because he felt it tended to commercialize Christmas. He finally agreed, took eighteen minutes to make the recording, and then the “throw-away” song become an all-time hit.

    Merry Christmas, Terry. Thank you for making life even more enjoyable for all of us!

  2. Terry Dullum

    Charlie… Your info on Bing & Berlin sounds about right. I love stuff like that. I remember hearing a story more than once about Mel Torme and Bob Wells rushing to finish “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” so they could get in a round of golf at the Wilshire Country Club. Happy Holidays to you.

  3. GrandForksGuy

    I love the film “White Christmas”. It’s one of the best Christmas movies out there.

    It’s a little bit funny when you think about it though. We think of it as a “Christmas” movie, but there is very little Christmas music to be found and the only real Christmas scenes take place right at the end of the story.

    A little known fact…the singing voice of Vera-Ellen was dubbed.

Comments are closed.