Let’s face Music Monday unafraid, for it is the holiday season!
It’s December, and I couldn’t think of a better way to aid in celebrate Christmas on Allison’s Written Words by devoting the next few Music Mondays to Christmas music. I also couldn’t think of a better song to help kick it off than a favorite of mine for many years.
Thirty years ago, my dad got a cassette tape from Exxon (I believe it was probably a giveaway for getting gas there). I loved listening to that tape every year – the classics, classics in the making, and this one song I had trouble finding a copy of for so many years. I loved this cassette tape. And of course, the inevitable happened – I’m not sure what happened to the tape, but I haven’t seen it since at least 2006 (when I moved).
There was this one particular song on the tape (aside from the long-lost song) that I loved and always looked forward to hearing on the tape.
That song, you ask? Why, Anne Murray’s cover of “Winter Wonderland!”
But first, some background on the song itself!
“Winter Wonderland” was written in 1934 by lyricist Richard B. Smith and composer Felix Bernard. Smith was inspired after seeing Honesdale’s (Pennsylvania) Central Park covered in snow, and wrote the song during his stay at the West Mountain Sanitarium (Scranton, Pennsylvania) for treatment of tuberculosis (then known as “consumption”). The song was first recorded in 1934 by Richard Himber and Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra. Over the years, it has been covered by over 200 artists, each bringing their own unique style to the song.
The song never expresses anything about Christmas, but is widely regarded in the Northern Hemisphere as a Christmas song.
Now, the version for the sake of this article…
Country/Pop/Adult Contemporary artistAnne Murray first recorded the song in 1981 for her first Christmas album, Christmas Wishes. That album was one of the highest-selling of her career. It was later re-released on her 2008 Christmas album, Anne Murray’s Christmas Album.
The song was also featured (albeit in a slightly different arrangement) on one of Murray’s many Christmas specials (I think it’s from the late 1980s or early 1990s). I love the music video from that special, which features choreographed gatherings and disinterested children.
Oh, and unbuttoned/unzipped coats. Mostly because I’m sure this was shot during the summer.
Seeing is truly believing, and while the song is lovely as anything, the “music video” is sorta cheesy. See for yourself!
But, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the version I fell in love with all those years ago, while a freebie gas station cassette tape entertained me on the tape player in my mom’s kitchen.
Merry Music Monday will continue next week! Have a great day, and enjoy the music!