“The Christmas Song” was a collaboration of three talented people in the music industry: Mel Torme, Nat King Cole and Robert Wells, a lyricist. You remember the opening line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire … Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” It went on to have other lines that said “Yuletide carols … Folks dressed up like Eskimos.”
The initial words were penned by Mr. Wells and the song came together in just 40 minutes. Amazing! In 1946, Nat King Cole recorded it for Capital Records and it became an instant hit, playing in the top ten for two months.
What you may not know is that the whole episode happened while these talented musicians were working through plans for some other projects, but were bothered by the intense summer heat in Los Angeles. The temperature was in the 90s, it was mid-summer and there was no relief in sight, except for a few fans. But the thought of jumping in their minds to some distant, cold climate and fast forwarding to winter conditions and Christmas celebrations became a great incentive for this song!
You may be enjoying a warm or a wet or a white (I’m jealous if you are) Christmas. Wherever you are, imagine with me for a moment, the hosts of angels declaring then and now: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”
“Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas to … You!”
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor