This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Christmas songs explained - White Christmas

We all know the song "White Christmas". It has been very popular since WWII, when it seemed to sum up exactly how everyone felt about being away from home at Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the tree-tops glisten, and children listen
To hear sleigh-bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.

And nothing could be more perfect to express the type of longing we have when we are away from home at Christmas, especially for our GIs overseas. This song was written in 1940 by the American composer Irving Berlin, one of the greatest songwriters in history. And it is the perfect Christmas song. But every once in a while I would hear the original introduction 

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The orange and the palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, LA.
But it's December the 24th
And I'm longing to be up north

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

These lyrics make this song much more personal. I doubt whether the song would have been such a big hit if people knew that Irving Berlin was writing it in Los Angeles and was just longing to be back home in New York. I've lived in Los Angeles, and I know that longing for back home, especially if your childhood, like mine, always meant snow at Christmas. Learning things like this doesn't spoil a wonderful song like this for me, it just makes it better.

In this version, Karen Carpenter sings White Christmas with the original introduction. The video of this isn't synced, but the music is beautiful. It's worth a listen.
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