White Christmas was written in 1937 by the great songwriter Irving Berlin, and achieved fame when it was performed by Bing Crosby in the 1942 movie, "Holiday Inn".
For many people, White Christmas evokes a wistful sense of nostalgia (as it did in the movie), family warmth and all the good memories associated with the holiday season.
The irony here is that the original version of White Christmas was, well, ironical. Before Berlin suppressed the opening verse, the song opened with a tongue in cheek lyric about celebrating Christmas on a 80 degree day at a chlorinated Los Angeles swimming pool!
But the movie placed the context for the song at a snowbound resort, and, quite wisely, the original verse was dropped. The song is just too good as it stands to burden it with irony.
White Christmas became the 'official' theme song of homesick World War II soldiers, and the rest is popular history. The song is now deeply embedded in our group consciousness.
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Sally Fletcher, harpist
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© 2008 Heavenly Music for Earthly Events