Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

White Christmas


"White Christmas" is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song. One story is that he wrote it in 1940, in warm La Quinta, California, while staying at the La Quinta Hotel, a frequent Hollywood retreat also favored by writer-producer Frank Capra, although the Arizona Biltmore also claims the song was written there.He often stayed up all night writing — he told his secretary, "Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I've ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!"





Lyrics
I'm dreaming of a white christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops 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

I'm dreaming of a white christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your christmases be white

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

May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your christmases be white

And may all your christmases be white (All your christmases be white)
And may all your christmases be white (All your christmases be white)
And may all your christmases be
(All your christmases be white)
(All your christmases be white)


9 comments:

  1. The Best Selling Song Of All Times

    The exact circumstances of what motivated Irving Berlin to write “White Christmas”, and where and when the song was composed will forever remain a secret that Berlin took to the grave. Berlin himself fueled rumors and speculations as to the specific details of the song's creation as he gave varying accounts about the date and birthplace of the ballad. It is widely assumed that the song was written in either New York or LA, and possibly as early as during the late 1920's or early 1930's. Some suggest that he was on the West Coast while he wrote the song, and missed his family and the snowy winters of his beloved New York.

    The song was rediscovered by Berlin when he wrote the musical score for the box office hit “Holiday Inn” which was released in the summer of 1942. Bing Crosby, who played in the movie alongside Fred Astaire introduced the public to “White Christmas” on Christmas Eve 1941. Sadly, the performance was not recorded. The official recording of the piece occurred on May 29, 1942 at Decca Studios in New York, with Bing Crosby being accompanied by the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers. The song was published as a single at the same time “Holiday Inn” hit the movie theaters, but “White Christmas” did not catch on until October 1942. From then on, the ballad's success was unstoppable, propelling it to the top of the charts multiple times and for weeks on end. The increasing popularity of the radio and of radio shows also played a key part in the success of the title.

    Berlin himself once called the piece “the best song anybody ever wrote”, and so far, the sales numbers surely support his claim. The Bing Crosby recording of the piece has sold an estimated 50 million times, making it the number one selling record in history. Thirteen years after the song was first used in a movie, it gained even more popularity when a film with the same title as the famous Christmas ballad starring Bing Crosby came out.

    Numerous famous artists, including such icons as Frank Sinatra have issued their own renditions of the song as a further testament to its unbroken popularity and timeless appeal. Exclusive sales of the record to this day have reached staggering amounts, garnering Berlin's heirs an immense fortune.

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  2. "White Christmas" is the most-recorded Christmas song; there have been more than 500 recorded versions of the song, in several different languages. But I'd like to add the most successful ones.

    1944: Frank Sinatra released a version of the song (with backing orchestration by Axel Stordahl) that reached number 7 on Billboard magazine's pop singles chart (this same version charted on the Billboard pop singles chart two more times: in December 1945.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3YltnBjqZU

    1954: The Drifters released a cover version of the song that showcased the talents of lead singer Clyde McPhatter and the bass of Bill Pinkney. Their recording of the song peaked at number 2 on Billboard's Rhythm & Blues Records chart in December 1954 . For decades, the Drifters' version of the song was primarily heard on R&B radio stations, getting little exposure elsewhere. The song received a boost in the early 1990s, when it was prominently featured in the film Home Alone during a scene in which the lead character Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is applying his father's aftershave while mouthing the lyrics.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgGcrvApljY

    Also I found a cover by Jimm Carrey. It's quiet funny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvF233fW4cI

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    Replies
    1. 'White Christmas' by Frank Sinatra)) what can be better?!Just love his singing, for me it's the best version of the song)

      Link to a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F90U55aCO3Y

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  3. The song and recording of White Christmas by Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter's orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers was so popular that it was later reprised in the movie called after its name - White Christmas. The film White Christmas once again starred Bing Crosby together with Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

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  4. Crosby's "White Christmas" single has been credited with selling 50 million copies, the most by any release and therefore it is the biggest-selling single worldwide of all time. The Guinness Book of World Records 2009 Edition lists the song as a 100-million seller, encompassing all versions of the song, including albums. Crosby's holiday collection Merry Christmas was first released as an LP in 1949, and has never been out-of-print since.

    There has been some confusion and considerable debate on whether Crosby's record is or is not the best-selling single in the world, due to a lack of information on sales of "White Christmas," because Crosby's recording was released before the advent of the modern-day US and UK singles charts.However, after careful research, Guinness World Records in 2007 concluded that, worldwide, Crosby's recording of "White Christmas" has, in their estimation, sold at least 50 million copies, and that Elton John's recording of "Candle in the Wind 1997" has sold 33 million, making Crosby's recording the best-selling single of all time. However, an update in the 2009 edition of the book decided to further help settle the controversy amicably by naming both John's and Crosby's songs to be "winners" by stating that John's recording is the "best-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s," while maintaining that "the best-selling single of all time was released before the first pop charts," and that this distinction belongs to "White Christmas," which it says "was listed as the world's best-selling single in the first-ever Guinness Book of Records (published in 1955) and - remarkably - still retains the title more than 50 years later.

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  5. After being sung by Bing, the song stepped right out of the movie and became an immediate hit. It earned an Academy Award as Best Song of 1942 for its composer; it also earned him the gratitude of thousands of W.W. II Yanks fighting in the jungles and swamps of the Pacific, since it brought them a nostalgic recollection of home--with its white Christmases and Yuletide cheer and peace.

    Sales figures show that since then the song has had a sheet-music sale of about 4 million. Its record sales are some 100 million copies. David Ewen says this total for a single song is without parallel in musical history.

    "White Christmas" is 2nd only to "Silent Night" now as the favorite Christmas song of Americans, according to a Gallup poll. In addition to the Oscar given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, its widespread popularity--a continuing popularity--was proved by its appearance on "The Hit Parade" radio (and later TV) program a record-breaking 32 times during the program's quarter-of-a-century airing.

    The song also lent flavor and its music to, as well as providing the title for, the movie White Christmas, made some years later.

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  6. Because "White Christmas" may be the most popular American secular Christmas carol, rivaled only by "Jingle Bells," it could easily be presumed that it was treated as a star from the moment of its 1940 conception by the incomparable song writer Irving Berlin (1888-1989). Before its first presentation to the public, though, in the 1942 black-and-white movie Holiday Inn, the expected hit of Berlin's score was to be the Valentine's Day song, "Be Careful, It's My Heart." That song quickly lost out to "White Christmas" and has more or less been relegated to the status of a historical footnote in comparison to its highly celebrated score mate.

    The honors for "White Christmas" commenced soon after its premier. It received the Oscar for best song of 1942. It was recorded by Bing Crosby, who had sung it in Holiday Inn, and that version eventually became the single best-selling record of all time. It precipitated the remake of Holiday Inn in 1954, the second version being in color and having the only possible title, White Christmas. In the 1942 movie Crosby was one of the stars along with Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds. In the 1954 movie Crosby was undoubtedly the leading attraction (after the song, of course), in spite of the star-filled supporting cast of Danny Kaye, Ver-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney.

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  7. A new book, White Christmas: The Story Of An American Song, has been published by Jody Rosen (New York: Scribner, November 19, 2002). It's fascinating reading, both about the song and the man. Here a few reviews.

    The following review is from Publishers Weekly:

    With its references to glistening treetops and sleigh bells in the snow, Irving Berlin's dreamy ballad has become a monstrously popular classic. Since its 1942 debut (softly crooned by Bing Crosby), artists from Doris Day to the Flaming Lips have recorded their own versions of the tune; it's become the world's most frequently recorded song. Music journalist Rosen offers a perfect, compact book chronicling the song's birth, initial reception and rise to popularity, simultaneously giving readers an understanding of the iconic Berlin and 1940s American popular culture. The prolific songwriter couldn't read or write music, yet composed continually, using his "musical secretary," Helmy Kresa, to pen the songs he wrote on the piano. Berlin introduced "White Christmas" to Kresa on January 8, 1940. Rosen explains the song's little-known introduction (which sets the narrator in California, longing for cold weather); offers interpretations of the song's escapist appeal (like so many popular songs of its time, it doesn't acknowledge the Great Depression's hardships); and comments on the prevalence of Jewish composers in that era's popular song business (Berlin himself was an Eastern European Jewish immigrant). The unsentimental writing and thorough research Rosen draws on such sources as Berlin's family and music scholars make this a delightful testament to the power of one simple song.

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