Christmas Carols have been around for thousands of years, but “The Christmas Song,” written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells, is simply perfectly named. It is the Christmas song for me, especially as sung by Nat King Cole (who has appeared previously on this blog, as has his daughter). Maybe because the first album I ever remember my parents buying was one by Cole, I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember.
“The Christmas Song” is the first Christmas song I remember liking other than “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (either of which, unlike the Cole song, I would be happy to never hear again).
I also once wrote probably-awful alternate lyrics for the song, about homelessness and poverty. I don’t remember many of those words except the last few — “Merry Christmas, screw you.” That song was a feeble attempt to provide a reminder of how fortunate most of us are, especially in comparison to many of our neighbors. Of course, John Lennon did that far better with “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” So did Queen, for that matter, with the song that comes next on this blog.
Lyrics for “The Christmas Song” here, with video below (or shorter televised version here).