As I write this, the Christmas season is well underway. You c
an feel the Christmas spirit in the air. However, I am unsure if it is a feeling of joy and love or constant stress.
One sound heard is Christmas mu
sic from the traditional such as Bing Cosby crooning "I am Dreaming of a White Christmas," to the modern such as Mariah Carey singing "All I Want For Christmas."
On Sirus XM, I can turn into Jolly Christmas (Upbeat, energetic holiday hits) or Country Christmas or Holiday Traditions to Holly (Contemporary holiday hits) or Holiday Soul (Soul and Motown holiday hits), or Jingle Jamz ((Holiday Hip-Hop and R&B) or Real Jazz Holiday (Classic and new) or Cool Jazz Christmas (Smooth Contemporary Jazz) or Holiday Pops or Navidad or eight other channels.
The point is there are many Christmas/Holiday songs. This got me thinking about what my favorite songs are. I decided to pick two categories – Non-religious and religious.
Hands down, my favorite Christmas in this category is "Silver Bells." I think because I was raised in a city. Not a big city but there were "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, Dressed in holiday style." However, I couldn't "hear the snow crunch" since I was raised in Southern California. So for me, the song was relatable. It was my surroundings.
"Silver Bells" was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1950 for the movie "The Lemon Drop Kid." The film stared Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. The fact that the movie wasn't released until 1951 adds to the confusion about who sang it first.
Bing Cosby, who was a megastar then, recorded and released the song with Carol Richards before the movie's release. The song became a huge hit. So much so that Hope and Maxwell were brought back to the studio to reshoot the original scene making the song the new focal point of the movie.
Another exciting part of the song's history is the title. The original name was "Tinkle Bells." Just imagine the giggles every time the song is sung. One of the wives of the songwriters explained that for most people, the word tinkle meant something very different. So the composers wisely changed the title to "Silver Bells."
In numerous interviews, Livingston said the inspiration for the song was the bells rung at Salvation Army kettles in New York City.
What is your favorite non-religious song? Comment below.
Next week, I will discuss my religious Christmas songs/hymns/carols. And what is the difference?