Chestnuts roasting on an open fire … Jack Frost nipping at your nose …
I was singing “The Christmas Song” rather loudly in my bathroom when it occurred to me that its writer, Mel Torme, is Jewish. And then I realized that so is Irving Berlin, who wrote “White Christmas,” the best-selling song of all time.
(An aside on that song: when I learned to play it on piano I discovered an intro that Bing Crosby never sang. The sun is shining, the grass is green/The orange and palm trees sway/There’s never been such a day/In Beverly Hills, L.A./But it’s December the 24th/And I’m longing to be up north)
Today I stumbled across an article by Nate Bloom about the Jewish contribution to Christmas carols. Turns out Johnny Marks (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Holly Jolly Christmas, Silver and Gold) was Jewish, as were the writers of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Santa Baby, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the article here.
I thought that’d be a fun fact to share tonight, the eighth night of Hanukkah. To my Jewish friends: Chag Urim Sameach!