Hi, everyone! I hope you've enjoyed the first five days of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR so far. I forgot how much fun these were to write!
And, coming up on Day #6, we've got a musical treat for you...it's actually a classic Christmas carol that I don't mind listening to once in a while. In fact, it's a song that I would love to play over and over again if it meant that I get something for Christmas this year...something that you can't wrap.
No...it's not that. I never wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas.
But it is something that I think completes the Christmas season. I'll talk more about that in a second.
You know, since today happens to be Sunday, and I haven't done a Sunday Jukebox entry in ages, I thought that I would do a music feature for today. And, you know, it seems as though almost every single artist in the world has put out a holiday album. You have your classic Christmas albums by Frank Sinatra and Dolly Parton, to more contemporary albums released by Pentatonix, Michael Buble, and even Justin Bieber.
The latest pop singer to release a holiday album is Kylie Minogue, whose album "Kylie Christmas" was released on November 13, 2015. It seems hard to believe, but in her twenty-eight year career as a singer, this is the first holiday album she's ever released. The album reached the Top 10 in album sales in her native Australia, and peaked within the Top 20 in the UK. I don't know what the sales have been like here in Canada, but I do know we sell the album as it's featured in my store.
I've listened to the album, and it's not a bad effort. She does a couple of duets with talk show host James Corden and her sister, Dannii. But I want to focus your attention on one song in particular. Track #9, to be precise.
For it is this song that I will be talking about in this blog entry.
Ah, yes...the classic song "Let It Snow". Depending on who you ask, they either love the song because they love snow, or they want to throw the CD of the song in a fireplace because they can't stand snow.
Myself? I love snow - but only in December. Once January 1 rolls around, it can completely disappear. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I don't think Christmas can be complete without a little bit of snow. Last year around this time, we had a Christmas morning thunderstorm which completely sucked. The only bright side to it was that we never lost power. Some people in my town did for several hours.
And looking out my office window and seeing all of the green grass still present and abnormally warm temperatures for December...I don't know. It kind of takes all the fun out of Christmas. I need to have my Christmas snow!
I say, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Of course, Kylie Minogue didn't write the song. She's just one of many artists who have put their own spin on a holiday classic. Truth be told, the song was first written a little over two decades before Kylie was even born!
It was composed by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne in the summer of 1945 in Hollywood, California - a place in the world that typically doesn't see much snow. In fact, at the time that the two wrote the song's lyrics, there was a major heatwave going on in California. Temperatures had been above normal for several days that summer, and both Cahn and Styne used the weather as their inspiration for the song.
Only instead of writing a song about how much they hated the sun and the heat, they wrote about just how frightful winter weather can be. Believe me, if you are like me and you live up in the Northern part of the world, you know how hard winter can be. Just ask anyone who survived the major blizzard of 1977. Or anyone who lived through Ice Storm 1998. Or anyone who made it through Snowpocalypse 2011 unharmed. I can tell you that I lived through two of these, and I survived!
So when there is a blizzard raging outside, and the snow drifts prevent you from going anywhere, wouldn't it be nice to just stay indoors by the fire and just relax and enjoy being safe and warm. When you're in a safe and cozy place - hopefully with people you love - they it doesn't matter if it snows outside or not.
(Well...at least not until the next day when you have to shovel or snowblow it all away...something that I'll have to get used to doing as a homeowner, I'm sure.)
TRIVIA: The actual title of the song is "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!". I think most radio stations and record companies just feel that mentioning it once was enough.
So, aside from Kylie, who else recorded versions of this song?
Well, the first artist to record "Let It Snow" was Vaughan Monroe, whose version first hit airwaves in time for the 1945 Christmas season. It became a huge hit, peaking at #1 in 1946.
Of all the versions that were recorded, most would cite Dean Martin's as one of the best and most classic of them all. I would have to agree with that. He released his version of "Let It Snow" on his 1959 album "A Winter Romance".
Jessica Simpson released her own version of the song from her 2004 album "ReJoyce: The Christmas Album". I only include this version because I seem to hear it the most on many Canadian pop music stations. I'm specifically pointing towards you Ottawa's Majic 100!
Carly Simon also recorded a version of "Let It Snow" in 2005...but she played around with the lyrics a bit by singing the song through the perspective of the host, rather than the guest. It ended up being a gamble, but it paid off with a peak position of #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts.
So, as you can see, many artists have sang about how they'd just rather let it snow. And, since 1945, it has been a song that not only is appropriate for the Christmas season, but for the whole season known as winter. Technically, you could play this song straight through March and not have it be weird at all.
Here's hoping that before Christmas comes and goes, my area gets at least a little bit of snow. To me, you can't have Christmas without it.