| Merry Christmas, Darling
Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Winter Wonderland were written in the 30’s but the great era of pop Christmas songs came after White Christmas, written in 1942, followed by The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting…) which was written in 1946. The success of these showed that a good Christmas song was something to shoot for and the 50’s turned out a great bunch of the ones we now all recognize.
After the 50’s though, few Christmas songs have achieved such a general popularity. A New York Times article recently noted and bemoaned this situation, citing Andy Williams’ It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (1963) as perhaps the last real standard song in the Christmas line.
The diversity of music sources and music marketing have probably exploded whatever was left of a kind of unanimity of national taste. I thought Keep Christmas With You (All through the year) from an old Sesame Street Christmas special, was always worthy of a bigger following. But, alas, it never caught on.
Still, there may be a couple of exceptions to the modern dearth. Who Would Imagine a King? from the movie The Preacher’s Wife seems to still pop up now and then. And today’s Weekly Tune I would nominate as one of the few post 60’s ones to have lasted in a robust way.
Written by Richard Carpenter (Lyric by Frank Pooler), Merry Christmas, Darling came out in the 70’s and is on the excellent Carpenters’ Christmas album.
It was our tradition to watch the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade at Logan Circle. Then, as soon as we got home, our son Clint would put the Carpenters’ album on (along with the Singers Unlimited and of, course, Bing) to launch the Christmas Season.
Clint wanted to sing Merry Christmas, Darling as a Weekly Tune so I am happy, after a long Weekly Tune hiatus (due to various problems technical and otherwise) to be able to send one out again and hope that 2011’s offerings will be more regular.
I shamelessly tried to copy the Carpenters’ arrangement here (I got to use a celeste and a harp for the first time!) and Clint does the vocal. Click on the title in red to hear it. The lyrics are below. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Greeting cards have all been sent.
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make,
A special one for you.
Merry Christmas, darling,
We’re apart that’s true;
But I can dream and in my dreams
I’m Christmasing with you.
Holidays are joyful.
There’s always something new;
But every day’s a holiday
When I’m near to you.
Oh, the lights on my tree, I wish you could see
I wish it every day.
The logs on the fire fill me with desire
To see you and to say
That I wish you Merry Christmas,
Happy New Year too.
I’ve just one wish on this Christmas eve,
I wish I were with you.