The Christmas Song: A Brief Overview


"The Christmas Song," which extols the cozy virtues of roasting chestnuts and an open fire, was written in 1946 by singer/songwriter Mel Torme and Bob Wells. First recorded by Nat King Cole, it has -- with "White Christmas" -- become a modern Christmas classic, and has been recorded by dozens of artists, from Barbra Streisand to Christina Aguilera.


"The Christmas Song" was first recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole and his trio with Capital Records, using his own arrangement. The smooth-voiced singer re-recorded the same arrangement of the song in 1961 using a full orchestra and it has become one of the songs for which he is best remembered. Lyricist, Mel Torme has been quoted as saying that he and Wells wrote the song in Los Angeles on the hottest day in July as a way to keep cool.


The timeless lyrics of "The Christmas Song" were written by Mel Torme and Bob Wells. The cozy words and smooth melody reflect the 1950s emphasis on home and hearth, but still ring true today, albeit with a slightly nostalgic touch. You can view the entire text of the song at Both Torme and Wells are members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Who Has Recorded "The Christmas Song?"

"The Christmas Song" has become one of the most popular Christmas carols in the United States. It has been recorded by scores of diverse artists in its sixty-year history. Among them are Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, the characters from "Peanuts", Ella Fitzgerald, the Jackson Five, Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson, and, of course, the songwriter himself, Mel Torme. In 1991, songstress Natalie Cole recorded a duet of the song with her famous father, aided by a little of the latest technology.

Where to Buy "The Christmas Song"

Recordings of this Christmas classic are widely available from online sources, such as and Barnes and Noble. Original 1961 LPs can also often be found on auction sites, such as eBay. Modern recordings, such as that by Christine Aquilera, are easy to find at local record stores.

The sheet music of the song may be ordered through sources such as Music Notes or Sheet Music Plus.

Christmas music may come and go, but the simple, homey message and smooth melody of "The Christmas Song" is sure to remain popular for years -- and generations -- to come.

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The Christmas Song: A Brief Overview