Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Winter Wonderland

 Winter Wonderland" is a winter song, popularly treated as a Christmastime pop standard, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Through the decades it has been recorded by over 150 different artists.

Sleigh bells ring
are you listening
in the lane
snow is glistening
A beautiful sight
we're happy tonight
walking in a winter wonderland

Gone away is the bluebird
here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song
as we go along
walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
we'll say: No man
But you can do the job
when you're in town

Later on
we'll conspire
as we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
the plans that we've made
walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
and pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman
until the all the kids knock him down

When it snows
ain't it thrilling
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play
the Eskimo way
walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland
walking in a winter wonderland


  1. History

    Dick Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale's Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis, better known then as consumption. The West Mountain Sanitarium is located off N. Sekol Ave. in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

    The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This excellent "studio" orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. The biggest chart hit at the time of introduction was Guy Lombardo's orchestra, a top ten hit. Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song to #4 in Billboard's airplay chart in 1946. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail top ten. Como would record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album.

    Due to its seasonal theme, "Winter Wonderland" is often regarded as a Christmas song in the Northern Hemisphere, although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. There is a mention of "sleigh-bells" several times, implying that this song refers to the Christmas period. In the Swedish language lyrics, Vår vackra vita vintervärld, the word tomtar is mentioned.

    1. Interesting Fact:The song was recorded in 1934 by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians. Later, Perry Como and The Andrews Sisters also made recordings of this song making it more popular.

  2. The song has been parodied by Bob Rivers as "Walkin' 'Round in Women's Underwear", and by Elsa Boreson as "Walkin' in My Winter Underwear". Both songs are frequently played on Dr. Demento's radio show. Jason Lytle of Grandaddy later wrote "Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland" as a promotional single that saw an appearance on the compilation album The Windfall Varietal.

  3. The number of recorded versions surprised me a lot!
    I've listened to some covers, among which were covers by Elvis Presley, Radiohead, Ozzy Osbourne & Jessica Simpson, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and Miley Cyrus. The interesting fact is how differes one and the same song when it is sang by different people)! Most of all I liked the version performed by Bob Dylan!)

  4. Felix Bernard, the composer of "Winter Wonderland" also co-wrote the melody of the 1919 hit "Dardanella" (the recording by Ben Selvin's Novelty Orchestra is believed to be the first in history to sell one million copies). Fifteen years later he teamed up with Dick Smith on "Winter Wonderland," an immediate hit for Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians (1934). Then, in 1946, rival recordings were made by Perry Como and The Andrews Sisters (backed by Guy Lombardo) that established the bubbly tune as a Yuletide favorite.