“The Christmas Song”  -1944 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé.

According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool – “I saw a spiral pad on his (Wells’) piano with four lines written in pencil”, Tormé recalled. “They started, ‘Chestnuts roasting…, Jack Frost nipping…, Yuletide carols…, Folks dressed up like Eskimos.’ Bob didn’t think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics.”

Having spent many a Christmas of my youth and young adult life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this song definitely brings to mind the wonderful magic of Christmas. Now I’m back in a cold climate, granted not as bitter as Milwaukee, and there is something in the chill of the air that spells Christmas.

This song also makes me wonder about the fickleness of humans. In the summer we long for the coolness of winter and set our air conditioners as low as possible, then in the winter we bring up the heat and sit for hours in front of a fireplace trying to duplicate the warmth that summer freely provides. Will we ever be satisfied?

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