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Christmas Songs with a Color in Their Titles

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.

It is very interesting that some of our favorite Christmas songs have colors in their titles. It is also amazing that some of the colors just so happen to be colors associated with Christmas. How many of them can you name?

christmas-songs-with-a-color-in-the-title

1. "White Christmas"

Everybody loves White Christmas that has been sung by many different artists since it was first written by Irving Berlin in 1942. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the world's best-selling single with estimated sales of more than 50 million copies worldwide, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Berlin's song is a simple one about Christmas that took a lot of imagination to write. Berlin was sitting by the pool on a hot summer day at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona when he was inspired to write the masterpiece. What a contrast of writing a Christmas song in the summer!

Berlin was so excited about the song that he called to his secretary, "Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I've ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!" Berlin was confident that his song would become a hit, and it did.

Close to a hundred artists have recorded White Christmas. However, the one by Bing Crosby stands out among all of them.

While most people enjoy the song White Christmas, the real message behind it is a sad one.

The writer was a Russian-born immigrant who did not celebrate Christmas because he was Jewish. However, that's not the sad part.

Berlin's three-week-old son died on Christmas Day in 1928, so every year on December 25, he and his wife visited their baby's grave. That changed the couple's lives. The first line of Berlin's song mention children and times he used to know before the death of his song.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas just like the ones I used to know where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow."

Many artists have recorded White Christmas over the years. They include Elvis, Karen Carpenter, Lady Gaga, and Michael Bublé.

2. "Silver Bells"

Silver Bells has been a classic Christmas song since Jay Livingston and Ray Evans composed it in the 1950s. Many artists have recorded the song since then.

Bing Crosby and Carol Richards were the first to record Silver Bells that was released to the public in October 1950 by Decca Records.

Some people think the inspiration for the song came from the bells used by the Salvation Army bell ringers on New York City street corners. However, Ray Evans said the inspiration came from a bell that sat on the desk that he and his co-writer shared.

4. "Blue Christmas"

Usually, Christmas songs are uplifting because of the holiday season. However, Blue Christmas is a song about a broken heart because of unrequited love during the holidays. Even so, it had long been considered a Christmas favorite of country music. It was written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948. The song was popularized by Ernest Tubb the following year.

Most of us know the version of Blue Christmas that was sung by Elvis Presley in his signature style in 1957 and released as a single for the first time in 1964. There have been more than 65 recorded versions of the country song.

5. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Rudolph the Red-Reindeer was never intended to be a song. It was first a story in a book written by Robert L. May in 1939 as a promotion for Montgomery Ward. In the first year, 2.4 million copies of May's book were distributed by the retailer.

May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, put the story of Rudolph into a song. It was first sung commercially by Harry Brannon on New York City radio in early November 1949. Gene Autry released it on November 25, 1949, and since then Rudolph has been a favorite Christmas song.

It is interesting that Bing Crosby recorded all of these songs with color except "Blue Christmas."

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which is the only song Bing Crosby didn't sing?
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Silver Bells"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  2. Which song was first a Christmas story?
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Silver Bells"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  3. Which song did Elvis Presley sing?
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Silver Bells"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer"
  4. Which song is in the Guiness Book of World Records?
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Silver Bells"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  5. Which song was inspired by a bell on the co-writers' desk?
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Silver Bells"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Answer Key

  1. "Blue Christmas"
  2. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  3. "Blue Christmas"
  4. "White Christmas"
  5. "Silver Bells"

Comments

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on December 16, 2018:

Tim, I love the Drifters' "White Christmas" for the same reason you do. My favorite is by Michael Bublé. That's because I love everything he sings.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas whether it will be a white one or not.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on December 16, 2018:

Hi, Margaret,

I love these songs. White Christmas has to be my favorite, but I like the version by the Drifters for the bouncy sound. But Bing can't be beat with his historic version of the tune.

Excellent, fun, and informative article.

Much respect and happy holidays,

Tim

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on December 16, 2018:

Thanks, Louise, for reading and commenting about the Christmas songs. Also, thanks for taking the quiz.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 16, 2018:

These are all good songs. From this list, White Christmas is my favourite. There are so many Christmas songs I love though. I scored 80% in the quiz. Not bad!