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"Winter Wonderland" is a song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard B. Smith. Due to its seasonal theme, it is often regarded as a Christmas song in the Northern Hemisphere. Since its original recording by Richard Himber, it has been covered by over 200 different artists, including Jo Stafford, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Amy Grant, Michael Bublé, The Eurythmics, Selena Gomez, Alan Jackson, and Radiohead.

"Winter Wonderland"
Song
Published1934
GenreChristmas
Composer(s)Felix Bernard
Lyricist(s)Richard B. Smith

The song's lyrics are about a couple enjoying a picturesque winter landscape. They build a snowman, whom they agree to pretend is Parson Brown. They imagine the snowman asking if the couple is married, to which they tell him that they are not, and tell the snowman that he can marry them.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 being treated for tuberculosis in the West Mountain Sanitarium in Scranton.[1][citation needed]

The song was originally recorded by Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra at RCA in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, RCA suggested arranging "Winter Wonderland" with its own orchestra, which included Artie Shaw and other established New York City studio musicians.

In the Swedish lyrics, "Vår vackra vita vintervärld", the word tomtar is mentioned. In Mathis' version, heard on his 1958 LP Merry Christmas, the introduction is sung between the first and the second refrain.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Guy Lombardo's version was the highest on the charts at the time of introduction. Johnny Mercer's version of the song placed #4 on the Billboard airplay chart in 1946. The same season, a version by Perry Como hit the retail top ten; Como would re-record the song for his 1959 Christmas album.

In November 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) listed "Winter Wonderland" as the most-played ASCAP-member-written holiday song of the previous five years, citing the Eurythmics' 1987 version of the song as the one most commonly played.[2]

ChartsEdit

Tony Bennett versionEdit

Chart (1968–2019) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[3] 40
Denmark (Tracklisten)[4] 35
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[5] 34
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 57
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 39
Portugal (AFP)[8] 68
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 78
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 96
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[12] 87

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kunerth, Jeff (December 9, 2010). "The story behind Winter Wonderland". The Religion World. Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.
  2. ^ ASCAP Announced Top 25 Holiday Songs. November 12, 2007
  3. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "Track Top-40 Uge 52, 2018". Hitlisten. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. December 31, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Tony Bennett Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 10, 2019.

External linksEdit