There are so many songs for Christmas that carry with them a huge amount of history.  Here are a few facts about some of the Christmas songs you will hear on Y105 over the holiday.

‘Jingle Bells’ was originally published in 1857 with the original name of, ‘One Horse Open Sleigh.’  It was originally sung for Thanksgiving, but morphed into a Christmas Carol over time.  In 1965, this song became the first to be broadcast from space, as some astronauts joked with mission control about an object that was going in a polar orbit, with what looks to have a pilot wearing a red suit.  They then decided to play ‘Jingle Bells’ on their harmonica.  Here is a really old recording, not the original audio, but it includes some historical information on the song.

‘I Saw Three Ships’ is a traditional English folk song with several variations of lyrics that were written by wandering minstrels as they traveled through the country.  The earliest printed version of this song derives from the 17th century.  The song tells of the ships sailing into Bethlehem, but the nearest body of water is the Dead Sea, which is about 20 miles away.

‘The First Noel’ is an 18th century English carol.  The word Noel is French, and means Christmas.

‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ was first seen in a Montgomery Ward Booklet in 1939.  Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939, and his brother-in-law made a song out of Rudolph, which became a number 1 hit for Gene Autry in 1949.  Rudolph’s first screen appearance was in 1944.

After Gene Autry’s huge hit with Rudolph, one year later, he recorded, ‘Frosty The Snowman.’  He was the first one to record the song, which was written by Walter ‘Jack’ Rollins and Steve Nelson.

We all are probably all aware that the Grinch is a Dr. Seuss character, but here is an interesting bit of information:  Thurl Ravenscroft, the man who sings the Grinch song, was also the voice behind the ‘Tony The Tiger’ commercial, “They’re Grrrrrrrreat!”, which aired for over 50 years.   He also did several voice over assignments for Disney, in the films, and the attractions   at Disneyland and Disney World.  He passed away in 2005 at the age of 91.

If you would like to learn more random facts about Christmas songs, here is a fun website with some great information.  

I will talk about more songs in the coming few weeks, as we get closer to Christmas.  There are so many Christmas carols and songs!

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