Friday, December 12, 2008

Blog Caroling: I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is a repeat post from last year, when footnoteMaven started the tradition of blog caroling. It is just as relevant this year. To join in, visit her blog.

The footnoteMaven invited us genea-bloggers to go blog caroling. We've been posting favorite carols and sometimes a bit of history to go along with them. The Maven also posted a spectacular Choir of GeneaAngels graphic with links to our blog carols here.

Boy, it's hard picking out a favorite, since I love most Christmas carols, both religious and secular. Also, being a bit late to the game, some of my favorites were already picked. For instance, Craig at GeneaBlogie posted "Silent Night." I've always loved the legend of how the German pastor and church choir director created a song they could play accompanied by a guitar when their church organ was damaged by hungry mice. Additionally, this was the song that briefly stopped World War I...until December 26th, 1914, when indignant officers insisted that the war must go on.

Terry at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi also blogged about another fave of mine, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Although I knew the history behind this song, I forgot that it was written by Longfellow, one of my favorite poets. And then my Salvation Army background gets a boost when I think of "Silver Bells,"
inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bellringers standing outside department stores during the Christmas season. [1]

What to pick? What to pick? At a school sing-along yesterday [17 December 2007], I was reminded of a very favorite Christmas song first introduced by Spokane native Bing Crosby in one of my favorite classic movies, Holiday Inn:

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway.
I've never seen such a day
In Beverly Hills LA.
But it's December the 24th
And I am longing to be up North.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white. [2]

While Bing was born on the west side of the state, he grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University until the siren call of the entertainment industry drew him to California. In fact, when I was pregnant with our son, we used to live across the street from his sister's home in what is now the City of Spokane Valley. I often wonder if, as Bing sang this song, he thought of snowy days in Spokane, sliding down the hill at Manito Park or skiing up at Mount Spokane?

[1] Wikipedia contributors, "Silver Bells," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Silver_Bells&oldid=178588830 (accessed December 19, 2007).

[2] Berlin, Irving. "White Christmas." Lyrics. White Christmas, single. Decca Records, 1942. Lyrics007, http://www.lyrics007.com/Bing%20Crosby%20Lyrics/White%20Christmas%20Lyrics.html (accessed 17 December 2007).
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