The tragic baby story behind the world’s best-loved Christmas song

It's such a beautiful tune, and knowing this makes it even more poignant...

the-tragic-baby-story-behind-the-worlds-best-loved-christmas-song_168540

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas… Just like the ones I used to know…. ❄️ ? ❄️

Advertisement

A quick straw poll at MFM HQ reveals this is pretty much our FAVE Christmas song of all time (closely followed by Wham’s Last Christmas, just for variety ? )

It’s sentimental without being sappy and, while it has a slower tempo than so many upbeat, jingly jangly Christmas songs, it’s far from dull. In fact, it’s beautiful.

Yep, this one for us really captures what Christmas is all about: being cosy warm inside the house with the family, as the air blows crisply outside and we wonder if the the Big Day itself will be covered in a blanket of snow. Magic!

But have you ever heard the sad story behind this wonderful song?

Its composer, Irving Berlin, wrote the song in (ironically) sunny California in 1940, and, after doing so, told 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 anybody’s ever written!”

Its first public performance was on live radio on Christmas Day with, of course, Bing Crosby – and the rest is musical history.

(Incidentally, on top of the irony of Irving writing a snowy song in the Cali heat, he was actually Jewish, so didn’t celebrate Christmas himself.)

But 25 December marked another very special – and hugely emotional – occasion for the composer.

For on that day, in 1928, his son, Irving Berlin Junior, died – at just 3 weeks old.

And so, every year, on Christmas Day, Irving would visit the grave of his baby boy. ?

Wow, what a story – and what a song.

And in case you fancy a listen – here’s Bing singing – just for you…. ?

Read more

Advertisement

Comments ()

Please read our Chat guidelines.