‘Many Times, Many Ways . . .’

It’s Christmas week, and we’re about as busy as most folks are during this time of the year: some shopping left to do, some gifts to organize and wrap, some victuals to make to bring to my sister’s on Christmas Day, some travel plans to finalize, and all that kind of stuff.

So we’re going to take a little break here at EITW. We’ll leave the studio under the care of Odd and Pop for the next few days (always a risky plan, the outcome of which I’ll learn early next week, I would guess), and try to find some moments to relax, to seek some serenity amid the season’s busyness.

Music always helps in that seeking, and this year, we’re adding another song to our slender Christmas library.

For several years in the 1960s, Dad would pick up the annual Christmas LPs put out by the Firestone and Goodyear tire companies; for a couple of years, he also picked up the annual albums released by Capitol and RCA. Those LPs provided the soundtrack for our Christmas celebrations from the mid-1960s until Dad died in 2003. A quick look at those albums shows four versions of the tune in question, so the song – like many others – was part of Christmas on Kilian Boulevard.

The song? As you might have guessed from the title of this piece, it’s “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You),” written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells. The website Second Hand Songs lists 272 versions of the song, including several foreign language recordings. But I thought we’d start at the very beginning today, with the original version of the song recorded in 1946 by the King Cole Trio.

And with that, may your Christmas be joyful, and however you celebrate the holiday, may you do so with the people you love in the places that are home.

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