Every year someone does a story about how the top ten (money making) Christmas songs have been written by Jews. Every year I promise not to get my panties in a bunch about this. And every year I do just that. 2010 is no exception. A recent article in a Jewish publication announces the following list:
10. “The Christmas Waltz,” music and lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne.
9. “Silver Bells,” music by Jay Livingston, lyrics by Ray Evans.
8. “Winter Wonderland,” music and lyrics by Felix Bernard.
7. “Santa Baby,” music and lyrics by Joan Ellen Javits and Philip Springer.
6. “Sleigh Ride,” lyrics by Mitchell Parrish.
5. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” music by Buck Ram, lyrics by Walter Kent.
4. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
3. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow,” lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Julie Styne.
2. “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”), music and lyrics by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells.
1. “White Christmas,” music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
Let’s get a few things straight. There is holiday music, songs of the season and then there is Christmas music or the carols. What comes to mind for me is a meaningful list:
10. We Three Kings, lyrics by Episcopalian Minister, Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr.
9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, lyrics by Unitarian Ministier, Edmund Sears
8. What Child is This, lyrics by 19th century Poet, Surgeon, William Chatterton Dix
7. Away in a Manger, unknown for certain but credited to Martin Luther
6. Joy to the World, Church music director, Isaac Watts
5. O Come O Come Emmanuel, John Mason Neal, founder of the Society of St. Margaret
4. O Holy Night, lyrics by Unitarian Minister, John Sullivan
3, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Chaplain, Minister Charles Wesley
2. Silent Night, Father Joseph Mohr
1. O Little Town of Bethlehem, Episcopalian Minister, Phillips Brooks
And we wouldn’t want to forget George Frederic Handel’s Messiah (composer) / Libratto by Charles Jennens taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Now come on and sing choirs of angels and come let us adore HIM, Christ, the Lord.