Monday, December 21, 2015

Music Monday - "Silver Bells" by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards (1950)

"Silver Bells" is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  I love old fashioned holiday music;  it always evokes so many memories.  When I was growing up, my parents had lots of Christmas albums, and getting them out each year to listen always put me in the mood for the holidays.   This is one of those songs that I always loved.  I've always thought of it as such a quintessential Mid-Century Christmas song. 

I love the way the lyrics capture the feeling of Christmas in a city:

"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas"


"Strings of streetlights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
Home with their treasures."

"Silver Bells" was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.  It was originally called "Tinkle Bells" until Ray Evans played the song for his wife, who reminded him of the childhood use of the word "tinkle."  The title was quickly changed to "silver."

The most famous version of the song was recorded by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards on Decca Records in 1950.  Carol Richards was a singer who also dubbed songs for actresses in several movies, including Vera Ellen (Call Me Madam) and Cyd Charisse (Brigadoon, Silk Stockings).   Bing Crosby's voice always just reminds me of Christmas -- he is so associated with the holiday because of his wonderful Christmas songs.

Do you have any special memories of this song?  What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.


Unknown said...

Interesting to read the history of "Silver Bells." One year, back in the early 60's when I was a young piano student, "Silver Bells" was the special, seasonal piece I was given to learn for Christmas. No problem getting me to practice that year! I loved the song and it has been a favorite ever since.

Godly Homemaker (Andrea) said...

it's a classic - "Silver bells....silver's Christmas time in the city..." :D

Farrah said...

I love this song too! Hearing it tends to lift my spirits! :] We sang it for our winter concert back in my high school's treble ensemble! <3

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for your visits and comments!

Susan, how neat that this was one of your piano recital songs. That is a great memory.