Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Who Wrote The Christmas Songs?

This is interesting. Did you know that many of the popular Christmas songs were actually written by Jewish composers such as one of my favorites, White Christmas

1. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” by Mel Torme

Written by Mel Torme, a Jewish singer who was born in 1925 as Melvin Howard Torme, He grew up in Chicago to a working class Jewish family.

Read about the other 12 songs!!

2. “Let it Snow” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

Sammy Chan (born Samuel Cohen I 1913) was a lyricist, songwriter, and musician born to Galician Jewish immigrants and was raised in New York City’s Lower East Side.

Skiing, Trees, Snow, Field, Snow Field

3. “Santa Baby” by Joan Javits and Phil Springer

Written by two Jewish composers, Joan Javits and Phil Springer, the jazzy song became very popular when it was recorded by singer Eartha Kitt in 1953.

Free Ai Generated Santa illustration and picture

4. “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by George Wyle and Eddie Pola

Written by a Jewish composers, George Wile and Edward Pola. In his early years, Wile was a regular performer in the Catskills and eventually wrote the theme song for Gilligan's Island. Pola grew up in New York City.  The song was written in 1963 and became a hit when recorded by Andy Williams. 

5. “Silver Bells” by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

Written by  Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, two Jewish composers who met as students at the University of Pennsylvania. 

6. “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin, who also wrote “God Bless America” and many other popular masterpieces, was born in Siberia, Russia. His family escaped religious persecution by fleeing to the U.S in 1893, and initially lived in poverty (like many other immigrants) on the the Lower East Side of New York City. As a youngster, Berlin had to work rather than attend school. He also made money to help his family survive by singing on street corners. 

Free Christmas Christmas Background photo and picture

7-10. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “A Holly, Jolly Christmas,” and “Silver and Gold” by Johnny Marks

Johnny Marks grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York —In 1949, he wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “A Holly, Jolly Christmas,” and “Silver and Gold.” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was co-written by Robert Louis May another composer of Jewish decent. 

11. “Walkin’ In a Winter Wonderland” by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith 

This song was written and published by Jewish composer and conductor Felix Bernard with his non-Jewish colleague Richard B. Smith. 

Free Emotions Advent photo and picture


  1. I saw a meme on this on FB -- thanks for the expanded info! And, I might add, they are some of my favorites!

  2. How interesting to learn that some of our favorite Christmas songs were composed by incredibly talented Jewish artists. It's a beautiful reminder that music has a way of connecting us all, regardless of our backgrounds.

    Hugs and blessings, Judee

  3. The magic of Christmas songs often comes from unexpected creators! Did you know that many holiday classics, like 'White Christmas,' were penned by Jewish composers? Mel Torme, born to a working-class Jewish family, gave us 'Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.' Likewise, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, both with Jewish roots, crafted the timeless 'Let it Snow.' A beautiful reminder of the diverse origins behind our beloved festive tunes!

  4. No surprises here, we used to go and enjoy a live concerts from Michael Allen Harrison who played beautiful Christmas music, and yes, a Jewish man. I hope you are having a lovely (sunny and warm!) time in Florida!

  5. How interesting! I knew some of these names, but it never occurred to me these were Jewish composers. "White Christmas" is a masterpiece and it's one of my favourite, too!

  6. How interesting! I knew some of these names, but it never occurred to me these were Jewish composers. "White Christmas" is a masterpiece and it's one of my favourite, too!

  7. Very interesting!
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime

  8. You really covered a lot of material. I knew some, not all. I’m bemused by the commenter who repeated everything you said. Sometimes I wonder if people comment without reading the post.

    Have a great holiday! And I hope you manage to eat a few latkes even if it’s late.
    best, mae at

  9. A musician's got to make a living, after all. I think many churchgoers would be surprised to find out that many churches hire singers for their choirs, and the singers are rarely members of that particular faith.

  10. Very interesting bit of Christmas trivia here. I recognized a few of the talented composers but definitely not all. Thank you to all of them for providing years of beautiful music.

  11. Very nice songs.....wishing you all the best for 2024!......Abrazotes, Marcela

  12. This year I'm enjoying jazzy Christmas music. No words. Very pretty.

  13. So interesting, and no, I did not know this! 🎄🎵


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