Article Discussion: The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs

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December 25, 2010 at 3:55 am #5342

Nate Bloom

To the persons who read this article–realize, first, there are updates. Second, realize what the article covers–it is not every Christmas song every written, Christmas movie–it is a very specific list–ASCAP’s 25 most popular. Second, to the person who this year (2010)–attacks me, the author, for listing the “wrong original performer of the song.” It says at the top that the performer named is the performer who currently as the most popular recording of that song out. For example, with Silver Bells, it is Kenny G.–Not the original singer, Bob Hope.

December 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm #5343

MJB784533

Besides the occasional factual errors and incomplete research, the writer should not have changed ASCAP’s designation of “Holiday” to “Christmas.” Many of the songs on the list are not even holiday songs but are WINTER songs with no reference to any holiday — just cold and snow. How can you consider a song about a slick seduction scene like “Let it Snow” a Christmas song is just plain weird. Jews experience Winter just like Christmas, and many of these songs are just Winter songs, so don’t read religion into places where it doesn’t exist.

December 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm #5344

MJB784533

I meant “Jews experience Winter just like Christians.”

May 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm #5788

Victor Galindo

Mitchell Parish’s daughter (or one of them), married Al Goldstein, my best friend’s (Milton) older brother. All Jewish of course. Parrish lived one block east off Grand Concourse in the Bronx in a very luxurious apartment. The Goldsteins lived a block lower on Morris Avenue where my family lived. I remembered Mr. Parrish’s name as Abe. Maybe a nickname or my faulty memory. All this in the 1930s and ’40s.

October 7, 2011 at 7:49 am #6183

Dealista

Not my top 25, but still some of it are my favorite. Just another of wonderful songs that they contributed to the season.

November 29, 2011 at 2:59 am #6325

Unregistered

So why is Carol of the Bells on the list when you say underneath that neither the composer nor lyricist were Jewish?

November 30, 2011 at 3:54 am #6329

Unregistered

My Grandmother was Olive (Cooper) Powell, the niece of Felix! Just recently found out about the connection to “Winter Wonderland”.

December 8, 2011 at 12:40 am #6381

BigZav

Hi Nate … Wow, interesting article. I can tell you did a ton of research. Too bad some posters didn’t read it more carefully, accusing you of all sorts of stuff!

I think you need to follow this up with “The Jews Who Sang Christmas Songs”! Every year nowadays, a new popular Jewish singer puts out a Christmas album and even sings more traditional Christmas carols that deal more with the Christ child. It’s an interesting phenomenon that includes Barbra, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Bob Dylan, Robert Goulet, Bette Midler, and on and on. Hey, maybe that’s for next December!

December 12, 2011 at 6:34 am #6396

Unregistered

Great article, but some of these comments are infuriating. To MJB784533: you must have missed the part where the author conceded that “holiday songs” was a better title than “Christmas songs”. He did not “change the designation”, the author simply claimed that a lot of people would probably still lump some of these songs into the Christmas category. In my mind that is a reasonable remark, and had you interpreted it correctly, I bet you’d agree. Just because some people might CONSIDER some “winter” songs Christmas songs does not mean they ARE Christmas songs. That distinction is clearly implied. There was no reading religion into anything. You sound like you only commented to discredit the article, which is ironic because your criticism is based upon false premises. A piece of advice – get your facts straight before you go off slamming someone, otherwise you’re plan backfires.

December 21, 2011 at 9:48 am #6443

Phil

O Holy Night …also Jewish!

December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm #6444

Zach

“baby its cold outside” while not on the ASCAP top list, and not origonally written as a holiday song, was written by Frank Loesser. a German Jew

December 22, 2011 at 5:34 am #6452

Ken Silver

Bob Allen’s last name was Deitcher. He was born in Troy NY. Based on “Find a Grave” website, the Deitcher family of Troy NY was very much Jewish. Bob’s info. was unavailable on the site. But I’m convinced that he was from a Jewish family.

December 23, 2011 at 3:40 am #6460

Unregistered

Perhaps another reason that Jews were sympathetic to the American Christmas is that it was not an occasion for pogroms as it was in Russian Poland. See Hilda Polacheck, I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull House Girl, on her apprehensions about her first Hull House Christmas party invitation.

December 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm #8887

Mike Barer

What should be pointed out is that hardly any of those songs are religious and though Jews may not observe Christmas religously, they do take the day off and many times enjoy the season.

December 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm #8928

Ken Denberg

Thank you for the very enjoyable read. Well written and informed, humorous and thought provoking. Ken

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