The True Story Behind the Song “White Christmas”

It is almost impossible not to hear the “White Christmas” song being played during the Christmas season as it is ranked as the number one Christmas song in various parts of the world. Even though we enjoy its lyrics, melody, and instrumentals, it is thought to stand apart from other Christmas Carols, and is, in fact, one of the best, but I bet most of us are unaware of the song’s tragic history.

What Is Christmas?

Every year on the 25th of December, Christmas is the most widely celebrated and recognized festive celebration in the world. Though it is mostly celebrated by Christians, Christmas is celebrated by other people of belief too. Christmas is celebrated as the day Jesus Christ was born to Mary and Joseph, according to the Christian faith. Jesus is known by Christians to be God’s true Son and their Lord and Savior as well.

White Christmas

Released on October 14th, 1954 in the United States of America, the Christmas carol “White Christmas” was directed by McheĆ”l Curtiz. Written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank, and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Jaggar, and Vera Ellen, and written by Irving Berlin. The White Christmas, sponsored by the Craft Company, was first heard on a radio show on the day of Christmas. It was believed that by the time the song was out, it was first accepted and played by young people, with an average age of 21, making it believable that the younger generation embraced Christmas more. 

Who Was Irving Berlin?

He was born in the Russian Empire on the 11th of May 1888. Although his family originated from Tolochin, the latest discovery and documentation show that he was born in Tyumen, Siberia into the family of Moses, a synagogue cantor, who moved the family to America in the late 1800s, as did many other Jewish families. He was born in the year 1848 and died in 1901, and his mother, Lena Lipkin Beilin, was born in 1850 and died in 1922. Irving Berlin confirmed having had seven siblings, which when he included himself, his parents had eight children together. 

With his birth name as Israel Berlin, the famous singer was He was a Russian American composer and lyricist who was born on the 11th of May 1888 and lived until the time of his death, which was on the 22nd of September 1989. Before his death, Israel Berlin was widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in history, as his songs were included in the Great American Songbook up until this very day.

Berlin, who was born in Imperial Russia, moved to the United States when he was five years old. When asked when he began getting paid for his work, he narrated that his first time receiving money was when he received 33 cents for the publishing rights to his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy,” in 1907, and then again after he  scored his first huge worldwide hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” in 1911, He was also the owner of the Broadway’s Music Box Theatre. Apart from

ever writing a hit song, Berlin had one limitation, and that was the fact that he could not read sheet music for much of his career and was such a limited pianist that he could only play in the key of F-sharp. It was so obvious that when he wanted to perform in keys other than F-sharp, he used his bespoke piano with a transposing lever.

The True Story Behind The Song

With 50 million copies sold worldwide, the Christmas Carol “White Christmas” became the talk of the town. The case of the exact date he wrote this song and where Berlin wrote it is still being debated to this day, as many are unsure of the appropriate response to give.

According to one story, the hit composer “Irving Berlin” wrote it in 1940 in balmy La Quinta, California, while on vacation at the La Quinta Hotel, a popular Hollywood getaway also known to be frequented by many celebrities at the time, especially the famous writer, director, and producer “Frank Capra.” The Arizona Biltmore claims with all certainty that the song “White Christmas” was created at the Balmy La Quint as well.

He further added that he would frequently stay up all night writing. He told his secretary one day, “I want you to take down a song I wrote over the weekend.” It’s not simply the best song I’ve ever written, but it is the best song anyone has ever written. And that was how this now famous song was produced.

He also shared with the public how that song was written at his lowest and most trying times. He added that he grew up in an Orthodox home and being a Jewish man who had absolutely about what he was writing or doing was one challenging thing he had to face. In his words, it was glaring that he himself did not know that he was going to be able to write that, especially seeing all that he had to face, but he eventually did, and to his greatest surprise, it turned out to be one of the most widely listened to and sold songs in the world, with about 50 million copies sold.

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