Christmas Songs: “Christmas Time Is Here,” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

The Charlie Browniest…

(I liked this one better because the earlier one cut off the last of the song too early. It’s done with slides, but it shows the best of the whole,half-hour cartoon.)

Here are the lyrics:

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We’ll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year…

About the song?

Mendelson hired a young San Francisco jazz pianist named Vince Guaraldi, who gave the show a hip sound. Nicknamed “Dr. Funk” by his jazz friends, Guaraldi was prolific. In a couple of weeks, he produced songs for the show that would become Christmas standards.

However, the lyrics are Lee Mendelson’s, as he told GeekToMe at Chicago Now:

LM: Well, the song almost never happened. When we finished “A Charlie Brown Christmas” it was just an instrumental. You know the skating in the opening scene?

G2M: Yeah…

LM: I said maybe we should try and put some words to it, and I called songwriters I knew in Hollywood and they were all busy. So there was an envelope at my kitchen table and just sat down and put dots and dashes for the short notes and the long notes, and the poem just came to me, “Christmas Time is Here.” I wrote it in about ten minutes.

G2M: [Laughs]

LM: So we changed it, gave it to Vince Guaraldi who happened to be working with the children’s choir at the time. They recorded it at the very last minute, and that’s how it got on the show. That’s how it happened 45 years ago.

I’m not sure how the children of this generation view the artifacts of their grandparents’ childhood, like Peanuts, but for me, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas or even Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives as a snowman narrator that doesn’t melt still gives me a warm feeling, and even a sense of gratitude.

~ by blksista on December 21, 2010.

One Response to “Christmas Songs: “Christmas Time Is Here,” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas””

  1. I love the Charlie Brown music that Vince Guaraldi did.🙂 The songs are absolutely perfect!

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