Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

"Winter Wonderland" is a pop standard written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (composer) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). It has been recorded many different times by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, Eurythmics, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Karen Carpenter, Cyndi Lauper, Stryper and the Cocteau Twins.


Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale's Central Park covered in snow.

The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Carelton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This excellent "studio" orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. The biggest chart hit at the time of introduction was Guy Lombardo's orchestra, a top ten hit. Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song to #4 in Billboard's airplay chart in 1946. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail top ten. Como would record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album.

Due to its seasonal theme, "Winter Wonderland" is often regarded as a Christmas song on the Northern Hemisphere, although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. There is a mention of "sleigh-bells" several times, implying that this song refers to the Christmas period. In the Swedish language lyrics, "Vår vackra vita vintervärld", the word tomtar is mentioned.

Parson Brown

The following lyrics compose the musical bridge of the song:

"In the meadow we can build a snowman,
then pretend that he is Parson Brown.
He'll say 'Are You Married?' We'll say 'No man,
but you can do the job when you're in town!"

In the period when this song was written, parsons (now known as Protestant ministers) often traveled among small rural towns to perform wedding ceremonies for denominational followers who did not have a local minister of their own faith. Because some listeners are not familiar with these cultural facts, some performers omit Parson Brown altogether and just sing the lines about the Circus Clown instead.

Recorded versions

*Air Supply
*Aly & AJ
*The Andrews Sisters
*Louis Armstrong
*Eddy Arnold
*Chet Atkins
*Tony Bennett (including a duet with Vanessa L. Williams on the live Christmas album "Our Favourite Things: Christmas in Vienna")
*Michael Bolton
*Boston Pops Orchestra
*Brooks & Dunn
*Dave Brubeck
*The California Raisins
*Cap'n Jazz
*The Carpenters (as part of a medley with "Silver Bells" and "White Christmas")
*Larry Carlton
*Steven Curtis Chapman
*Ray Charles
*Charlotte Church
*Rosemary Clooney
*The Cocteau Twins
*Perry Como
*Harry Connick, Jr. (instrumental on the soundtrack of "When Harry Met Sally...", vocal on "What a Night! A Christmas Album")
*Ray Conniff
*Billy "Crash" Craddock
*Bing Crosby
*Vic Damone
*Kikki Danielsson (as part of a medley with "Sleigh Ride")
*Neil Diamond
*Percy Faith
*Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
*Ella Fitzgerald
*Fleming and John (to the tune of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop"
*John Fleming
*Connie Francis
*Aretha Franklin
*Kenny G
*Billy Gilman
*Jackie Gleason
*Robert Goulet
*Grandaddy (renamed "Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland")
*Amy Grant
*Macy Gray
*Al Green
*Larry Groce on the album "Disney's Christmas Favourites".
*Gary Hoey
*Engelbert Humperdinck
*Taylor Horn
*Burl Ives
*Joy Electric
*Wynonna Judd
*The Judds
*Bert Kaempfert
*Toby Keith
*Dave Koz
*Diana Krall
*Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
*Cyndi Lauper
*Brenda Lee
*Byron Lee & the Dragonaires
*Peggy Lee
*Guy Lombardo
*Darlene Love
*Barry Manilow
*Aimee Mann
*Dean Martin
*Johnny Mathis
*Mireille Mathieu (in german)
*Jesse McCartney
*Cravin Melon
*Mitch Miller
*Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*Jason Mraz
*Anne Murray
*The Nashville Brass
*The Nashville Superpickers
*Ednita Nazario
*Willie Nelson
*Ozzy Osbourne & Jessica Simpson
*Donny Osmond & Marie Osmond
*Brad Paisley
*Dolly Parton (as part of a medley with "Sleigh Ride")
*The Partridge Family
*Liz Phair
*Phantom Planet
*The Platters
*Point of Grace
*Elvis Presley
*Rankin Bass
*Leon Redbone
*The Ronettes
*Diana Ross
*Frank Sinatra
*George Strait
*Steve Taylor
*Kiri Te Kanawa
*The Three Tenors
*Randy Travis
*Tanya Tucker
*Ted Weems
*Andy Williams
*Carnie Wilson & Wendy Wilson

Fan versions

The song has been parodied by Bob Rivers as "Walkin' 'Round in Women's Underwear", and by Stan Boreson as "Walkin' in My Winter Underwear". Both songs are frequently played on Dr. Demento's radio show.

During the 2006-2007 season, football team Manchester United fans sung a variation on the song.Fact|date=December 2007:"Mourinho are you listening?:You'd better keep the trophy glistening.:Coz we'll be back in May:To take it away:Walking in a Fergie wonderland!"There is also another version by supporters of British boxer, Ricky Hatton.Fact|date=December 2007

Awards and achievements

In Nov 2007, ASCAP in the United States confirmed that Winter Wonderland has been the most played holiday song over the last 5 years, and that the Eurythmics' version of the song is the one most commonly played. [ [ ASCAP ANNOUNCES TOP 25 HOLIDAY SONGS] . 12 November, 2007]


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