Enjoy the Christmas tunes written by Jewish denomination throughout this blog!
I’m not racist or sacrilegious, as I’d like to believe we are all men of God. That being said, I think there’s a piece of history I’ve stumbled upon, I’d like to share with everyone. As the war broke out over Germany, America felt compelled to help by joining forces with the UK. This is common knowledge, of course, but what I’d like to share is some little known history, not readily available. I won’t rewrite the history books on WWII, but I’d like to give credit where credit is due.
As Hitler ensued his mission killing during the Holocaust, little mercy was shown for the Jewish people in Germany. A good many Jewish community inhabitants went underground to escape his horror. A lot of them were prominent and educated. Some were musically inclined and some so thankful for the Christians that fought for them that they composed commemorative songs. They were not just any tunes, but Christmas songs…. melodies we grew up with and know, today, by heart.
Uncovering the truth, some of the best known Christmas carols were written and composed by Jewish conductors! Longing to give their gratitude and thanks, their desire was to write lyrics that Americans would remember. The Jewish composers found these carols uplifting and joyful, in contrast to, Hanukkah hymns which were written in minor keys and more solemn. Christmas songs became a national celebration for all faiths.
Nearly 50% of our favorite lyrics, today, are the proceeds of a rejoicing Jewish people. Here’s a list of just some of the Christmas carols and their Jewish composers:
1934, composed by Felix Bernard and Richard B Smith. Made famous by Bing Cosby
1942, composed by Irving Berlin (who also wrote “God Bless America” in 1938)
“Let it Snow”
1945, composed by Jule Styne (Julias Stien) and Sammy Cahnn (Sammy Cohen)
“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”
1945, composed Mel Torme and Robert “Bob” Wells
Fun Fact: This song was written in July in the middle of a desert
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
1943, composed by Walter Kent and Jerry Vale. Made famous by Bing Cosby
Little known fact: American songwriter, Buck Ram copyrighted a song with this same title in 1942, though it’s lyrics were completely different than the Christmas song.
“The Little Drummer Boy”
1941, composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone
“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”
1939, composed by Johnny Marks
These songs are just a small sample of how the Jewish have so gratefully contributed to the Christian’s Christmas holiday. Today, we need to give a special thanks and remember their heritage comes from a more somber background . Taking for granted our love for the Christmas holiday, is richly deserved from the Jewish. And my prayers this year is to share homage – regardless of what you think or believe. We are all men of God!
Christ has risen, if only in our hearts!