Here’s the surprising history behind your favorite Christmas Carols!
What if “The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, Frosty and the “One Horse Open Sleigh” had nothing to do with Christmas?
Singing Christmas songs goes hand in hand with baking Christmas treats, listening our favorite Christmas tales, watching our favorite Christmas movies, and not only.
Like everything around this period of the year, everything has a story.
From songs that have been saved from being erased forever to not really knowing for sure where a song came from, here is the history of a few Christmas Carols you know and sing still today!
Enjoy our Advent Calendar 2022!
🎄🎅🏻 THERE ARE ONLY 8 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS 🎅🏻🎄
It’s December and, in modern times, December belongs to Mariah Carey. What are the essential new Christmas songs released in Mariah Carey’s lifetime? “Last Christmas” by Wham, “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney, “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC, “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses….and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey herself.
One of our favorite Christmas Carol came out in 1994 and sounds several eons older than that.
I’m sure that, on impact, the very first time you heard Mariah belt out that very first chorus, it sounded classic, timeless, like it was playing in the manger when Jesus Christ was born.
And it’s an incredibly sad song.
The question before us today is who was “the you” in “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Actually, there was nobody. She had nobody, really, and this song is a fantasy in its purest form.
This song is aspirational, just a reminder that pop music, and maybe especially Christmas-themed pop music, can be as transportive for the singer (and the songwriter) as it is for the listener.
For starters, and this is important to remember, mid-’90s Mariah Carey is already rich and famous. Not unprecedentedly so, but pretty close.
She was born and mostly raised in Long Island, and her self-titled debut album came out in 1990, when she was 21 years old.
Mariah Carey, the album, spent 11 weeks at No.1 on the Billboard album chart, spawned four no.1 singles, ultimately sold 15 million copies worldwide, and won her two Grammys, including for Best New Artist.
And she’s won five Grammys total, Mariah Carey, so far in her 30-year career.
In 1993, Mariah Carey married Tommy Mottola, the chairman and CEO of her record label, Sony Music. But Tommy, apparently, was not the dreamlover in question, and this wasn’t a happy marriage. For more on this topic I refer you to her autobiography, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, cowritten with Michaela Angela Davis and published in September 2020. And, really, it isn’t a happy book.
Mariah’s mother was a white opera singer of Irish descent whose family disowned her for marrying Mariah’s Black father. They divorced when Mariah was little, and she struggled, growing up, with her biracial identity. She writes, “My first encounters with racism were like a first kiss in reverse”, and she endures a barrage of racial slurs from her white classmates.
So that little girl gets rich and famous.
She says, however, that she married the swaggering and terrifying and all-powerful Tommy Mottola not so much for love, but because he could protect her from her own family. But Tommy’s idea of protection was to lock her away. The happy newlyweds owned a multi-million-dollar mansion in upstate Bedford, New York, that Mariah’s husband transformed into a luxurious prison completed with guards, cameras, intercoms so his voice could follow her everywhere.
She was always being watched and was never allowed to leave on her own.
She writes, “I created the fun and free girl in my videos so that I could watch a version of myself be alive, live vicariously through her—the girl I pretended to be, the girl I wished was me.”
Back to the sense of this article, Mariah Carey’s fourth album is called Merry Christmas, and It came out in 1994, the year after Mariah and Tommy got married.
There are 10 songs, on the original.
Including our “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.
It is Mariah’s biggest international success, topping the charts in twenty-six countries including Australia, Canada, France and Germany. In 2020, the holiday classic topped the charts in the United Kingdom for the first time, spending a record 69 weeks in the Top 40 before reaching #1.
Moreover, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is the all-time best-selling Christmas single by a female artist and one of the top-selling physical singles in music history, as well as the first holiday ringtone to be certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA.
🎄🎅🏻 THERE ARE ONLY 8 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS 🎅🏻🎄