Song 32 – White Christmas

SONG: White Christmas

ARTIST: Bing Crosby

YEAR: 1947

SONG: White Christmas

ARTIST: Bing Crosby

YEAR: 1947

Listen to it here: 

1942 Original:

1947 Re-recording


White Christmas was written by Irving Berlin, possibly in 1940 in either La Quinta, California or the Arizona Biltmore.  It was first performed by Bing Crosby on Christmas Day, 1941, and recorded it again with an orchestra in about 18 minutes in 1942.  The song was a departure from the regular sacred Christmas carol fare and opened the market for secular, heart warming, nostalgic Christmas songs.   On the charts the song was originally a total flop but gained momentum by late October 1942 and topped Your Hit Parade.

The song appeared in the movie Holiday Inn and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1942.  Crosby re-recorded the song several times, and the version most often heard by modern ears is a 1947 recording where Crosby tried to duplicate the 1942 recording as closely as possible, but is discernible due to the later recording having flutes and celesta in the beginning.

The song has been covered multiple times and has a firm spot in the Christmas conscience


For info on Bing Crosby, head back to our review of Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?


The song holds the Guinness World Record for highest selling single of all time worldwide, with over 50 million copies sold.


How do you begin to judge this song objectively?  It’s one of the most ubiquitous Christmas songs out there!  It also reminds me of my ex husband who thought White Christmas was the best Christmas movie when everyone knows it’s Die Hard.  Anyway, I feel like with this song we hear Bing at his crooner-iest and the orchestra sounds like it was doused in a healthy helping of syrup.  It DOES make me feel that nostalgic feel, of going to see the Woodwards windows with Holly and our dad, or decorating our real Christmas tree with mom and watching her put up the festive window applique.  It was never in heavy rotation in our house, so I honestly could probably live on without owning it, and be fine hearing it on TV/radio/grocery stores.


Another song that’s difficult to judge as a stand alone piece. Everyone knows this song, and I’d argue that everyone knows this specific version as well. We’ve talked before about what a great crooner Bing Crosby is, and this definitely still stands. I don’t like Christmas music as a rule, but if I had to listen to a Christmas song, I guess this would be one I might pick. The background orchestra is terribly scored and sounds dated though. I imagine somebody could have done a great job with lusher harmonies and better wind parts. As far as Christmas songs go, it’s just ok. PS – If anyone reading our blog out there wants to suggest a REALLY GREAT Bing Crosby tune, I’d love to hear it!

Average mark out of 10:

Holly: 6/10

Kelly: 6/10

Other notable versions of this song (include youtube links when possible)

Otis Redding with a soulful offering!

Michael Buble for some local talent:

Listen with us!

Link to 1,001 Songs to Hear Before You Die spotify playlist:

Published by Kelly

What I like: Music, travel, coffee, beer, makeup and photography! My gear: Canon EOS 60D and 18-200mm lens. Where call home: Vancouver, BC, Canada Photography Experience: Very amateurish.

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