The day started with a squeal of delight from the room next to mine. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and the children awoke to Christmas music from their clock radio. More than any other tradition, this signals the beginning of the holiday season in our home. As we have moved through this busy holiday season, there have been many conversations about the different songs played this time of year and which is our favorite. Those conversations led to a discussion about the Christmas music played during World War II.
Here is a list of the most popular Christmas songs by year from the beginning of the war in 1939 until 1945.
1939 “When Winter Comes” Performed by Artie Shaw & his Orchestra, Written by Irving Berlin
1941 “Snowfall” Performed by Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra, Written by Claude Thornhill
1941 “Winter Weather” Performed by Benny Goodman, Written by Ted Shapiro
1942 “Happy Holiday” Performed by Bing Crosby, Written by Irving Berlin
1942 “White Christmas” Performed by Bing Crosby, Written by Irving Berlin
1943 “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” Performed by Bing Crosby, Written by Kim Gannon
1943 “Let’s Start the New Year Right” Performed by Bing Crosby, Written by Irving Berlin
1944 “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” Performed by Judy Garland, Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin
1945 “The Bells of St. Mary’s” Performed by Bing Crosby, Written by A. Emmett Adams and Douglas Furber
1945 “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Performed by Vaughn Monroe, Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
If Christmas music is not your favorite thing, here is a list of the top not related holiday songs for this week in December 1944.
- Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots, “I’m Making Believe” Written by James V. Monaco with lyrics by Mack Gordon
- Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters, “Don’t Fence Me In” Written by Cole Porter
- Bert Ambrose & his Orchestra, “I’ll Be Seeing You” Written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal
- The Ink Spots, “A Lovely Way to Spend An Evening” Written by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson
While researching this piece, I came across a song by Nat King Cole that I had to share. This particular song is not for holidays, although there are several songs performed by Cole that are holiday classics. Instead, I found that Nat King Cole wrote a song entitled D-Day, which he wrote and released in honor of the soldiers called to go ashore on Normandy’s beaches. I hope that you enjoy all of these songs and welcome your feedback below.