On my way home yesterday I happened to catch this holiday song by Frank Sinatra. I’ve probably heard it 50 times over the last 5 years. I have the Sinatra Christmas album it is on, but never really seemed to play this song as a “favorite.” Yesterday, however, the lyrics hit me like I was hearing it for the first time.
I’m not sure whether it is because of the way I’m feeling this year, or that I’ve reached the age where it hits home a little more. I just now that as I listened to it, I came to appreciate it more than I ever have.
The song was written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Don Costa. Costa was a conductor and producer who worked with Frank on a many of his hit albums, including My Way. Frank recorded this song in October of 1975 for his label, Reprise Records.
The song begins with a beautiful string arrangement. As Frank begins to sing, you can hear he is older. His voice is tender, but a bit weaker than his older hits. To me, this makes the song even more enjoyable. Here is an older man, looking back on the memories of Christmas and experiencing all the nostalgic feelings that come with them.
As the singers sing the bridge of the song, I picture Frank sitting in a chair, lost in thought and smiling at the various memories that fill his head. Maybe they bring tears or maybe a smile. As Frank begins to sing again, he elaborates on what I am already picturing. He closes his eyes and he is flooded with the memories of every Christmas he has lived through.
The song is short, coming in at just over 2 minutes. There are four simple verses. Yet so many emotions are conveyed by the wonderful arrangement and Sinatra’s perfect vocal interpretation.
It is not a song that you will hear on your local “Christmas station,” and that is a shame. It is certainly one of my favorites and will remain that way for a very long time. I just know that it will mean more with each passing year.
Christmas Memories – Frank Sinatra
Singing carols, stringing popcorn
Making footprints in the snow
Memories, Christmas memories
They’re the sweetest ones I know
Cookies baking in the kitchen
Cards and ribbons everywhere
Frosty, Christmas memories
Float like snowflakes in the air
And, oh, the joy of waking Christmas mornings
The family round the tree
We had a way of making Christmas morning
As merry as can be
I close my eyes and see shiny faces
Of all the children who now have children of their own
Funny, but comes December
And I remember every Christmas I’ve known