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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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All I Want for Christmas Is…

Dec 09, 2015

By Dean George

In December, Christmas music is like the frosty air we breathe – it’s everywhere! This Yuletide “mood music” is heard at shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, office buildings - even in restrooms and elevators!

Whether you’re decking your halls with holiday decorations or dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card you write, chances are you are “surround-sounded” by holiday music brimming with bouncy melodies and cheerful lyrics.

The origins of some popular Christmas songs are surprising. One of Yuletide’s best known songs, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) was actually penned on a hot July day in 1945 in southern California. Written by Mel Torme, the popular song was based on a four-line poem snippet from Torme’s lyricist partner Bob Wells.

“It’s so hot today, I thought I’d write something to cool myself off,” Wells reportedly told Torme when asked about the poem. “All I could think of was Christmas and cold weather.”

I think you may have something here, Torme said. Forty-five minutes later a Christmas classic was born.

Likewise, another unique Christmas song was written just a year earlier when 31-year-old music teacher Don Gardner and his wife were working with 22 second-graders in Smithtown, New York.

When Gardner asked the class what they wanted for Christmas, he noticed two things: one was all the lisps he’d heard as the children excitedly shared their thoughts. The second thing he noticed was how many of the children were missing their baby teeth.

“Everybody stops and stares at me

These two teeth are gone as you can see…”

Gardner spent a half-hour that night composing a catchy little tune that the music students later sang for the school’s Christmas pageant. Little did he know at the time that his “silly little song” would earn him royalties until his death in 2004.

A few years later a woman who worked for a music publishing company heard Gardner sing the song at a music teacher’s conference. The woman introduced Gardner to her boss and Witmark Music Company published the song in 1948.

“I don't know just who to blame for this catastrophe

But my one wish on Christmas Eve is as plain as can be…”

Long before musical satirist Weird Al Yankovic there was Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Jones and his band specialized in performing funny parodies of popular songs in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

On Dec 6, 1948 Jones’ band recorded Gardner’s song featuring trumpeter and vocalist George Rock imitating a little boy in a falsetto voice.  The song eventually reached #1 on the pop charts that year.

“It seems so long since I could say,

"Sister Susie sitting on a thistle."

Gosh, oh gee, how happy I'd be

If I could only whistle.”

Since the Jones recording Gardner’s song has become an annual Christmas staple and been performed by Nat King Cole, The Andrews Sisters, The Platters, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Mariah Carey, The Boston Pops, Ray Stevens, George Strait and even The Three Stooges.

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” inspired other well known Christmas songs like “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,””A Holly, Jolly Christmas” and “A Marshmallow World.”  
Gardner later composed church music, directed church and community choirs, wrote songs for music textbooks and became a music consultant and editor for a music publisher.

No one may have been more surprised than Gardner himself at the success of his lighthearted song.   "I was amazed at the way that silly little song was picked up by the whole country," Gardner shared in 1995 in an article for his alumni newsletter.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and if you are interested in plans that can help both your front teeth and the rest of them, click here. To make Santa’s good boys and girls list, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn

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Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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