Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. However, as Wikipedia points out, it isn't necessarily even a Christmas song. It's more of a winter song. I find it fascinating that Leroy Anderson started working on the music during a heat wave in 1946. Yeah. A song about a snowy day born out of a heat wave. I wonder if the winter part of it was his idea or the idea of Mitchell Parrish, who wrote the lyrics in 1950?

I can't help but smile at the catchy tune and lyrics... "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too! Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!" Sounds good to me! When can we go? As I mentioned in my post on White Christmas, I love snow, and watching it fall is thrilling (at least, for me it is). I have happy memories of playing in the snow, sledding, building snowmen and making snow angels. I don't recall if I've ever ridden a sleigh, though. I've been on hay rides. Does that count? :-) The song just makes me want to get on a sleigh right now and go for a ride, with someone beside me to keep me warm and with whom I can enjoy the day. Of course, as the song suggests, we would have to be singing at the top of our lungs. When we're not sleighing, maybe we could get out and have a snowball fight.

"There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray. It'll be the perfect ending to a perfect day."

I've always thought Farmer Gray, who is hosting a birthday party (notice it doesn't say Christmas party), was a historical person. Now I'm not so sure. It may be someone Mitchell Parrish knew, or it may just be that Gray rhymes with day.

Whatever the case, the next part of the song brings back more happy winter memories for me. At this point, we are all celebrating a birthday party inside the farmhouse, sitting in front of the fireplace and getting warm. The chestnuts are popping, and we're passing around chocolate (some versions say coffee) and pumpkin pie. Yum!! Well, as I recall, I don't much care for chestnuts, but the sound of them popping would be cool. But chocolate and pumpkin pie! The mention of pumpkin pie seems to indicate that this is early winter, maybe around Thanksgiving. birthday is right around Thanksgiving. Coincidence? I think not! Clearly, Mitchell Parrish had amazing foresight, and he knew that someday Steven Sauke would need a song about his birthday party. Makes sense to me. Just like a picture print by Currier & Ives. For those of us who were born long after Currier & Ives closed their doors, they were a printing company who printed some incredible bits of artwork. Click on the link in this paragraph to see some of their prints.

"These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives!"

Very true. I haven't had very many winters with snow, but I have some great memories of playing in it when I was little, many years ago. (Actually, I haven't fully grown out of it. I made a snow angel a couple weeks ago when it snowed. I don't ever plan to grow out of it.)

In this day and age, life has gotten so complicated. We have tight schedules, and we have to get to work to get our full 40 hours (or more) a week in. When it snows, many people start to go crazy, as cars and snow don't necessarily mix well. Especially when people don't know how to drive in it. Cars aren't built for snow like sleighs are. I submit that instead of driving cars in the snow, we should all get horses and sleighs. It would make the snowy commute so much more fun to ride in vehicles that are actually built to be used in snow. Then we can go home in our sleigh, make some hot chocolate, and sit in front of the fire and write blog entries on the song "Sleigh Ride."

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