Review

White Christmas: The Story of an American Song

by Jody Rosen



"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas..." How many time have you
hummed or sung this song over the years? Both Holiday Inn
(the movie that first featured the song) and White Christmas
are holiday classics. I know we watch each film at least once in
our house each holiday season.

When I saw an entire book about this one song, I wondered how so
much could be written about one tune. I read on to learn that the
Bing Crosby version alone has sold 31 million copies, how this song
inspired a number of nativity-free carols and how it was born from
the songwriting genius, Irving Berlin, a former cantor.

Jody Rosen weaves historical references into his prose, summing up
the mood of the nation as this song found its way into play. For
anyone who enjoys a glimpse into a songwriter's notes, this book
provides a look into Berlin's original lyrics, the first sixteen
bars of which were rarely sung!

The story begins with the story of Irving Berlin, but travels much
further as the song's popularity gained momentum. For any fans of
holiday music, or classic beloved songs, this book is a must.

May you have a white Christmas, wherever you are, even if it is
just watching snow fall in a movie. If you want to give more than a
book, here are some gift suggestions to pair with this (though I am
sure you can figure some of these out alone): A CD of Bing singing
this classic, videos of White Christmas and Holiday
Inn
, or a snowglobe of one of your favorite snowy holiday
scenes.

Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald on January 24, 2011

White Christmas: The Story of an American Song
by Jody Rosen

  • Publication Date: November 28, 2002
  • Genres: Music, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • ISBN-10: 0743218752
  • ISBN-13: 9780743218757