Johnny Mathis: Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride is a song that is included on many Christmas albums but the word Christmas or any mention of Christmas is absent from the song.

For those wanting to sing along with the above video the lyrics are provided by All Christmas

Still it is one of my favorite songs sang during the Christmas season. The Johnny Mathis version in my opinion is by the far the best of the many versions sung over the years.

The composer Leroy Anderson finished writing the music for the song in 1948 while the lyrics weren’t written until 1950 by Mitchell Parish.

The song is thought to be first recorded by the Andrews Sisters in 1950. Johnny Mathis didn’t record his popular version until 1958.

A book about Leroy Anderson written by Steve Metcalf makes this shocking statement which can be taken for what it is worth:

According to author Steve Metcalf in the book Leroy Anderson: A Bio-Bibliography [Praeger 2004], “‘Sleigh Ride’ … has been performed and recorded by a wider array of musical artists than any other piece in the history of Western music.”

Personally I would beg to differ but have no proof to back it up since I am sure there are other songs that have been recorded by more artists than Sleigh Ride.

The following article written about the 25 Christmas songs four years ago tells some interesting facts including the fact that Johnny Marks best known for writing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer also wrote two other songs in the Top 25 Christmas songs.

Those songs are Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Holly, Jolly Christmas.



Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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