The 12 Days of Christmas Music in 2015, Day 7: “Let It Snow”

Apparently the summer of 1945 in southern California was a cooker. A heat wave prompted two songwriting teams to write a Christmas song simply in an attempt to cool off. While in the thick of the heat Bob Wells and Mel Tormé wrote “The Christmas Song,” and Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne wrote today’s song, “Let It Snow,” trying to imagine their way out of discomfort of blistering heat.

Sammy Cahn wrote with a vaudeville flair, and the three-time repetition of a catchy three-word phrase was a trick he used such as “Make it mine” from the song, “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “You can fly!” from the song of the same name in Peter Pan, and, of course, “Let it snow!” from today’s song. Speaking of this repetitive pattern at the finish, Cahn is known to have said, “If you let people know when they should applaud, they will applaud.” Once I started looking for this motif of repetition I could hear variations of it in other songs by Cahn as well including “High Hopes,” “Bei mir bist du schön,”  and “Call Me Irresponsible.” Of “Let It Snow,” Cahn said, “Now why 3 ‘let it snow’s’? Why not 2 or 4? Because 3 is lyric.” Even if it is lyric, I also like to think that in the case of today’s song the repetition was also just a wish for relief from the southern California heat.

Dean Martin recorded the song in 1959, and that’s the version I’ve posted here. But what does it have to do with a film? Well, not much that I can find, at least directly. But with the release of the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens,  the past few days have been important ones for certain fans of science fiction. I realize that Star Wars and Star Trek are very different and often have overlapping fan bases, but I liked the Star Trek montage of “Let It Snow” better, so here it is. (And sometimes the link looks as though it’s broken, but so far I’ve been able to get it to work.)

And with that, I’m off to see the new Star Wars. 🙂

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