The best-selling song in history. With 50 million copies, it’s the most purchased single ever. The song was written by the Jewish singer-songwriter Irving Berlin in 1940, but its most famous version is undoubtedly the one recorded by Bing Crosby, which is still today the best-selling Christmas song in the world. It has never been out of production. Berlin was aware that he had written something that would remain in the story, in fact the morning after composing White Christmas went to his secretary and told her: “Grab your pen and take down this song. It’s the best song I ever wrote. Hell, it’s the best song anybody ever wrote.”

Curiosity

 

Berlin wrote White Christmas for a musical that was never produced. This did not prevent the song from becoming very famous, it was used in  “Holiday Inn”, a movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in 1942; but the most surprising use of this song was with no doubt the one by the American army. In April 1975 it was played on the Army radio as a coded signal to warn the soldiers involved in the terrible Vietnam war, to evacuate Saigon.

The covers

I don’t have to say it, maybe for its universal character and symbolic power, White Christmas also hits another record: it’s one of the songs that boasts more cover and reinterpretations. Let’s mention the most popular and the most bizarre ones. Undoubtedly unusual is Bob Marley version, together with the Weilers which he joined in 1974. The versions of Andrea Bocelli, which reached seventh place in Hungary in 2009, and Michael Bublè, dated 2003, are more classic but of great Christmas impact. In the list of those who wanted to try their hand at playing this track we also find Ringo Starr, Elton John, Elvis Presley (in 1957) and Billy Idol. Icons of today’s young people, such as Taylor Swift (in 2007) also wanted to crown Christmas with the enveloping and evergreen notes of this legendary piece. Irving Berlin was right: he wrote the best song (of Christmas) ever.