What a wonderful, what a wonderful time – that’s how it happens, and I want to call the long-awaited New Year holidays, a happy time of relaxation and enjoyment of traditional Christmas music. Among foreign Christmas hits, a song with a self-explanatory title is especially popular – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which is what Christmas calls – this is the most wonderful time of the year. This article contains the history of the creation of the song, which is of interest to many, and, most importantly, an explanation of what its meaning is, with quotes from the original text of the composition.
History of creation
The song It’s the most wonderful time of the year (“This is the most wonderful time of the year”), recorded specifically for the Christmas album of American pop singer Andy Williams (Andy Williams), was first heard in late 1962, when Andy performed it on a holiday episode of his the popular variety show The Andy Williams Show, which airs on NBC. The song was written by Edward Pola and composed by George Wyle (also known from the Gilligan’s Island soundtrack).
Surprisingly, Williams’ label Columbia Records released another track as an official promotional single for the album, a cover version of Williams’ “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. However, it was the hit It’s the most wonderful time of the year that topped the special Billboard Christmas Singles chart and became the #1 selling Christmas single. In the future, Andy Williams recorded seven more Christmas albums, and the song loved by everyone appeared in each of them. For the frequent performance of this festive single in bright sweaters on Christmas TV shows, Andy Williams began to be called “Mr. Christmas.”
Reaching number 21 on the UK Singles Chart, the Christmas hit has been consistently in the top 10 for the past few years. Billboard magazine in 2009 placed the song at number 5 on their “Best Holiday Songs (since 2001)” list. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has been publishing the most played Christmas songs on the radio since this year, and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” took 4th place in 2010.
The song entered the Top 10 for the first time on the US Hot 100 chart on December 29, 2018, peaking at number ten. It was Williams’ first Top 10 hit since 1971 with “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story”. The gap of 47 years, eight months and three days between two appearances of It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the top of the chart broke the record for the longest time between a US Top 10 hit.
On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the 2020 holiday season, the song peaked at number 5 on January 2, 2021.
Over the years, this song called It’s the most wonderful time of the year has become a constant companion of the holiday, it has been covered for their Christmas albums by several artists, including Johnny Mathis, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Paul Anka, Chicago, Kylie Minogue and Jennifer Lopez. Harry Connick, Jr.’s version for his album What a Night! A Christmas Album, peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. A 2020 cover by Stevie McKee, Jennifer Lopez and The Eleven for McKee’s “The Wonderful Time” charted at #24 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for the week of December 12-19, 2021. Be that as it may, all subsequent versions of the song, including Andy Williams himself, are inferior in popularity to the original 1963.
The song has also made its mark on cinema: it is featured in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) as an ironic digression as Kevin McCallister’s family begins their Florida vacation standing in a downpour at the entrance to a seedy motel, and in 1996 film Jingle All the Way, performed by Johnny Mathis.
The meaning of the song
What is the meaning of such a famous composition and what is it about? Firstly, as you might guess, we are talking about Christmas, about festive fun, attributes, traditions associated with it. The first verse immediately mentions children ringing bells (“The kids jingle belling”), and the tradition of wishing everyone around to be in a good mood – “to be of good cheer”. The image of a Merry Christmas creates an enumeration of what this time of fun is associated with – holiday wishes (“holiday greetings”), happy meetings with friends (“happy meetings when friends come to call”) and invitations to parties (“parties for hosting”).