Winter Wonderland

Grandma MosesThe painting Joy Ride by Grandma Moses (1953), has evoked the feeling of an idealic Christmas communal gathering of family and friends for the last fifty years.

Having begun painting in earnest at the age of 78, Grandma Moses (1860 – 1961) is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age.

Winter Wonderland, Bing Crosby 1962
“Winter Wonderland” is a winter song, popularly treated as a Christmas time pop standard, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (composer) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Richard was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale’s Central Park covered in snow. Mr. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis. The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This excellent “studio” orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. Due to its seasonal theme, “Winter Wonderland” is often regarded as a Christmas song in the Northern Hemisphere, although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. There is a mention of “sleigh-bells” several times, implying that this song refers to the Christmas period.

You may find yourself asking who is Parson Brown. One can assume that “Parson” is used as a title, instead of a first name. In the period when this song was written, parsons (now known as a Protestant minister) often traveled among small rural towns to perform wedding ceremonies for denominational followers who did not have a local minister of their faith. Therefore, the children are most likely pretending that their snowman is a Parson with the surname “Brown,” which would be visiting the town again in the future.

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About David Mills

David is the Founder, Catalyst, and Co-creator of Workplace Hidden Opportunities. Workplace Hidden Opportunities is an information management Specialized Knowledge Platform™ (SKP™) focused exclusively on the workplace and corporate real estate. Together with the W100 a book by the same title is in progress.
This entry was posted in 2014, Arts, II. Winter Wonderland and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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