Tragic story behind holiday favorite 'White Christmas' that few people know about

Rebelander Basilan
Dec 10, 2018
02:25 A.M.

The best-selling Christmas song of all time "White Christmas" has a tragic backstory.


The 1942 song was written by lyricist Irving Berlin, who was generally considered as one of the best songwriters in American history.

Berlin and his wife Ellin Mackay lost their three-week-old son, Irving Berlin Jr., on Christmas Eve in 1928, so the couple visited their infant's grave every year on December 25.

Jody Rosen, the author of "White Christmas: The Story of an American Song," told NPR, "It's very melancholy. And I think this really makes it stand out amongst kind of chirpy seasonal standards: 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' 'Let It Snow.'"

Source: YouTube/BingCrosbyLegacy

Source: YouTube/BingCrosbyLegacy

Follow us on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, to learn more and scroll down to watch the video below.


"And I think that's one of the reasons why people keep responding to it, because our feelings over the holiday season are ambivalent," he added.

Rosen continued, "The kind of deep secret of the song may be that it was Berlin responding in some way to his melancholy about the death of his son."

Berlin, who passed away on September 22, 1989, initially composed the song for a musical that inevitably transformed into the motion picture "Holiday Inn."

Singer Bing Crosby previously recorded his own version and released it in 1942. His cover of the song is now the world's best-selling single with estimated sales of more than 50 million copies worldwide.


In an interview, Crosby, who died on October 14, 1977, said, "I hesitated about doing it because invariably it caused such a nostalgic yearning among the men, that it made them sad."


"Heaven knows, I didn't come that far to make them sad. For this reason, several times I tried to cut it out of the show, but these guys just hollered for it," he added.

In 1954, the song became the title track of Crosby's Christmas musical, "White Christmas."

Since then, "White Christmas" has been covered by several artists, including Elvis Presley, Karen Carpenter, and Lady Gaga.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Ariana Grande Still Pays Tributes to Late Ex for Whose Well-Being She Spent ‘Years of Work and Fighting'

September 16, 2023

People Reveal the Craziest Wills They Ever Saw

October 18, 2023

People Share the Darkest Family Secrets They've Ever Discovered

October 19, 2023

Presley Scott Harwell Passed Away Shortly after Birth – Facts about Steve Harwell's Son

September 05, 2023

‘Total Garbage,’ Music Teacher Mocks Immigrant Student’s Song, Hears It on Radio Later – Story of the Day

October 26, 2023

Michael Conrad Braxton Jr. Is a Musician – Facts about Toni Braxton's Brother

July 19, 2023

Cher, 77, Broke Her Rules for Younger Boyfriend, 37: Their First Meeting Was Only 'About 15 Minutes'

October 13, 2023

Mom Holds Her Newborn Triplets for the 1st Time, Unaware She’ll Never See Them Again

October 18, 2023

Lana Del Rey Spotted Working a Shift at Waffle House after Being Slammed for Weight Gain

July 24, 2023

40 Wild Stories About People Who Got Fired On Day One

October 06, 2023

Man Finds Out He Was Raising a Stranger’s Daughter for 15 Years — She Proposes Adoption Soon After

July 24, 2023

Genevieve Gallen's Life after Becoming Verne Troyer's Ex-wife

July 25, 2023

Jane Birkin's Husband: The Actress Married John Barry at 18 & They Had a Daughter

July 18, 2023

Alan Jackson’s Siblings: The Singer Has 4 Older Sisters

September 20, 2023