Do you ever wonder what inspires composers and songwriters to create the music they do? Would you be surprised to learn that some of our favorite Christmas tunes were written in the heat of the summer? Music is a great time traveler. Hearing a beloved song can quickly take us back in time through the memories we have of singing or listening to it years ago with friends and family. Christmas music has even more power to help us recall fond memories from our younger days. Many of the songs we hear at Christmastime today are the same ones we enjoyed when we were younger and in some cases, even our parents and grandparents enjoyed when they were younger – often even by the same artists. Check the copyright dates of Christmas classics and you will find that “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was first published in 1949, “Winter Wonderland” in 1934, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943. Even though these songs are decades old, they are still loved by children and adults today. On today’s podcast, I’ll share some of the interesting things I discovered about some of the songs we enjoy throughout the holiday season. Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson (Woodbury, CT July 1946) LeroyAnderson.org During a July heat wave and drought, Leroy was digging trenches to try to find some old pipes coming from a spring. He began composing several tunes, including Sleigh Ride (Sleðaferð), in which he envisioned as a musical depiction of the winter season long ago. Here is a wonderful video of John Williams conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in “Sleigh Ride”. Boston Pops premiered “Sleigh Ride” May 4, 1948, not your typical calendar date for a holiday tune. My favorite part is the moving bass line at 1:50 of the video. The Christmas Song by Bob Wells and Mel Tormè (Toluca Lake, CA July 1945) PerformingSongwriter.com It was a sweltering hot July afternoon in 1945 when Mel Tormé showed up for a writing session at the Toluca Lake house of his lyric partner Bob Wells. … “It’s so d— hot today, I thought I’d writing something to cool myself off,” Wells replied. “All I could think of was Christmas and cold weather.