2012-12-19 / Local & State

Seasonal Song Becomes Favorite

The song “Winter Wonderland” has become a staple of holiday radio. Much like “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland” was not intentionally written to become a Christmas carol, but evolved into one over time.

The song was published in 1934 by composer Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard B. Smith. Smith resided in the town of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and was inspired to write the lyrics of the song after seeing Honesdale Central Park and his own childhood home blanketed in snow. Smith actually wrote the lyrics while being treated in the West Mountain Sanitarium in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for tuberculosis.

Many singers have performed the song throughout the years, so much so that it is often a standard song on artists' holiday compilations. Some of the better-known and earlier versions were made by The Andrews Sisters and Perry Como.

“Winter Wonderland” has evolved into one of those songs that inspires visions of snowy splendor. Original lyrics feature a portion of the song mentioning young lovers being married spontaneously by a traveling “parson,” a Protestant minister. Some thought those lyrics sent the wrong message to children, and another version was written with a circus clown, instead. The song has been sung with either bridge in place and even both in lengthier versions of the tune.

For those who want to enjoy their own winter wonderland and sing along with this classic winter carol, here are the lyrics.

“Winter Wonderland”

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,

In the lane, snow is glistening

A beautiful sight,

We’re happy tonight,

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,

Here to stay is a new bird.

He sings a love song,

As we go along,

Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,

Then pretend that he is Parson Brown

He’ll say, “Are you married?”

We’ll say, “No man,”

But you can do the job

While you’re in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,

As we dream by the fire,

To face unafraid,

The plans that we’ve made,

Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,

And pretend that he’s a circus clown

We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman,

Until the other kiddies knock him down.

When it snows, ain’t it thrilling,

Though your nose gets achilling.

We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,

Walking in a winter wonderland.

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