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Global Comment Advent Calendar 12: “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee

Written by Story of Song

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By Kate Lillie

Originally published on Global Comment

Today’s song takes us all the way back to the 1950s, and it sounds very much of that era as well. Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree was recorded in 1958 when Lee herself was – amazingly – just thirteen years old. Decca released the song that year and again in 1959 but it didn’t chart until 1960 when Lee had become better-known.

One of the most enduring Christmas songs, it’s also one of the most-covered, although very few of the covers are memorable and none are as good as the original, which features in the movie Home Alone (interestingly Jingle Bell Rock, another Brenda Lee Christmas single, features in Home Alone 2. I feel a theme here). I remember the Mel & Kim version from the 1980s which was a parody version for charity but although I’m sure it was funny at the time, it’s terrible now.

Brenda Lee’s version however has stood the test of time. I have to say that I never realised that pumpkin pie was a Christmas tradition in 1950s America (I always think of it as a Thanksgiving thing) but according to the song, it’s also a Christmas staple – but then who would turn down extra pumpkin pie? Not me.

Get your slice of 1950s Christmas Americana here

Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

Written by Story of Song

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