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The Golden Era of Christmas Songs

Rich Lowry, National Review

American tastes have drastically changed over the decades, yet our Christmas songbook has remained largely the same. With honorable exceptions — most notably Mariah Carey’s 1994 classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — the most-played and most-beloved Christmas songs date from the 1930s and the couple of decades thereafter. There was a lull in the production of popular Christmas songs in the U.S. between the 1860s and the early 1930s, when the genre exploded and put an indelible imprint on our culture. An annual analysis of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers found that 16 of the 25 most popular Christmas songs last year dated from the 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s.