Meaning of Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley & Song Story

Most cult musicians have at least one hit Christmas song in their repertoire. Elvis Presley recorded an entire Elvis’ Christmas Album composed of such compositions. The main holiday hit of the “King of Rock and Roll” was the track Blue Christmas, released in 1957.

The public still loves the Elvis version. In 2019, the song reached the top 40 of the main Billboard chart. Is it any wonder that many music lovers have forgotten the first Blue Christmas performers. But she conquered the charts even before Presley, who, by the way, did not want to record her at all.

The story of the creation of the song Blue Christmas

The authors of the work are songwriter Jay Johnson and composer Billy Hayes. Johnson got the idea in 1948 while riding the morning train to work and leafing through newspapers. It was Christmas time, and all publications were full of thematic headlines, congratulations and seasonal advertising.

In general, if Jay Johnson had not thought of writing a Christmas song under that name, sooner or later this idea would have come to the head of another author. Judge for yourself. At that time, the whole country knew, loved and sang Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. Blues continued to gain popularity in the USA. It’s amazing that no one thought of turning White Christmas into Blue Christmas before.

Johnson made the first sketches of the future hit right in the car. The full lyrics of Blue Christmas were ready in a few days. Jay showed them to his friend Billy Hayes. Then they worked together on the text, after which Hayes set the final version to music.

The meaning of the song Blue Christmas

In English, the word blue means not only the color blue. It is widely used to describe a depressed state. The protagonist meets the holidays without a lover who does not share his feelings. His mood is dreary, and the title of the song can be translated into Franch as “Sad Christmas”.

Recording and release

The authors sent the composition to their New York publisher, who began looking for an artist. At first, no one took up the song. Then it was recorded by several artists at once: Doye O’Dell (Doye O’Dell), Hugo Winterhalter (Hugo Winterhalter), Ernest Tubb (Ernest Tubb) and Russ Morgan (Russ Morgan).

It is believed that it was Ernest Tubb’s country version of Blue Christmas that drew the attention of the public to the new Christmas song. She even spent a week at number one on the Billboard Most-Played Juke Box Records chart.

In the mid-fifties, most country musicians included Blue Christmas in their holiday concert programs.

Video of Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

Elvis really liked the work of Ernest Tubb, so his decision to record Blue Christmas seemed logical and understandable. Only now Presley was going to perform a composition in the spirit of classic country, and producer Steve Sholes (Steve Sholes) demanded a more modern presentation.

Then the enraged “King” persuaded backing singers Millie Kirkham and The Jordanaires to start fooling around and sing a song so strange that Scholes refused it altogether. The cunning plan didn’t work. Steve liked their version, and it was included in the Elvis Christmas Album, published October 15, 1957.

It was first released as a single in 1964. The track peaked at number eleven on the UK charts.

Check out Elvis Presley’s Blue Chrismas music video.

In January 2019, Blue Christmas peaked at number forty on the Billboard Hot 100. It became Elvis Presley’s first top 40 song since 1981.

Other cover versions

After the “King” the song was recorded by many famous bands. In 1960, Blue Christmas was played by The Browns.

In 1964, Blue Christmas was performed by The Beach Boys.

Shakin’ Stevens’ song “Blue Christmas” reached number two on the UK charts.

In 2008, Martina McBride sang Blue Chrismas in a virtual duet with Elvis Presley.

Interesting Facts

  • Elvis often performed songs with the word blue in the title. Think Blue Moon of Kentucky, Blue Hawaii, Blue Suede Shoes, Blueberry Hill, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain and Blue River.

Blue Christmas Lyrics by Elvis Presley

I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas

You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white,
But I’ll have a blue, blue Christmas
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white,
But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue Christmas

Billy Hayes, Jay W Johnson

Elvis Presley Lyrics Blue Christmas Alternative

I will have a sad Christmas without you.
I will be very sad just thinking of you.
Red decorations on a green Christmas tree
Will not be the same, dear, if you are not here with me.

And when the blue snowflakes start to fall
Then sad memories will start to appear.
You’ll be all right with a white Christmas
And I’ll have a sad, sad, sad, blue Christmas.

You’ll be all right with a white Christmas
And I’ll have a sad, blue Christmas.
You’ll be all right with a white Christmas
And I’ll have a sad, sad, blue Christmas.

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