Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Which song has the lyric, "Everyone dancing merrily, in the new old-fashioned way?"

And the answer: "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

Photo courtesy: fair use. 

First recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958, the song was written by Johnny Marks, the same songwriter who wrote "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "A Holly Jolly Christmas." The tune has since been recorded by dozens of other artists around the world.

From the moment of first recording, Brenda Lee knew "Rockin'" would be a hit. Writer Johnny Marks was inspired by young Lee's talent and fire (the singer was only about 12 at the time of the recording), and immediately knew to recruit her voice for the track. According to Lee, her producers did everything they could to inspire a Christmas sensation from the moment she walked in the studio. In a 2019 interview with Billboard, Lee recalls the atmosphere on that fateful summer day in the studio:

“[Producer] Owen [Bradley] had it all decked out like Christmas. I was only 12 going on 13, so that was a biggie to me. Everybody was dressed Christmassy and the lights were low. He had a Christmas tree. It was wonderful.”

Interestingly, "Rockin'" did take a few years to gain footing. Though the song was released by Decca Records in 1958 and again for the holiday season in 1959, it hit the mainstream in 1960 when Lee’s career was exploding with the hit “I’m Sorry.” Then, after the song was featured in its entirety in Home Alone (1990), a new generation breathed holiday cheer into Lee's classic.

Over the years, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has been recorded by countless artists and is recognized as a Christmas classic across the world.

Listen to the iconic song as featured in Home Alone below.


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