Do You Hear What I Hear?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Song by Harry Simeone
WrittenOctober 1962
Composer(s)Gloria Shayne Baker
Lyricist(s)Noël Regney

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" is a song written in October 1962, with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker.[1] The pair, married at the time, wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[2] Regney had been invited by a record producer to write a Christmas song, but he was hesitant due to the commercialism of the Christmas holiday.[3] It has sold tens of millions of copies and has been covered by hundreds of artists.[2]


Regney wrote the lyrics for the song, while Shayne composed the music in October 1962.[2] This was an unusual arrangement for the two writers. Usually it was Shayne who wrote the lyrics for their songs while Regney composed the music, as they did when they wrote a song based on the classic children's song "Rain Rain Go Away".[1][2]

Regney was inspired to write the lyrics "Said the night wind to the little lamb, 'Do you see what I see?'" and "Pray for peace, people everywhere" after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.[1] Shayne stated in an interview years later that neither could personally perform the entire song at the time they wrote it because of the emotions surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis.[1] "Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time."[1]

Recordings and versions[edit]

Original recordings[edit]

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" was released shortly after Thanksgiving in 1962.[1] The song was originally recorded for Mercury Records by the Harry Simeone Chorale,[1] a group which had also popularized "The Little Drummer Boy"; and it was released as part of the album "The Wonderful Songs Of Christmas With The Harry Simeone Chorale". As a 45 rpm single, it went on to sell more than a quarter-million copies during the 1962 Christmas holiday season.[1]

Bing Crosby made the song into a hit when he recorded his own version of it on October 21, 1963,[4] with the record being released as a single on October 26. Crosby also performed the song on a Bob Hope Christmas television special on December 13 of that year. Over the years, Crosby's recording of the song has been widely played on the radio, and has been available on numerous compilation Christmas albums and compact discs put out by Capitol Records.

Cover versions[edit]

The song was later recorded in diverse ways by hundreds of artists including:

Use in a medley with other songs[edit]

Regney said that his favorite version of the song was performed by Robert Goulet: as The New York Times noted, when the singer came to the line "pray for peace, people everywhere," he "almost shouted the words." [31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Noland, Claire (2008-03-15). "Pianist wrote music for holiday song". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Fox, Margalit (2008-03-11). "Gloria Shayne Baker, Composer and Lyricist, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  3. ^ Media, Franciscan. "Franciscan Media". Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  4. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography - Part 4a - Song Index". Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  5. ^ Jones, Jack. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Second Hand Songs. 1964.
  6. ^ Fisher, Eddie. "Mary Christmas". Dot Records. 1965.
  7. ^ Smith, Kate. "The Kate Smith Christmas Album". RCA/Sony Music Distribution. 28 November 1966.
  8. ^ Carroll, Diahann. "Discography". Diahann!
  9. ^ Various Artists. "Christmas Encore". Legacy/Sony Music Distribution. 15 August 1995.
  10. ^ Perry Como with The Ray Charles Singers. "The Perry Como Christmas Album". Kokomo/RCA Victor. Mid-Late August 1968. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2010-05-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Jackson, Mahalia. "Christmas with Mahalia". Columbia/Sony Music Distribution. 1968.
  12. ^ Gladys Knight & the Pips Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's "Do You Hear What I Hear".
  13. ^ Hampton String Quartet. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Hampton String Quartet-Topic. 25 February 2015.
  14. ^ Murray, Anne. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Anne Murray-Topic. 8 November 2014.
  15. ^ Bob Hope & Dolores Hope. "Hopes for the Holidays". Hope Enterprises, Inc. 1993.
  16. ^ LaBelle, Patti. "Do You Hear What I Hear...". YouTube: House of Black Music. 5 January 2017.
  17. ^ Arkenstone, David. "Enchantment: A Magical Christmas". Narada. 9 September 1997.
  18. ^ United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra. "This Is Christmas". Altissimo. 23 September 1997.!-mw0000394012
  19. ^ Anthony Way with St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Maureen Ruiz. 24 December 2009.
  20. ^ Choir of King's College Cambridge. "The Ultimate Carol Collection". Decca Classics. 10 November 1997.
  21. ^ Rosie O'Donnell and Elmo Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's "Do You Hear What I Hear".
  22. ^ Linda Eder and The Broadway Gospel Choir. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Second Hand Songs. 2000.
  23. ^ Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: T.F.S.D.B.-Topic. 14 October 2015.
  24. ^ Horn, Tracy. "Various Artists - 5fm Presents The Santa Sessions". November 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  25. ^ Flyleaf. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Octone. 2005.
  26. ^ "A Country Christmas". Toronto Public Library. 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  27. ^ Headley, Heather. “Do You Hear What I Hear”. YouTube: Heather Headley-Topic. 13 March 2014.
  28. ^ Misalucha, Lani. “The Gift of Christmas”. Universal Records. November 2008.
  29. ^ McIntyre invites New Kids fans to “Come Home for Christmas”. Sean's Space on blogspot on The Poughkeepsie Journal, 8 December 2011.
  30. ^ Vanessa Carlton Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's “Do You Hear What I Hear”.
  31. ^ Douglas Martin: Noel Regney, Songwriter Known for ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ Is Dead at 80., December 1, 2012, last access Dec. 25, 2017.