It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
Song by Andy Williams
from the album The Andy Williams Christmas Album
ReleasedOctober 14, 1963
GenreChristmas
Length2:33
Songwriter(s)Edward Pola and George Wyle

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is a popular Christmas song written in triple time in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was recorded and released that year by pop singer Andy Williams for his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album. However, the song was not released as a promotional single by Williams' record label (Columbia Records) that year, as they instead opted to promote his cover of "White Christmas" as the official promo single from the album.[1]

Song content[edit]

The song is a celebration and description of activities associated with the Christmas season, focusing primarily on get-togethers between friends and families. Among the activities included in the song is the telling of "scary ghost stories," a Victorian Christmas tradition that has mostly fallen into disuse,[2][3] but survives in the seasonal popularity of numerous adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Other activities mentioned include hosting parties, spontaneous visits from friends, universal social gaiety, spending time with loved ones, sledding for children, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories about previous Christmases, and singing Christmas carols in winter weather.

In a 2005 interview, Williams discusses how The Andy Williams Show figured into his recording of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year": "George Wyle, who is a vocal director, who wrote all of the choir stuff and all of the duets and trios and things that I did with all the guests, he wrote a song just for the show – I think the second Christmas show we did – called 'Most Wonderful Time of the Year'. So I did that, you know, every Christmas, and then other people started doing it. And then suddenly it's become – not suddenly but over 30 years – it's become a big standard. I think it's one of the top 10 Christmas songs of all time now."[4]

The song was selected as the theme song for Christmas Seals in both 2009 and 2012.

Other notable versions[edit]

Use in advertising and parodies[edit]

Since 1995, the song was used humorously in the Staples office supply retail chain's annual back to school advertising campaign. In the commercials, the parents joyously shop for school supplies to this song in anticipation of the upcoming school year while their children sullenly follow.

The Johnny Mathis rendition of the song is used to comic effect in the 1996 film, Jingle All the Way.[8]

BarlowGirl's cover of the song was used to promote Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Winfrey Special.[9]

In the Autumn and early winter of 2011, Nissan Motors advertising for their annual sale included a production number featuring an Andy Williams-like voice actor, with lyrics modified to promote the sale event.[10]

A 2013 YouTube video promoting the Disneyland Resort's Halloween celebrations humorously used the song over shots of various Disney villains spreading mischief throughout resort's theme parks.[11]

In June 2013, Co-op Food used the song for its summer advert, but removed the Christmas references from it.

The song also played by Ellen DeGeneres during the segment of "12 Days of Giveaways".

The song was parodied by singer, songwriter, and producer Dana Kamide in November 2016 on YouTube, just days after President Donald Trump won the election. The parody title was called "It's the Most Wonderful Time in 8 Years". The video begins with George Bailey from the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, asking God to help Donald Trump to "Make America Great Again".[12]

The song was spoofed again by The Coca-Cola Company in a Sprite Cranberry commercial in 2017. The spoof's title was called "It's the Thirstiest Time of the Year". It became popular as a meme in December 2018.

Chart performance[edit]

In the issue of Billboard magazine dated November 28, 2009, the list of the "Top 10 Holiday Songs (Since 2001)" places the Williams recording of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" at number five.[13] 2001 also marked the first year in which the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) started compiling data regarding the radio airplay of holiday songs, and although the Williams classic started out at number 25 of twenty-five songs that were ranked that year,[14] it gained steam over the next ten years, reaching number 18 in 2002,[15] number 13 in 2003,[16] and eventually getting to number four in 2010.[17]

Because of its use in an advertisement for Marks & Spencer,[18] a CD single of the Williams recording was released in the UK in 2007 and gave the song its first of many annual appearances on the UK singles chart.[19] In December 2011, Billboard returned to the practice of publishing a seasonal Christmas singles chart, and the Williams song debuted at number eight on the newly-christened Holiday 100,[20] where it has reappeared every year since. In December 2016, his version also began a series of chart runs on the Billboard Hot 100, and in December 2018, it reached a peak of number 10.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920-2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 65. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  2. ^ "Telling ghost stories is a lost tradition on Christmas Eve". 23 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Told After Supper by Jerome K. Jerome" – via www.gutenberg.org.
  4. ^ Williams, Andy. Interviewed by Karen Herman. Archive of American Television, A Program of the Television Academy Foundation. emmytvlegends.org, 19 September 2005. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Andy Williams - The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". mp3lemon.ws. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25.
  6. ^ "Harry Connick, Jr. Awards".
  7. ^ "Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Jingle All the Way (1996)". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Christmas at the White House An Oprah Primetime Special". YouTube. December 14, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "Holiday Cheer". Billboard. 2009-11-28. p. 38.
  14. ^ "ASCAP Announces Top 25 Holiday Songs -- Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" Tops List". findarticles.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  15. ^ "ASCAP Updates Top 25 Holiday Song List -- "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)" Tops List". ASCAP.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  16. ^ "ASCAP Announces the Top 25 Holiday Songs – "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" Tops List". ASCAP.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  17. ^ ""Sleigh Ride" Tops ASCAP's List of Most-Played Holiday Songs in 2010". ASCAP.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Antonio Banderas leading man in new M&S Christmas campaign". Daily Mail. London. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  19. ^ "it's the most wonderful time of the year – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Holiday 100: The week of December 11, 2011". billboard.com. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Andy Williams It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Andy Williams Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  24. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (In the drop down box for charts, select CZ – Singles Digital – Top 100. In the drop down box for dates, select 201851, 52). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". Tracklisten. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Digital Singles Chart (International) – Week: 52/2018". IFPI Greece. Retrieved 8 December 2019.[obsolete source]
  29. ^ "2018. 52. héti Stream Top 40 slágerlista - Hivatalos magyar slágerlisták". Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. 27 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  30. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts" (In the drop down box for the year, select 2018. In the drop down box for the date, select 28-Dec-18. In the drop down box for the number of positions shown, select 30). Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Mūzikas patēriņa tops gadu mijā" (in Latvian). LAIPA. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  34. ^ "Charts.nz – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  35. ^ "Andy Williams – It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  36. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (In the drop down box for charts, select SK – Singles Digital – Top 100. In the drop down box for dates, select 201851, 52). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  37. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  40. ^ "Andy Williams: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  41. ^ "Andy Williams Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  42. ^ "Andy Williams Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  43. ^ "Hitlisten.NU - Danmarks officielle hitlister". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  44. ^ "British single certifications – Andy Williams – It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 13, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]