|Single by The Royal Guardsmen|
|from the album Snoopy and His Friends|
|B-side||"It Kinda Looks Like Christmas"|
|Genre||Rock, novelty, Christmas|
|Length||3:10 (single version); 6:16 (album version)|
|Label||Laurie LR 3416|
|Songwriter(s)||George David Weiss, Hugo & Luigi|
|The Royal Guardsmen singles chronology|
"Snoopy's Christmas" is a song performed by The Royal Guardsmen in 1967. It continues to be played as a holiday favorite on most "oldie" radio stations; however, it is also often played on radio stations playing a Hit Music format as well as Adult Contemporary format stations. While these stations wouldn't normally play music from this era radio stations will make exceptions to mix certain Christmas songs with the usual playlist during the Holiday period. Due to a chart department policy instituted by Billboard magazine,[clarification needed] the "Snoopy's Christmas" single never appeared in the Hot 100. It was, however, shown at No. 1 on a specialty list called "Best Bets For Christmas". Cash Box magazine peaked the song at No. 10. The publication. Record World, peaked the song at No. 17.[not verified in body]
A followup to their earlier "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", the song is about how Snoopy had to go out and fight the Red Baron on Christmas Eve. The Baron has Snoopy at his mercy after a long dogfight but, instead of shooting him down he forces Snoopy to land and offers Snoopy a holiday toast. Afterward, Snoopy and the Red Baron fly their separate ways, "each knowing they'd meet on some other day".
The release begins with an unknown chorus singing the German yuletide classic "O Tannenbaum" ("O Christmas Tree"), and the middle of the song is bridged by chimes ringing out a phrase from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". The chimes can also can be heard during the fade-out at the end of the song. The album version of the song has a simulated radio news report of failed efforts at a Christmas truce, leading to Snoopy being sent out to hunt his sworn foe.
Although fictitious, the song is set against the backdrop of a legitimate historical event. During World War I, in 1914, "The Christmas Truce" was initiated not by German and British commanders, but by the soldiers themselves. The length of the cease-fire varied by location, and was reported to have been as brief as Christmas Day or as long as the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Trench-bound combatants exchanged small gifts across the lines, with Germans giving beer to the British, who sent tobacco and tinned meat back in return. No Man's Land was cleared of dead bodies, trenches were repaired and drained, and troops from both sides shared pictures of their families and, in some places, used No Man's Land for friendly games of football. The song even has the initiator correct as it was generally the German soldiers who called over to the British and initiated the truce and, in the song, it is the Red Baron—a German WWI hero—who extends the hand of Christmas friendship to Snoopy.
Popularity in New Zealand and Australia
"Snoopy's Christmas" reached the No. 1 position in the New Zealand and Australia singles charts in 1967, and remains a popular Christmas song in those countries. The song was the fastest-selling single at the time it was originally released and is estimated to be the biggest selling overseas single sold in New Zealand in the 20th century. The song frequently reenters the New Zealand singles chart, charting in December 1987, 1988, 1989, and 2013. "Snoopy's Christmas" was also voted "the worst Christmas song of all time" by readers of the New Zealand Herald in 2007.
- "Christmas Carols - Snoopy's Christmas Lyrics". Metrolyrics.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Snoopy's Christmas The Royal Guardsmen". M.songfacts.com. August 20, 1996. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "HELLFIRE CORNER - The Christmas Truce - 1914". Fylde.demon.co.uk. December 24, 1914. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Snoopy's Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- Hughes, Alistair (December 19, 2013). "Snoopy still flying at Christmas". Dominion Post. Fairfax. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- "THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN - SNOOPY'S CHRISTMAS (SONG)". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- "Snoopy's Christmas 'worst Christmas song of all time'". NZ Herald. APN. December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2014.