Monday, November 14, 2011

An Analysis of Your Favorite Winter Song: Sleigh Ride!

As winter approaches and snowfall twinkles in the moon and starlight, one can't help getting excited about all the fun of the season's activities like skiing, ice skating and winter sleigh rides. Keying into favorite winter songs is pretty typical at this time of year, and one of the most popular songs for many decades has been Sleigh Ride by composer Leroy Anderson.

It's been written that Anderson got the inspiration to write Sleigh Ride during a heatwave in July, 1946. Great way to allow musical creativity to cool one off, don't you agree? From the first time you heard this jaunty tune, complete with the whip crack sound conjuring up an image of people gaily riding along in a horse-drawn, popping the whip just for fun in the cold crisp air to hurry the horse along, no doubt it captured your imagination. It's one of the best known "sound poems" associated with winter, and most assuredly about winter sleigh rides. It even comes complete with a horse's whinny at the end on most of the recordings that have been made!

Sleigh Ride
 has been a hit many times over in the record industry, both as an instrumental (first recorded by The Boston Pops orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler in 1949) as well as a vocal recording. Lyrics by Mitchell Parish were added in 1950, and vocalists and groups including Air Supply, Walter Schumann and The Carpenters all made great use of the vocal arrangement. The upbeat orchestration and fun yet slightly sentimental lyrics put your right in the space of longing to take some winter sleigh rides yourself!

Interestingly, even though the song is usually associated with Christmas, no particular holiday or religion is ever made mention of in the lyrics. Typically included on Christmas compilation albums/CDs, many of the recording artists have chosen to substitute the words "Christmas party" for "birthday party" in the bridge. There's also an original lyric about "pumpkin pie,"  suggesting perhaps Mr. Parish was thinking more of Thanksgiving than Christmas when he wrote about winter sleigh rides. Nonetheless, Sleigh Ride has been extremely popular in the U.S. and abroad, since its first appearance on the music scene. According to a recent ASCAP review of Christmas songs, Sleigh Ride steadily ranks in the Top 10 performed songs during the Christmas season around the world.

So, if you're not already planning to do so, how about filling up the thermos with tasty hot chocolate to take along on some fun winter sleigh rides for you, your friends & family? There's no better way or place to dash through the snow on your winter sleigh rides than with Breckenridge Sleigh Rides. All of their majestic Percheron and Belgian horses are strong, well-trained, gentle giants - over 18 hands high! The majesty of the Colorado mountains is breathtaking as you glide along on your winter sleigh rides, either in a beautiful handcrafted red sleigh, or an intimate, private exclusive sleigh. Winter sleigh rides just don't get any better!

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