How about this for irony: Composer Leroy Anderson wrote the Christmas classic "Sleigh Ride" during the middle of a heat wave.
The song "Russian Christmas Music," meanwhile, was actually written by an American after the Allied invasion of France, for a concert promoting Russian-American unity.
Such trivia is, of course, utterly useless to your daily life. But it gives you something to talk about as you hear the same holiday classics over and over this season.
Since you'll undoubtedly hear a lot of other
holiday songs this weekend, we've created a
Christmas music quiz. So sit back, queue up the Perry Como and have at it.
1. The song "Jingle Bells" was actually written to promote:
a. clocks in New York City
b. Gillette razors
c. sleigh racing
2. Robert L. May wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for:
a. his son's dying friend
b. a Chicago Tribune contest
c. Montgomery Ward
d. the movie with Burl Ives
3. In the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," this action contributed to Grandma's accident:
a. she lost her glasses
b. she slipped on a fruitcake
c. she drank too much egg nog
d. she tripped on a quilt she'd made for her grandkids
4. The famous barks from the dog version of "Jingle Bells" were incidentally captured on tape by Carl Weismann while recording these animals:
5. In the "Twelve Days of Christmas," what does "my true love" give to me on the ninth day?
a. nine fish a-swimming
b. nine ladies dancing
c. nine frogs a-leaping
d. nine pipers piping
6. Hundreds of performers have sung "White Christmas." But who actually recorded it first?
a. Bing Crosby
b. Irving Berlin
c. Bob Hope
d. Rosemary Clooney
7. Match the songs below with the movies in which they appeared (one point for each correct answer):
1. "Jingle Bell Rock"
2. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
3. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
4. "The Christmas Song" 5. "Winter Wonderland"
a. "Catch Me If You Can"
b. "Meet Me In St. Louis"
c. "Lethal Weapon"
d. "Die Hard"
e. "When Harry Met Sally"
8. Even in the middle of summer, Bruce Springsteen will play this song in concert:
a. "Please Come Home For Christmas"
b. "Jingle Bell Rock"
c. "Blue Christmas"
d. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
9. Handel's "Messiah" was actually written for:
b. a fundraiser for prisoners in Dublin
c. an opening ceremony for a Christian school
d. the composer's grandfather, who had just died
10. The song that begins with "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" is titled:
a. "The Christmas Song"
b. "Merry Christmas
c. "Chestnuts Roasting
on an Open Fire"
d. "Yuletide Carols"
11. Gene Autry got the idea for "Here Comes Santa Claus" while:
a. in the bathroom
b. watching kids await Santa at Macy's
c. getting a foot massage
d. riding a horse in a
12. In "The Chipmunk Song," the cheeky trio wants a hula hoop and a toy _____:
a. drum set
c. train set
13. The Canadian comedy team of Bob and Doug McKenzie recorded their own version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," beginning with this gift:
a. a partridge in an Igloo
b. a beer in a pear tree
c. a hockey stick
d. a Canuck in a maple leaf tree
14. Who sings the first line to the 1984 version of "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid?
a. Paul Young
b. Bob Geldof
c. Boy George
e. Dame Edna
Name the only American group in the original Band Aid.
Answers: 1. c; 2. c; 3. c; 4. d; 5. b; 6. a; 7. 1-c, 2-d, 3-b, 4-a, 5-e; 8. d; 9. b; 10. a; 11. d; 12. d; 13. b; 14. a
BONUS: Kool and the Gang
How did you do?
0: Didn't you at least get the Bing Crosby one?
1-5: Scrooge did better
6-9: Maybe the Fourth of July is more your thing
10-14: Treat yourself to a
15-18: The top of Santa's list