As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

A Christmas Song is Born 5: Merry Christmas, Darling

Today we look into the birth story of “Merry Christmas, Darling”, a Christmas classic that through the years has been soothing like a balm for lovers and families spending the holidays apart.

blueprint-pooler & carpenters


Creators of Merry Christmas, Darling

Lyrics and Original Music of Merry Christmas Darling by: 
Frank Pooler
(March 29, 1926 – January 19, 2013)

  • was an award-winning American choirmaster, and former Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
  • He was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
    Read more on wiki

Frank Pooler
Image Source

Composer of new music for Merry Christmas, Darling

Richard Carpenter (born October 15, 1946)

  • an American pop musician, best known as one half of the brother/sister duo the Carpenters, along with his sister Karen Carpenter
  • a record producer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist, occasional lyricist, and composer, as well as joined with Karen on harmony vocals.
    Read more on wiki

Richard Carpenter
Image Source

The Story of how MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING came to be
Info from lacrossetribune

It is a story of a collaboration of two 18 year olds – a generation apart….

  • In the summer of 1944, the year Pooler graduated from  Onalaska High School (OHS) {La Crosse County, Wisconsin}  he had spent all his spare time with the younger sister of the OHS band and choir director.
  • He had it pretty bad for her and around Christmas that year, Pooler was spending some time with his parents in northern Wisconsin, near Hayward, and he kept thinking about this special girl. He hadn’t written a lot of songs up until then, but he was moved to write a Christmas song for her.
  • Frank Pooler said: “I was 18 and the hormones were raging.”
  • Pooler planned to give the song to her as a Christmas present, but before he could lay it on her, their romance hit the rocks.
  • Pooler went ahead and had the song published by a little-known publishing house, and he still has a scratchy 78-rpm recording by a now-forgotten singer of his original version of “Merry Christmas, Darling.”
  • He didn’t think much about the song until more than 20 years later, when he was choral director at California State University-Long Beach. It was 1966 and a couple of students of his, Richard and Karen Carpenter, were playing gigs around town. They were sick of the standard holiday fare, so Richard asked Pooler, their favorite professor, if he had any ideas.
  • Pooler remembered that song he had written many years before and mentioned it, but added he didn’t think much of the melody anymore. Richard said he’d take a crack at writing a new tune, and about 15 minutes later he was done, creating a song written by two 18-year-olds a generation apart.

Read the rest of the story on the lacrossetribune


Frank Pooler with Richard and Karen Carpenter
Image source


More Songfacts:

  • The Carpenters’ version of “Merry Christmas, Darling” was released in fall 1970 as a single and earned gold record status
  • Another version of the song was included on their 1978 “Christmas Portrait” release, and it has since been recorded by many other artists, including Vanessa Williams and, most recently, Amy Grant.

SONG TRIVIA: Which singer almost recorded Merry Christmas Darling in the early 1970’s?

“Merry Christmas, Darling” almost was recorded in the early 1970s by Elvis Presley, Pooler said. Presley couldn’t read music, so in the recording studio he would have the musicians form a circle around him and play him the song, while he walked around the circle trying to get the hang of the song. “He could not quite pick up on the bridge to ‘Merry Christmas, Darling,’ so he threw in the towel after three times around the circle,” Pooler said, retelling the story Presley told Richard Carpenter. Info from lacrossetribune


Karen Carpenter singing Merry Christmas Darling

GLEE- Merry Christmas Darling

CHRISTINA PERRI – Merry Christmas Darling


rx-logo-11So do… take inspiration from this glorious collaboration between  two 18 year olds – a generation apart. Like Pooler, do not judge talent by their age and be open to any potential collaboration.

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This entry was posted on December 26, 2014 by in Communicate and tagged , , .
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