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The Charlie Brown Christmas Song: Christmas Time is Here

Updated on September 11, 2010
TV executives originally disliked the Charlie Brown Christmas songs.
TV executives originally disliked the Charlie Brown Christmas songs.

Charlie Brown Christmas

"Christmas Time is Here" Was Result of a Cab Ride

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is one of the most popular animated Christmas specials ever made. It won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, was aired annually on CBS more times than even MGM's classic "Wizard of Oz," and 50% of the TVs in America were tuned in to it when it first aired in 1965. Just one of the many things that made this TV special popular was the music.

Vince Guaraldi composed all the songs in the show. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was the first prime time animated TV show based on the Peanuts characters created by Charles Schulz, and its popularity led to 16 additional TV specials. Guaraldi composed the scores for all of them. And it might never had happened except for one fortuitous cab ride.

Lee Mendelson, who produced the special, was riding in a taxi cab in San Francisco when he heard Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." He liked it so much that he tracked the composer down and asked him to score the TV special. The first song Guaraldi wrote for the show was "Linus and Lucy," which later became the signature musical theme of all the Peanuts specials. Other original songs he wrote for the show were "Skating," "Christmas is Coming" and "Christmas Time is Here," a song that people of often think of as the "Charlie Brown Christmas song."

Despite the continued popularity of the music today, the TV network executives at the time disliked the score for the special. According to Wikipedia, "the executives thought that the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi would not work well for a children's program. When executives saw the final product, they were horrified and believed the special would be a complete flop."

How wrong they were!

Guaraldi died young (at age 47) of a heart attack, but "Linus and Lucy" remains his most well-known work, and the soundtrack for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" continues to be a popular seller during the holidays.

Christmas Time is Here

Charlie Brown Christmas Song Lyrics

"Christmas Time is Here" Lyrics
Written by Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...

What's Your Favorite Charlie Brown Christmas Song?

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    • profile image

      amin tasdsaffasd 

      10 years ago

      More Discussion on Song Parodies

      I have many favorite crazy funny song parodies and I would listen to them very often. They make me laugh a lot sometimes. You would like to listen to such songs as many times as possible and each time you listen you would find it funny. There are only a few parody songs. I feel that people should come forward to create such songs so that they can make people laugh with their jokes.

      These kinds of songs are not very popular among people hence people do not pay much attention. It is not because they do not like such song but because they know very little of such songs but once you start hearing it I am sure that you will want to hear more of it. It is usually seen that people who are good for making funny songs make only funny songs. It is usually sung very flatly. It is similar to watching a funny movie. It is a complete source of entertainment and hence people would love funny parody songs. No matter how badly it is sung if the lyrics are really funny the song would have many listeners.

    • sim0n30 profile image


      10 years ago from Ireland

      I love Charlie Brown Christmas, it brings back great memories of being a kid.

    • CarolineChicago profile image

      Caroline Paulison Andrew 

      10 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Best Christmas special ever! And an amazing CD--love the music. Thanks for the background. Voted up.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      10 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Its my fav too. Thanks for the memories.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      This is definitely my favorite Christmas special and I even have the soundtrack on my iPod... I can hear the music right now :)


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