I've always thought that it's charming, and says something about the ecumenical nature of America, that the partial or full authors of three of the most famous popular Christmas songs -- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'' (lyrics by Robert May), "White Christmas'' (words and music by Irving Berlin) and "The Christmas Song'' -- ("Chestnuts roasting,'', etc.) (music and some of the lyrics by Mel Torme) -- were of Jewish background.
On "White Christmas,'' it's too bad that so many singers leave out the opening of the song, as they do with many, perhaps most, such songs from the Great American Songbook.
Anyway, the intro to one of the most popular songs in world history is:
The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There's never been such a day
in Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the twenty-fourth,—
And I am longing to be up North—
It may be hard for young people to understand why the song evoked such emotion among members of the so-called "Greatest Generation'' until they understand that it was written early in World War II and thus evoked a powerful longing for family and home.
My father, a Navy combat veteran and not a bad amateur musician, hated the tune, denouncing it as being musically tedious and, of course, maudlin. But the song drew tears of sweet melancholy from many of his friends, especially after a few drinks.