Holly Jolly Christmas

Album: Have A Holly Jolly Christmas (1964)
Charted: 4

Songfacts®:

  • Burl Ives was a very successful stage and screen actor as well as a folk singer. He acted in the film Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, among others, and his list of songs include "A Little Bitty Tear" and "A Funny Way Of Laughin'." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - Boston, MA
  • This was written by songwriter Johnny Marks, who had already written the Christmas classic "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," a song that proved so popular the stop-motion animators at Rankin-Bass created a half-hour TV special to expand on the song. Ives was brought in for star power to play the narrator, Sam the Snowman, and take over several songs originally slated for the character of Yukon Cornelius. One was "Silver And Gold," and this was the other. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • A version by Lady Antebellum was released as a single from their 2012 Christmas album On A Winter's Night. The trio recorded a video in Nashville, which was directed by TK McKamy. The clip follows a little boy's attempt to get his festive wish. "'A Holly Jolly Christmas' just has something kind of flirty about it," said L A's Hillary Scott. "So, when it came time to make the video, we really wanted it to feel lighthearted and fun with a sense of humor…something that just makes you smile."
  • Ives performed this as a guest on the "Down Home Country Christmas" episode of Dolly Parton's TV show, Dolly, in 1987.
  • This has been featured on several TV shows, including Melrose Place, Roswell, My Name Is Earl, Chuck, Bones, and Mr. Robot.
  • This is also a popular tune for movies set during Christmas, such as The Ref (1994), starring Denis Leary; The Family Man (2000); and Bad Santa (2003), starring Billy Bob Thornton.
  • This didn't chart when it was first released, but when Billboard accounted for streaming in their Hot 100 chart, it started placing - a clear indicator of the song's perennial holiday appeal. It made #46 in the Christmas of 2016, and #38 the following year.
  • The song entered the Hot 100 top 10 for the first time on the chart dated January 5, 2019. It was Burl Ives' first entry in the upper regions of the tally since "Funny Way Of Laughin'" peaked at #10 in 1962. The gap of 56 years, seven months and two weeks broke Andy Williams' record for the biggest gap between top 10 hits.
  • Michael Buble's version recorded for his 2011 Christmas album is the best known in the UK. Since 2017, it has been a regular visitor to the single charts during the festive period.

Comments: 11

  • Dorina from New JerseyWhere did this song originate from ?
  • Trancer from KansasSo what is the recipe for the original cup of cheer?
  • Parker Gabriel from Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaThe lyrics's invitation to "have a cup of cheer" gave some pause. Someone, probably Johnny Marks himself, was taken aback at the idea "that on one of the most hectic of nights, you want me to tell people to go out and have a DRINK?!?"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Holly Jolly Christmas" did not make Billboard's Top 100 chart; but between 1957 and 1964 he did have nine Top 100 hits, with "A Little Bitty Tear" being his biggest hit, it peaked at #9 (a "Funny Way of Laughing" was just behind it, it reached #10).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxJust like Luzianne Tea, Burl's rendition was THE CLEAR WINNER!
  • Mike from Franklin County, PaBurl Ives sang this song in the Rankin - Bass animated t.v. christmas special : "Rudolf , The Red - Nosed Reindeer" , while doing the voice of "Sam the Snowman" . He also sang the theme song , sang "Silver and Gold" , and narrated the story . Burl Ives is also known for his two popular songs on a 45 - speed record : "Pearly Shells" and "Little Bitty Tears" .
  • Sara from Union City, TnI 100% agree with you Mark in Byrdstown. It is my Fav by a mile.
  • Sonny from Podunk, FlFor many years, Burl's music provided the ambiance for friendly card games (particularly Spades) throughout the deep South. It is also considered a time-honored method of "therapy" for mental health patients the world over.
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnThis is the greatest Christmas song of all time.I dont care what anybody says,it is.Case closed.
  • Chris from Albany, United StatesAlthough I enjoys Burls version and the Rudolph special, we actually recorded Holly Jolly Christmas before Burl Ives. Check it out at www.quintosisters.com
  • Ken from Commack, NyOn the big screen, Burl's performance in The Big Country, won him an Academy Award for best supporting actor.
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