Merry Christmas Darling

Album: Christmas Portrait (1970)
Charted: 25

Songfacts®:

  • This was the Carpenters' first attempt at Christmas music. The lyric was written in 1946 by Frank Pooler, who was the choir director at California State University, Long Beach. Karen and Richard Carpenter were both part of the choir. In 1966, at Pooler's request, Richard composed the music for this ballad, which was first released in 1970. This sparked the interest and idea of a Christmas album by the Carpenters, and on October 13, 1978, Christmas Portrait was released. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    TimmT - Orange, CA
  • In the UK, this was re-released in 1990 as a single with "(They Long to Be) Close to You," which is when it hit #25.

Comments: 10

  • Ginny WhiteJim from Dover. I first heard this song on the radio the year my mom passed away, 2004. I had gotten out of the shower and dressed to go to a Dr appointment and the radio was playing this song. It is still my favorite one however
  • Don from Wanaque, NjI don't have to hear it many times, only once, but it has to be on the radio. Not on the album which I finally purchased. To me it's the best song from the heart about when two people in love can't be together. None of the other songs is that genre touch me like that. after reading the story of how the lyrics came to be I just hope that there are few folks who are feeling that emotion at this time.
  • Therese Cameron from Santa Clara, CaWhenever I hear this song, it reminds me of the Vietnam war. She remained at home, wishing he were safe with her, while he was away in combat. Karen Carpenter sang it in 1971, during the war.
  • Jan from Dallas, TxI first heard this song before Christmas 1971. After 5 months of marriage my husband and I had separated and been apart almost 4 months. We got back together that Christmas and by 1973 we had a beautiful daughter. It was a wonderful life until January 1976 when John was in an accident and died. Alth0ugh the memory is bittersweet, after 40 years I still smile everytime I hear this song and think about the brief but beautiful years we had together.
  • Jim from Dover, DeI first heard this song on Christmas Eve 1974 while I was sitting with my newborn son at Philadelphia Children's Hospital. He was in terrible breathing distress and not doing so well. Karen Carpenter's voice sending these words out brought me quickly to thoughts of a special someone and comfort throughout the night. He survived the challenge and I had the ultimate pleasure of raising him myself. I've played this song EVERY Christmas Eve since that night and Christmas Eve 2009 had a more significant listening. Earlier in the month I re-connected with that special someone after 43 years of separation. hopefully Christmas 2010 will have the last lyrics come true "I wish I were with you"
    Jim, Dover De
  • Andy from Glen Burnie, Mdthe "logs on the fire" chord sequence makes no sense to me, but that coda is beyond Heavenly...puts Richard right up there with Brian Wilson as a vocal arranger...
  • Camille from Toronto, OhIt ain't the official Christmas season until you've heard this song about a gazillion times. Timeless classic.
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzThank you John for sharing that story. That is so cool!
  • Shirley from Ocean, NjJohn, that's a really beautiful story...I absolutely love this song. It sends shivers down my spine and makes me feel very nostalgic. Karen Carpenter had the voice of an angel.
  • John from Lakewood, CaI met Frank Pooler in 1995, I was submitting a song to him called Triumpth of the Human Spirit that was to be used for the 1996 paralympic games, hoping that he could get Richard Carpenter to give it a listen. It was just before Christmas and when I delivered the cd he was sitting at the piano in the front of his home. I handed him the cd and told him the story about the possible licensing of the song by the paralympic comitte and he was interested. We talked a little about the impact the song could have and then the conversation turned to christmas songs. I told him that I loved the song Merry Christmas Darling and he smiled, and asked me if I would like to hear the story behind that song. Of course I said yes. He said that it was some lyrics that he wrote back in the 40's and it was about his relationship with his Fiance whom he was engaged to here in the U.S. and he was in WWII in Germany. It was Christmas time and he was lonesome and wrote these words to tell her how he felt being without her at Christmas.

    He then told me that he was just eating dinner at a local restaurant and he said he did not eat home much since his wife passed and he said he was sitting there eating and there was an older lady eating across the dining hall from him and he said she looked familiar and asked her her name, she told him her name it turned out that she was his old sweetheart that he was engaged to during WWII. They both could not beleive it. Needless to say they had dinner together that night and he proceeded to tell her the story about the song Merry Christmas Darling and that the song was based on a letter that he wrote to her when he was lonesome at Christmas in Germany. He said she was speachless, and they both with a tear and a smile in their eyes finished dinner.

    After Frank told me that story I was in tears. I love the song and I love the story behind it.

    John C.
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