This song takes place during World War I, and follows up on "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron," where Snoopy is a fighter pilot. In "Snoopy's Christmas," The Red Baron decides not to shoot Snoopy down, but forces him to land and gives him a Christmas gift.
There really was a Christmas Truce in 1914 between the British and German troops, mainly on the Western Front. Trench warfare had created a bit of a stalemate, and the soldiers were able to communicate with each other. They negotiated a cease-fire and even exchanged small gifts like whiskey, rum, cigars, and chocolates, meeting in "No Man's Land," which was the battlefield between the trenches.
Suggestion credit: Patrick - Bremen, GA
The Royal Guardsmen were a six-piece from Ocala, Florida. Signed to Laurie Records, their first single was "Baby Let's Wait," which stiffed. Their next single was "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron," which was a huge hit, leading to three sequels: "The Return of the Red Baron," "Snoopy's Christmas" and "Snoopy for President."
All four songs were written by Laurie producer Phil Gernhard and staff songwriter Dick Holler. They were based on Snoopy the Beagle, a character in the Peanuts comic strip, which was drawn by Charles Schulz. In the strip, Snoopy had recently begun fighting the Red Baron, although it was just in his doggie imagination - the Red Baron was never actually seen in the comic.
How did the band feel about recording these Snoopy songs? Barry Winslow, who was their guitarist and sang lead on these tracks, told us in 2014: "The popularity of Snoop was incredible (as still to this day). When 'Snoopy's Christmas' came along, we just did it. That and 'Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron are my favorites. We were a bit let down though, since we never really got to do our own songs. In those days, most bands were stuck in the 'hit rut.'"
Two lines from the traditional song "O Tannenbaum" (the German version of "O Christmas Tree") are featured at the very beginning of this song. The song also contains different sound effects: zooming airplanes, sounds of gunshots and explosions of bombs, and Christmas bells.
Suggestion credit: Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
As Chuck Berry found out when he wrote a song about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you can't write a song about a copyrighted character without compensating its owner. It's unclear what legal action took place regarding this and the other Royal Guardsmen Snoopy songs, but there was a deal worked out with Charles Schulz. Some of the Snoopy releases by the band featured Schulz' artwork.
This didn't chart in America, but it gradually made its way onto many holiday playlists and has since become a Christmas favorite. In Australia, the song went to #1 for the last two weeks of 1967.
Laurelei from FloridaThis was my absolute favorite album as a kid. It's still my favorite Christmas music. Someone got me the CD a couple of years ago, and now it plays in my car far past the end of Christmas season. LOL Christmas bells, those Christmas bells.
Barry from MissouriHi folks, There was 6 guys in the Guardsmen.... we all hailed from Ocala and Belleview FL. I'm the lead singer Barry Winslow. We had a good run and loved the Snoppy tunes. So glad to hear the nice comments. Thank and bless you all.
Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! I would love a copy of it,before Christmas.
Larry from Columbus, OhOur NAR model rocket club was formed here in Columbus in early 1966. And we shortly after heard the Royal Guardsmen songs. Since then Snoopy has been our _club mascot_ and appeared wearing a glass fish bowl helmet and planting the American flag on the moon on our hand-sewn club flag (since lost).The design was approved after nine months, returned _Approved, C. Schultz_ back in 1969. It appears in the December 1971 issue of MODEL ROCKETRY magazine on page 15. Our local meets are named SNOOPY and our Open Meets are named RED BARON (since 1984). I have a 45 rpm of _Snoopy's Christmas_. And as soon as I can give a Royal Guardsmen CD to the local Christmas radio station, all of Columbus can hear it (I asked, they didn't have it).
Floyd from Dallas, TxSorry Camille, I confused your comment with another, My previous one is for you Andy!
Floyd from Dallas, TxCamille from Toronto Oh. I hate to sound like a snob but The Red Baron was a real breathing human being named Baron Manfred von Richthofen. Known by many alliases such as The Red Devil, Little Red, and The Red Knight. He had eighty confirmed victories and was a terror in the skies. The sight of his bright red tri-plane was a boast to his abilities since most pilots used grey or olive colors on their planes to blend in with the colors of the sky he used the color as a scare tactic. Like all airmen of the time, he was not the vicious, blood-thirsty German everyone believes or makes him out to be, but a proud and noble airman. When he was finally shot down he was given a full military burial by the British pilots with all the honor and dignity he deserved. They respected him as Germen airmen respected their British foes. There was no bitter hatred between the two, this was their job. They had no reason to kill each other than the fact that their superiors told them to. Unlike Saul he did not go out to kill for fun, it was his job that he had to do like all the other pilots and infantry men of the time. Eighty casualties is a small price from one person compared to the hundreds mutilated by machine guns, blown to pieces by howitzers, forced to cough up their lungs by German mustard gas, or the officers who had their heads turned inside out by snipers. It took a good deal of bravery for any of those WWI pilots to climb into a wooden plane and fly over enemy territory. Do a tiny bit of research next time before you call somebody evil, deny that they ever existed, and taint their contributions to history. If this song was the only history lesson you have ever had then your ignorance is understandable.
Trogbob from San Diego, CaThe truce mentioned has a movie about it. It's called Joyeux Noel, and it's great. Go watch it!
Andy from B'ham, AlYou remember that ruthless Red Baron high in the sky? Wow! The Bloody Red Baron was so evil... causing so many casualties on Britain! But this song comes to show that even the Red Baron can repent! Though fictional, the Red Baron is most likely one of those German pilots who joined in on the cease-fire. Just like the infamous Saul who became the famous Paul. What a happy ending!
Camille from Toronto, OhA true classic. This song takes me back to being a kid & enjoying the same songs my mom did. At times, it can bring a tear to my eye! It's actually well written, the music is perfect for the words & the addition of all the sound effects, plus the snare drum marching that song along like soldiers going off to war. As for finding the song, surely using a search engine to locate the CD should suffice. I was able to get a copy of it thru my library & was able to upload it to my itunes.
Carrie from Wasilla, AkActually, 40 below is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius. My kids love this song, but I had never heard it until I was an adult.
Darrell from EugeneAs for my comment about it never being 40 below zero in Germany, my girlfriend told me that high up in the Alps and near Denmark, it can and does get that cold there. In Celsius, of course. Please disregard my previous comment.
Darrell from EugeneThe reference to "40 below" in "Snoopy's Christmas" must refer to Celsius. In all my 64 years, I've never heard of the weather being 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Germany. In Russia, certainly. Not in Germany.
Ralph from Newton, MaAnybody know where to find this song? Or "Snoopy v. The Red Baron" for that matter?
Pete from Nowra, Australiaactually if you play Me and You and a Dog named Boo backwards .....you get Snoopy's Xmas
Heather from Holbrook, NyIt isn't Christmas without "Snoopy's Christmas"!
Jonnie from St. Louis, MoYes, the Guardsmen were from Florida, and so was Lobo ("Me & You And A Dog Named Boo"). Did you ever notice how close the harmonies were between the Guardsmen's songs and Lobo's ? At one time, although it wasn't true, there was a rumor that Lobo had been the lead singer of the Guardsmen. Play songs by both back-to-back and you'll see how close they sound...and probably why the rumor started.