Winter Wonderland

"Winter Wonderland"
Published 1934
Genre Christmas
Composer(s) Felix Bernard
Lyricist(s) Richard B. Smith

"Winter Wonderland" is a winter song, popularly regarded as a Christmas song, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Through the decades it has been recorded by over 200 different artists.


Dick Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale's Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis, better known then as consumption.[1] The West Mountain Sanitarium is located off North Sekol Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This "studio" orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. The biggest chart hit at the time of introduction was Guy Lombardo's orchestra, a top ten hit.[2] Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song to #4 in Billboard's airplay chart in 1946. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail top ten. Como would record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album.

Due to its seasonal theme, "Winter Wonderland" is often regarded as a Christmas song in the Northern Hemisphere, although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. In the Swedish language lyrics, "Vår vackra vita vintervärld", the word tomtar is mentioned.

In the Johnny Mathis version on his 1958 Merry Christmas LP, the introduction is sung between the first and the second refrain.

Awards and achievements

In November 2007, ASCAP, a performance rights organization in the United States, listed "Winter Wonderland" as the most-played ASCAP-member-written holiday song of the previous five years, and cited the Eurythmics' 1987 version of the song as the one most commonly played.[3]


  1. Kunerth, Jeff (December 9, 2010). "The story behind Winter Wonderland". The Religion World. Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.
  2. Guy Lombardo Chart Hits at
  3. ASCAP Announced Top 25 Holiday Songs. November 12, 2007
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