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The Five Best Versions of Christmas Songs Written By Jews

From doo wop to metal

Elon Green
December 24, 2014
The Drifters, "White Christmas"
The Drifters, "White Christmas"

A couple of years ago, Tablet alum Marc Tracy wrote, “the story of American popular music is massively a Jewish story.” And that’s not by design, but by default. As Lauren Markoe noted recently, “It was one business where [Jews] didn’t face overwhelming anti-Semitism.”

And so it was that Jews wrote Christmas music, which is, essentially, a genre written by one religious group to be enjoyed by another.

That in mind, we here at The Scroll have, as a public service, compiled the choicest versions of our favorite Yuletude classics.

“White Christmas,” The Drifters (Irving Berlin, 1940)

“Santa Baby,” Shakira (Joan Javits, 1953)

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Dez Fafara and others (Johnny Marks, 1949)

“Frosty the Snowman,” The Ronettes (Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson, 1950)

“Silver Bells,” Gregg Allman, The National, and Stephen Colbert (Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, 1950)

Elon Green is a writer in New York.