Christmas Songs #10. Sleigh Ride by Johnny Mathis (1958)

Number 10: Festive Christmas Songs
Good Housekeeping: Nov. 30, 2019

Sleigh Ride  
Johnny Mathis (1958)

This Johnny Mathis pop song is from his first Christmas album ever — in total, he's released six throughout his career. 

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Sleigh Ride does not make any specific reference to Christmas, but the seasonal imagery has made it very much associated with the holiday. It's hard to think of a sleigh in winter without thinking of Santa.  

The lyrics, "Like a picture print by Currier and Ives" refer to a printmaking firm that produced some of the most iconic and popular American artwork of the 19th century. The company specialized in publishing hand-colored lithographs that were sold inexpensively to the American middle class.  

Currier and Ives print

According to American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), this was the most-played holiday song on American radio from 2009-2012, beating out "Winter Wonderland," "The Christmas Song" and "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!."    

Sleigh Ride
Johnny Mathis

Sleigh Ride 
The Ronnettes (1963)

The Ronettes recorded "Sleigh Ride" under the direction of producer Phil Spector. This version has the famous "Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding" backup vocals. 

It was included on the 1963 album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, which had the misfortune of being released the same day US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated: November 22, 1963. The Ronettes recording has become the most popular. Since 2018, it has been a regular visitor to the UK and US singles charts during the festive period. 

Sleigh Ride
The Ronnettes 


“Sleigh Ride” Jazz Cover 
ft. Robyn Adele Anderson (2019)

Robyn Adele Anderson is an American vocalist based in New York City. She is a founding member of Postmodern Jukebox led by American pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee.  

Robyn Adele Anderson

As of December 12, 2016, music videos featuring Anderson account for over 200 million of Postmodern Jukebox' over one  billion total views. 

YouTube comments:

  • Fantastic! A personal favorite, this song!
  • Awesome! The perfect song for Christmas.
  • Thanks, Robyn! Now it is officially Christmas.

Sleigh Ride
Robyn Adele Anderson 


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