Back in 1970 when the movie musical Scrooge was released, starring Albert Finney, I remember the PR making a deal out of the fact that Leslie Bricusse (who wrote the score) had researched and make the amazing discovery that there were no songs written with the title, "A Christmas Carol," so he wrote the first one ever for the movie.
That always stuck with me, because I found it a fascinating tidbit.
It also turned out not to be remotely true.
Over the years, I've found at least two other songs titled, "Christmas Carol," and for all I know there are more. And one has a reasonable profile, having been written by Tom Lehrer. And the other was from that TV musical I posted a song from the other day, The Stingiest Man in Town -- which is based on Dickens' A Christmas Carol... which you think would probably be a pretty darn good place to start looking for another song called "Christmas Carol," if you're writing your own musical based on Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
I thought it would be nice to post all three. And so I shall.
And let's go in chronological order. This first therefore is the oldest of the three, from that 1956 TV musical The Stingiest Man in Town --
From stingy we go to the comic, so here is the wonderful Tom Lehrer and his take a "Christmas Carol" from his 1959 album An Evening Waster with Tom Lehrer --
And that, then, brings us to the song that started the whole conversation, which was not, in fact, the first song ever to have the title, "A Christmas Carol." This is the version (despite what the the clip says) with both music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Plus, as a bonus, you get to see all the wonderful Main Title drawings by the great Ronald Searle --
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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