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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #36

A countdown and history of the oldies era's greatest holiday tunes


"All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)," Spike Jones

source: ebay.com

36. "All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)," Spike Jones

RCA 47-4315 b/w "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Highest chart position: #1 Pop (1949)
Recorded December 6, 1948, Hollywood, CA

When, on December 5, 1944, music teacher Don Gardner asked his elementary-school class what they wanted for Christmas, he couldn't help but notice that most of them were lisping, the result of a few front "baby teeth" missing. Inspired, he dashed off this song, which despite having been written in only half an hour, remains known (and covered) over 60 years later. Gardner himself found the song silly, but that's sort of the point: to hear a cute kid (or, in Spike Jones' original hit recording, a grownup pretending to be a cute kid) lisping about how he can't whistle... well, like all institutions, it sort of demands you bring something of yourself to it. George Strait and Mariah Carey did, in their cover versions, but Nat King Cole in particular swings it royally on his!

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