Songwriter's Corner|

Video reporting by David Pogue, CBS Sunday Morning | When Lee Mendelson produced the 1965 TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” he got San Francisco jazz musician Vince Guaraldi to compose the music. The songs Guaraldi wrote, including “Christmas Time Is Here,” are now considered classics. Correspondent David Pogue looks at how the music of Peanuts became inseparable from the joy and melancholy of the holiday season.


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“Christmas Time is Here” is the opening song from A Charlie Brown Christmas, written by Lee Mendelson and composer Vince Guaraldi. Sung by the choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, it is heard as Charlie Brown and Linus join the rest of the Peanuts gang in ice-skating at the frozen pond. Two versions of the song appear on the special’s soundtrack album – the vocal version as heard in the special, and a six-minute instrumental version which appears as background music during the special. The instrumental version was later used, re-arranged by David Benoit, in It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown and I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown.

In Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales, Snoopy switches to playing this song on the accordion, with Woodstock whistling in unison, after Lucy points out (while walking by with Linus) that his first choice, “Oh! Susanna”, does not sound like something to play at Christmastime.

In The Peanuts Movie, the children are briefly heard caroling this song when Snoopy, fantasizing that he is the World War I Flying Ace, sneaks in amongst the group.


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