Video courtesy of wavester
How's that for an acoustic version?
(Yes, that's a Santa hat, and Jason mentions Chanukah, but the actual lyrics do not mention Christmas or Chanukah or any holiday at all. Just winter. It is still winter.)
I also love the Eurythmics' very cool version, and since I don't feel like choosing, let's have that, too:
Video posted by DreamsILive
I can find very little about Richard B. Smith, the lyricist, but Wikipedia (which is never wrong) says he was Episcopalian. (He had a very short life, dying at age 34 of tuberculosis.)
However, the composer, Felix Bernard (Felix William Bernhardt), was Jewish.
[How do we--and Wikipedia--know this? Nate Bloom went and found Bernard's parents, Charles and Anna Bernhardt, in the 1920 census, and they listed their native tongue as Yiddish. Therefore, almost certainly, Jewish.]
Although Bernard was quite successful as a composer--and he also had his own band and his own, self-produced, radio program--you probably won't recognize many of his songs. He wrote primarily for vaudeville and vaudevillians, including such greats as Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Sophie Tucker, and, like his lyricist on "Winter Wonderland" he died young, at age 47. "Winter Wonderland," on the other hand, has had a long and happy life, having been recorded by over 200 artists to date. (Check out the list, it's amazing.)
As always, comments are more than welcome! (Please leave them at my new blogsite... Thank you!)