There are at least two stories of how the quintessential “chestnuts roasting” song came to be. One story goes that Mel Tormé was visiting with his friend, Robert Wells on a hot summer day in 1945. Wells was spouting off about Eskimos and other winter things in an attempt to cool himself off when Torme had the idea to write the song. One version goes that the two had all the lyrics down in forty-five minutes.
The other story goes that Met Tormé was in love with a beautiful Rockette, Rita O’Donell who, though he was engaged to, never married. Tormé had promised to write a song for her and she had always maintained that he did so with “The Christmas Song” way back in 1941. It’s a lovely thought that this popular song might have been a reminder for her over the years of someone who once loved her dearly. Whichever story is true, we love Nat King Cole’s version, delivered here in a one-on-one setting on his television show. Have a look below.