When I first heard the song from the original cast album of the Broadway hit, The Sound of Music, I was utterly entranced by its mystical relevance to the Christmas season -- which was, appropriately, then upon us. It's, I suppose, the rich imagery of Oscar Hammerstein's lyric-- among the gems, "snow flakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes" -- that set the song so hauntingly apart from all others. Only the Great Oscar could craft such magic.
How poignant the stretch of time that has passed, remembering the moment in my bedroom first hearing the song played on a Sunday evening radio show that featured newly released cast albums, and then, a week or so later, playing it on my "magnificent Magnavox" hi fidelity record player. As enchanting then as it remains now.
It became a legendary jazz classic. Lately, it's found its way into the Holiday cannon. Just heard Andy Williams on a Comcast music channel singing it. Wonderful rendition.
It has been sung by millions. One of life's deepest satisfactions is to observe younger generations embracing elements of popular culture that I was there to embrace when they were first introduced.