The Story of... 'Merry Christmas Darling' by The Carpenters

16 December 2018, 20:58

Carpenters
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

"But I can dream and in my dreams, I'm Christmasing with you..."

It's a somewhat underrated Christmas song compared to other classics from the 1970s, but it's also a much-loved ballad and one of the Carpenters' best songs.

But who came up with it and who has covered it since? Here are all the fascinating facts:

  1. Who wrote 'Merry Christmas Darling'?

    Richard Carpenter composed the music for the song, while Frank Pooler provided the lyrics.

    Pooler had written the lyrics when he was just 18.

    Karen Carpenter once said: "'Merry Christmas Darling' I think, is a little extra special to both of us, because Richard wrote it, and the lyrics were written by the choral director at Long Beach State choir, where we went to school, Frank Pooler.

    "Frank was very helpful in our college days, when we were trying to get a contract and constantly missing classes and everything.

    "He was the only one down there who actually understood what we were after, and he stood behind us all the way.

    "We just did a benefit at Long Beach state, for a scholarship fund, and we did it with the choir and the whole thing, and we did 'Christmas Darling' and he just glows every time we do it. I think it's my favourite, because it's really close to me."

    Pooler died January 19, 2013 from lung cancer at his home in Los Alamitos, California.

  2. How did it perform in the charts?

    The song was released in 1970, reaching number one in the Billboard Christmas chart in the US.

    However, it never reached the main Billboard Hot 100, or the UK top 40, peaking at 45 in 1971.

    In 1990, it was re-issued as a single in the UK, alongside 'Close to You', reaching number 25.

  3. Who has covered it?

    Various artists have covered the song, including:

    - Lea Michele (in an episode of Glee)
    - Christina Perri
    - Boyz II Men
    - Chicago

  4. Merry Christmas Darling lyrics:

    Greeting cards have all been sent
    The Christmas rush is through
    But I still have one wish to make
    A special one for you

    Merry Christmas, darling
    We're apart, that's true
    But I can dream
    And in my dreams
    I'm Christmasing with you

    Holidays are joyful
    There's always something new
    But every day's a holiday
    When I'm near to you

    The lights on my tree
    I wish you could see
    I wish it every day

    The logs on the fire
    Fill me with desire
    To see you and to say

    That I wish you Merry Christmas
    Happy New Year too
    I've just one wish
    On this Christmas Eve
    I wish I were with you

    I wish I were with you
    Merry Christmas, darling