This past holiday season I caught a show titled "Christmas In The 60's" on History Channel (at least I think that's what channel it was on). During the episode, they mentioned a Christmas song titled "Do You Hear What I Hear?" This song was written during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 by Noel Regney and Gloria Shane Baker, as a "prayer for peace" - their way of expressing their hopes and fears about the world's future during said crisis. (Ironically, the song was first recorded for commercial release by Bing Crosby on November 22, 1963 - the day President Kennedy was assassinated.)
The first time I remember hearing this song was in December of 1970, when it was sung by a girls' chorus at my school during my sixth-grade year. Since I'd never heard it before then, I assumed it was a fairly new song, only recently released. Since then, I've heard a number of Christmas songs - and non-holiday songs as well - that I'd never heard before even though some were recorded years or even decades before. For example, I first heard the Christmas tune "Santa Baby" in December 1992, while I worked evenings and weekends at a men's clothing store in a local mall. The version I heard was sung by Madonna, in a silly Betty Boop/Judy Holliday-type voice, and I thought at the time that it was brand-new, like I did when I first heard "Do You Hear What I Hear?" As it turns out, the earliest version of "Santa Baby" I've found was recorded back in 1954 and sung by none other than Eartha Kitt, in a very sultry, seductive voice.
Likewise, the first time I remember hearing Brenda Lee doing the original version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" was also during the '92 Christmas season, at the very same clothing store (these two songs were included on one of the Christmas-mix CDs they played on the sound system during business hours)! When I first heard this song, I liked it right away - it quickly became one of my all-time favorite Christmas tunes (even today). It was some years before I first learned when that song was first recorded, however.
The point I'm trying to make with all this is that I've realized that there are lots of songs already recorded out there that I've not yet heard, and when I do, they'll sound brand-new to me until I discover when they were first recorded. It reminds me of a saying I read in a short story once: "Any book you haven't read is a new one." I guess the same applies to music.
Anyway, I thought I'd post this here to get your thoughts and opinions on this. Has anyone else had a similar experience regarding a song they thought was brand-new, but discovered was really old? Feel free to post your comments.
I now open the floor to discussion.