(I’d like to dedicate this blog to my late father-in-law, Frank Rolens. Frank was a wonderful, gentle, Godly man, a great father and husband, a terrific father-in-law and friend. December 16 was his birthday, and he absolutely loved Barbershop singing and the Vocal Majority, so I’m posting this in his honor.)
Back in 1982, radio station KVIL in Dallas released the first of what would become a series of Christmas recordings. This album, and later CDs, contained some really beautiful Christmas songs – some old favorites, some newer material – and featured artists from the D/FW and North Texas area.
One of my favorites was a recording by the Vocal Majority of “The Secret of Christmas.” I had never heard the song before, but it turns out it was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn for Bing Crosby to sing in the 1959 movie, “Say One for Me.” Besides Der Bingle, the song has been covered by numerous artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Julie Andrews and Johnny Mathis, but the VM’s version remains my favorite.
Now, if you’re not familiar with the Vocal Majority, they are a men’s chorus of about 150 guys who sing in classic “Barbershop” harmony. They are based in Dallas, and have won numerous international singing competitions.
My preacher, David McQueen, has been talking in his recent sermons about the true “Spirit” of Christmas, and the idea that the best of what we call “The Christmas Spirit” – joy, generosity, hope, surrounding yourself with loved ones – are qualities that Christians ought to embody throughout the entire year. That certainly fits with this song.
So here are the lyrics for “The Secret of Christmas,” along with a YouTube recording of the VM singing it. Do yourself a favor and watch this video. Let their gorgeous harmonies wash over you.
And may we all remember the secret, all year through.
It's not the glow you feel When snow appears It's not the Christmas card You've sent for years
Not the joyful sound When sleigh bells ring Or the merry songs Children sing
The little gift you send On Christmas day Will not bring back the friend You've turned away
So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas Is not the things you do at Christmas time But the Christmas things you do All year through