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Song Spotlight: “Suzy Snowflake”

  • Mood: Light
  • Themes: Winter, snow, play
  • Tempo: Cheerful
  • Genre/Style: Novelty song

I love cute winter songs. I know that many people put these away for the year along with the Christmas tree, but I still enjoy the ambience that songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Winter Wonderland” bring to the season. (Plus, let’s face it – we’ve probably got more snow to come here in Kansas City.)

Here's my little snowflake!

Here’s my little snowflake!

Suzy Snowflake” is one of those cute winter songs that just gets stuck in your head. Written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, this song was a hit in 1951 with the recording by Rosemary Clooney. A few years later, Centaur Productions released a cartoon short based on the song, using stop motion animation (a format I’m pretty sure I only see in Christmas specials). Some TV stations still broadcast this cartoon annually. (You can buy Rosemary Clooney’s version of the song from Amazon and watch the adorable cartoon on YouTube.)

I’m not sure how much cultural cachet this song holds today, because not too many of my seniors know it word for word the way they know “Silver Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” For me, though, this song stands out among all the other Christmas novelty songs.

The melody of this song is quite simple, with a basic harmony using only three chords. This is the kind of melody that school-kids can easily learn on piano or xylophone. That makes it sound childlike to me – full of the wide-eyed wonder that little kids get when the world turns white with snow.

The lyrics underscore this childlike quality, with the notion of the snowflake coming to play, inviting you out to sled and build a snowman. The snow is nothing but fun and fresh in this song. Perhaps the only note of sadness is Suzy’s acknowledgment that, “I haven’t long to stay.”

Personally, I’m at the stage in life where snow is just kind of inconvenient. It keeps me from appointments and increases my worries about other drivers on the road. Maybe that’s where you are.

Maybe you are someone whose greatest fear is slipping on the ice and breaking something that just won’t heal anymore. For some, that fall can just be the beginning of a steeper decline. Snow is really scary when it might mean chronic health problems or a total change in lifestyle.

For some, though, snow is simply magical. Everything is white, and the world gets quiet. School gets canceled, and you wear special clothes so that you can lie down on the fluffy white stuff and make angels. You can throw snowballs that don’t hurt (much) or build a snowman. You might even ride a sled down a hill. When else does that happen?

It may not be safe or practical for you to play in the snow, but maybe there is a way to recapture that childlike wonder from this side of the window. “Suzy Snowflake” leads the way!

This post is part of an occasional series on special songs to share with your loved ones. For more song spotlights, click here.

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