One of my favorite Christmas songs was co-written by a man named Ralph Blane. He passed away several years ago, but I was lucky to have met him while working at Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot back in the mid-1990s.
Candlelight is a beautiful show held every year at the America Gardens Theater. Featuring a mass choir, an orchestra, and a celebrity narrator, the show perfectly weaves together stories and songs to tell the story of Christmas. The show runs for about six weeks and is easily one of Disney’s most popular holiday shows.
One year – I’m thinking 1994 maybe? – Mr. Blane was invited to narrate.
I remember him as being a little guy, soft-spoken and deliberate with his words. He read the story of Christmas beautifully and when that part of the show ended, he invited the audience to sing along as the orchestra played some well-known holiday songs. When it was time to sing Mr. Blaine’s song, the conductor re-introduced him and said that the next song was written by Mr. Blane back in 1944. He’d written it for Judy Garland in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis. The audience cheered and sang along.
I regret not getting a picture with Mr. Blane, but it was such a treat to meet him. And this song – his song – remains one of my favorites.