My annual "Sleigh Ride" watch was jump-started unexpectedly yesterday, October 2, close to a month before it usually begins.

The immortal Leroy Anderson,
composer of the immortal
"Sleigh Ride."
To recap the rules: Every year around the holidays, I note the first time I hear Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," in either its instrumental or vocal incarnation. The encounter must be accidental. I may not seek out a recording. I have to chance upon it, either in a public place, such as a supermarket or department store, or on the radio.

Late in September, I started a new job as associate editor at a trade publication, and one of the women in the production department likes to begin celebrating Christmas as early as she can. (Given a choice, she would celebrate it year-round but, apparently, co-workers have convinced her to suppress that particular urge.) Yesterday, at her computer, she was listening to a Google playlist of Christmas songs, and as I delivered a handful of documents to her inbox, I overheard "Sleigh Ride" sung by none other than Carole King. The number of artists who have covered the song is approaching infinity, but still, a recording by the woman who wrote "I Feel the Earth Move" surprised me.

So, with my one holiday tradition out of the way, there's nothing to do but await the new year.


comments powered by Disqus