Sleigh Ride leads one to things of curling up together in a sleigh to trapeze through the snow.
The song was composed by Leroy Anderson as a light orchestra standard.
The original idea came to him during a heat wave in June 1946. He worked on the song for over a year before finishing in February 1948.
The song was originally instrumental. In 1950, Mitchell Parish wrote lyrics for the melody. While the song is often associated with Christmas, the lyrics make no reference to Christmas.
Sleigh Ride was the main melody used in the 1949 Western, Streets of Laredo.
The Andrews Sisters recorded the first vocal version in 1950.
“In his book Leroy Anderson: A Bio-Bibliography [Praeger 2004], Steve Metcalf says “‘Sleigh Ride’ … has been performed and recorded by a wider array of musical artists than any other piece in the history of Western music.”
Anderson’s recording remains the most popular instrumental version, while Johnny Mathis’s has become the most popular vocal version.