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The musical duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart have been cited as recording the most-played version of a classic Christmas song with their 1987 hit, Winter Wonderland. Their modern arrangement of the 1934 classic is played on the radio more than any other version of the song, according to a study by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The original was written by American composers Felix Bernard and Richard B Smith as a winter holiday song. Over the years, it has been adopted as a traditional Christmas song and there have been more than 800 cover versions recorded by artists all over the world! Based on radio airplay, it is the most played Christmas song in history, with Eurythmics' version being the most popular. This is quite an achievement, since other major stars who have recorded Winter Wonderland include Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Brenda Lee, Andy Williams, Elvis Presley, the Carpenters, Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers, to name but a few. Song's origins Smith, of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, who wrote the lyrics, was inspired after seeing Central Park in his hometown covered in snow in the winter of 1934. He had been ill with tuberculosis and was being treated in West Mountain Sanitarium, off North Sekol Avenue, when he wrote the song. Bernard, a composer, pianist and conductor, provided the music and the song was first recorded by Richard Himber and the Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra. It was released in 1934 on RCA Bluebird and even though the word "Christmas" wasn't mentioned in its lyrics, it was quickly regarded as a Christmas song. Over the years, it has triumphed over other traditional songs, such as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, which is number two on the all-time most-played list. Eurythmics' Winter Wonderland Lennox and Stewart formed Eurythmics in 1980, after playing together since 1976 in their former band, The Tourists, who had split up earlier that year. Known for their brand of new wave, synthesiser pop, the duo had enjoyed a succession of hit records before releasing Winter Wonderland. The song was always special to Lennox, as she revealed it was the first Christmas song she had ever recorded. It was originally recorded for inclusion in a charity album compiled by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, called A Very Special Christmas, to raise money for the Special Olympics. The sister of President John F Kennedy, Eunice was involved in charity work for much of her adult life, founding the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 1962. She was a key supporter of the Special Olympics - one of many charitable causes that she backed. Lennox described her as a "visionary" in putting together the charity Christmas album, because it was something that would last for years. Lennox said the Eurythmics' Winter Wonderland was put together "very hastily" because they were busy at the time. She admitted "we knocked it out in a day" but added that it had stood the test of time. She was responsible for the electro-rhythm track behind the melodies of the song. "I can still hear the flavour I wanted to give the song," added Lennox, who had aimed at creating a fusion between "nostalgia and edginess", which worked well. Lyrics The song always conjures up a feeling of nostalgia at Christmas, with the first verse being among the most familiar Christmas lyrics of all time: "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland!" The narrator talks about building a snowman in the meadow, then later on sitting dreaming by the fire, conjuring up images of cosy Christmas scenes which everyone will recognise, no matter what the era. Lennox admits to loving the perennial hits of the Christmas season, explaining that she still "carries that part of childhood", describing it as a "moment of nostalgia", bringing back memories of a time when everything in the world seemed good. When you're planning a walk in your very own winter wonderland, make sure you wear the perfect clothing and footwear to protect you from the cruel winter chill. M A Griggs has the perfect solution for all the family - we have many top brands for men, women and children.