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"Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Song by Harry Simeone
Composer(s)Gloria Shayne Baker
Lyricist(s)Noël Regney

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" is a song written in October 1962, with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker.[1] The pair, married at the time, wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[2] Regney had been invited by a record producer to write a Christmas song, but he was hesitant due to the commercialism of the Christmas holiday.[3] It has sold tens of millions of copies and has been covered by hundreds of artists.[2]


Regney wrote the lyrics for the song, while Shayne composed the music in October 1962.[2] This was an unusual arrangement for the two writers. Usually it was Shayne who wrote the lyrics for their songs while Regney composed the music, as they did when they wrote a song based on the classic children's song "Rain Rain Go Away".[1][2]

Regney was inspired to write the lyrics "Said the night wind to the little lamb, 'Do you see what I see?'" and "Pray for peace, people everywhere" after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.[1] Shayne stated in an interview years later that neither could personally perform the entire song at the time they wrote it because of the emotions surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis.[1] "Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time."[1]

Recordings, Film and TV Appearances[]

Original recordings[]

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" was released shortly after Thanksgiving in 1962.[1] The song was originally recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale,[1] a group which had also popularized "The Little Drummer Boy". It went on to sell more than a quarter-million copies during the 1962 Christmas holiday season.[1]

Bing Crosby made the song into a hit when he recorded his own version of it on October 21, 1963,[4] with the record being released as a single on October 26. Crosby also performed the song on a Bob Hope Christmas television special on December 13 of that year. Over the years, Crosby's recording of the song has been widely played on the radio, and has been available on numerous compilation Christmas albums and compact discs put out by Capitol Records.

Cover versions[]

Template:Example farm The song was later recorded in diverse ways by hundreds of artists including:

  • Jack Jones (1964 - The Jack Jones Christmas Album)[5]
  • Eddie Fisher (1965 - Mary Christmas)[6]
  • Andy Williams (1965 - Merry Christmas)
  • Pat Boone[2] (1966 - Christmas is a Comin')[7]
  • The Joystrings (1966 - Well Seasoned)[8]
  • Kate Smith[2] (1966 - The Kate Smith Christmas Album)[9]
  • Ed Ames (1967 - Christmas with Ed Ames)[10]
  • Anita Bryant (1967 - Christmas with Anita Bryant)
  • Diahann Carroll (1967)[11]
    (appears on various artists' 1995 holiday album Christmas Encore!)[12]
  • Jim Nabors[2] (1967 - Jim Nabors' Christmas Album)[13]
  • Perry Como[2] (1968 - The Perry Como Christmas Album)[14]
  • Robert Goulet[2]
    (1968 - Robert Goulet's Wonderful World of Christmas)[15]
  • Mahalia Jackson[2] (1968 - Christmas with Mahalia)[16]
  • Johnny Mathis[2] (1969 - Give Me Your Love for Christmas)
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips (1975 - Bless This House)[17]
  • The Carpenters (1984 - An Old-Fashioned Christmas)
  • Hampton String Quartet (1986)
    (What if Mozart Wrote Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas)[18]
  • Whitney Houston[2] (1987)
    (for the Special Olympics benefit album A Very Special Christmas)
  • Anne Murray (1988 - Anne Murray Christmas)[19]
  • Jose Mari Chan (1990 - Christmas in Our Hearts)
  • Vince Gill (1993 - Let There Be Peace on Earth)
  • Bob Hope[2] & Dolores Hope (1993 - Hopes for the Holidays)[20]
  • John Tesh[2] (1994 - The Choirs of Christmas)[21]
  • La Bouche (1994 - Bravo Dance X-Mas)
  • Glen Campbell[2] (1995 - Christmas with Glen Campbell)
  • Patti LaBelle (1995 - for a Washington, DC Christmas Musical)[22]
    (2007 - Miss Patti's Christmas)
  • David Arkenstone (1997 - Enchantment: A Magical Christmas)[23]
  • Minimum Wage (1997 - from various artists' holiday album A Punk & Ska Christmas Gone Wrong)[24]
  • United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra[2]
    (1997 - This Is Christmas)[25]
  • Anthony Way (1997 - The Choirboy's Christmas)[26]
    (with St. Paul's Cathedral Choir & English Chamber Orchestra)[27]
  • Rosie O'Donnell with Elmo (1999 - A Rosie Christmas)[28]
  • Martina McBride (1999[29] - White Christmas)
  • Linda Eder with The Broadway Gospel Choir
    (2000 - Christmas Stays the Same)[30]
  • Kelly Rowland
    (2001 - from the Destiny's Child album 8 Days of Christmas)
  • Mannheim Steamroller (2001 - Christmas Extraordinaire)
  • Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band[2] (2001 - Island Christmas)[31]
  • South African singer Jo Day
    (2002 - for various artists' holiday album The Santa Sessions)[32]
  • Kenny G[2] (2002 - Wishes: A Holiday Album)
  • Delta Goodrem
    (2002 - for the holiday compilation album The Spirit of Christmas 2002)
  • Jim Brickman (2003 - Peace)
  • Larry Norman
    (2003 - Christmastime: The Day that a Child Appeared)[33]
    (as "Do You See What I See")
  • Copeland
    (2004 - for the holiday compilation album Maybe This Christmas Tree)
  • Flyleaf (2005 - Do You Hear What I Hear)[34]
  • Third Day (2006 - Christmas Offerings)
  • Carrie Underwood
    (2008 - Walmart holiday edition[35] of her album Carnival Ride)
  • Johnny Cash[36] (recording date unknown, released 2008)
  • Kristin Chenoweth (2008 - A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas)
  • Heather Headley (2008 - Do You Hear What I Hear)[37]
  • Lani Misalucha (2008 - The Gift of Christmas)[38]
  • Connie Talbot (2008 - Connie Talbot's Christmas Album)
    (2009 - Connie Talbot's Holiday Magic)
  • Kristinia DeBarge (2009)
    (for the Special Olympics holiday album A Very Special Christmas 7)
  • Bob Dylan (2009 - Christmas in the Heart)
  • Ali Slaight and Theo Tams (2009)[39]
  • Susan Boyle with Amber Stassi
    (2010 - from Susan Boyle's album The Gift)
  • Pink Martini (2010 - Joy to the World)
  • Vanessa Carlton (2011 - Hear the Bells)[40]
  • Sufjan Stevens (2012 - Silver & Gold)
  • William Beckett
    (2013 - for the holiday compilation album Punk Goes Christmas)
  • Idina Menzel (2014 - Holiday Wishes)
  • Home Free Vocal Band (2014 - Full of Cheer ; 2016 - Full of (Even More) Cheer)

Use in a Medley with other songs[]

  • Bobby Lloyd & The Skeletons (1990 - Christmas Party with Eddie G.)[41](performed as a medley with the rock classic "You Really Got Me")
  • Vanessa Williams (1996 - Star Bright) (performed in a medley with "Little Drummer Boy")
  • Moya Brennan (2005 - An Irish Christmas) (in medley with "Don oiche...")

Appearances in Films, TV and as a Sample[]

Template:Reduce trivia

  • The 1969 Johnny Mathis version features prominently in the 1984 Joe Dante directed movie Gremlins. Its placing in the movie - immediately after the titular Gremlins have hatched - and its contrasting impact in the scene have elevated this particular version to a level of cultural iconoclasm not achieved by any other version of the song, including the original. Indeed, for a great number of people, Do You Hear What I Hear is indelibly synonymous with the movie itself, often to the extent that one cannot hear it without thinking of Gremlins.
  • Celine Dion with Rosie O'Donnell (1998 - for Celine Dion's CBS-TV concert special These Are Special Times)
  • This song appears on the Sesame Street TV special Elmo's Christmas Countdown (2007) and is sung by Elmo and Alicia Keys when she finds him sitting alone and convinces him never to give up hope. In this version, the words are slightly different.
  • The Broadway Cast of American Idiot for BCEFA's Carols for a Cure (Volume 12) (2010)[42]
  • The Concordia Choir, whose version is arranged by René Clausen, for the TV special Christmas at Concordia: Journey to Bethlehem[43]
  • Former Celtic Woman members Órla Fallon and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha for the 2010 TV Special Órla Fallon's Celtic Christmas
  • "The Glee Project" contestants Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell performed the song on The Glee Cast album Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2 (2011).
  • In 2011 JLS sampled the song for their single "Do You Feel What I Feel?"

Regney said that his favorite version was performed by Robert Goulet. As The New York Times noted, when the singer came to the line "Pray for peace, people everywhere," he "almost shouted the words." [44]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Noland, Claire (2008-03-15). "Pianist wrote music for holiday song". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Fox, Margalit (2008-03-11). "Gloria Shayne Baker, Composer and Lyricist, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  4. "A Bing Crosby Discography: Song Index". Bing Magazine. 31 December 2016.
  5. Jones, Jack. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Second Hand Songs. 1964.
  6. Fisher, Eddie. "Mary Christmas". Dot Records. 1965.
  7. Boone, Pat. "Christmas Is A Comin' (Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo)". Dot Records. 1966.
  8. The Joystrings. "Well Seasoned (Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo)". Regal Zonophone. November 1966.
  9. Smith, Kate. "The Kate Smith Christmas Album". RCA/Sony Music Distribution. 28 November 1966.
  10. Ames, Ed. "Christmas with Ed Ames (Vinyl, LP, Album)". RCA Victor. 1967.
  11. Carroll, Diahann. "Discography". Diahann!
  12. Various Artists. "Christmas Encore". Legacy/Sony Music Distribution. 15 August 1995.
  13. Nabors, Jim. "Jim Nabors' Christmas Album" (Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo). Columbia. 1967.
  14. Perry Como with The Ray Charles Singers. "The Perry Como Christmas Album". Kokomo/RCA Victor. Mid-Late August 1968.
  15. Goulet, Robert. "Robert Goulet's Wonderful World of Christmas". Columbia. 1968.
  16. Jackson, Mahalia. "Christmas with Mahalia". Columbia/Sony Music Distribution. 1968.
  17. Gladys Knight & the Pips Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's "Do You Hear What I Hear".
  18. Hampton String Quartet. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Hampton String Quartet-Topic. 25 February 2015.
  19. Murray, Anne. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Anne Murray-Topic. 8 November 2014.
  20. Bob Hope & Dolores Hope. "Hopes for the Holidays". Hope Enterprises, Inc. 1993.
  21. Tesh, John. "The Choirs of Christmas (CD, Album)". GTSP Records. 1994.
  22. LaBelle, Patti. "Do You Hear What I Hear...". YouTube: House of Black Music. 5 January 2017.
  23. Arkenstone, David. "Enchantment: A Magical Christmas". Narada. 9 September 1997.
  24. Various. "A Punk & Ska Christmas Gone Wrong" (CD, Album, Compilation). Drive-Thru Records. 1997.
  25. United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra. "This Is Christmas". Altissimo. 23 September 1997.!-mw0000394012
  26. Anthony Way with St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Maureen Ruiz. 24 December 2009.
  27. Choir of King's College Cambridge. "The Ultimate Carol Collection". Decca Classics. 10 November 1997.
  28. Rosie O'Donnell and Elmo Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's "Do You Hear What I Hear".
  29. McBride, Martina. "White Christmas (CD, HDCD, Album)". RCA Records Label. 1999.
  30. Linda Eder and The Broadway Gospel Choir. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Second Hand Songs. 2000.
  31. Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: T.F.S.D.B.-Topic. 14 October 2015.
  32. Horn, Tracy. "Various Artists - 5fm Presents The Santa Sessions". November 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  33. Norman, Larry. "Christmastime: The Day That a Child Appeared" (CDr, Album, Reissue). Solid Rock Records. 2003, 2014.
  34. Flyleaf. "Do You Hear What I Hear". Octone. 2005.
  35. Underwood, Carrie. "Carnival Ride (2 X CD, Album, Walmart Edition)". Arista. 21 October 2008.
  36. "A Country Christmas". Toronto Public Library. 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  37. Headley, Heather. "Do You Hear What I Hear". YouTube: Heather Headley-Topic. 13 March 2014.
  38. Misalucha, Lani. "The Gift of Christmas". Universal Records. November 2008.
  39. Ali Slaight and Theo Tams. "Do You Hear What I Hear (File, AAC, Single)". Sony Music Canada. 10 November 2009.
  40. Vanessa Carlton Cover of Harry Simeone Chorale's "Do You Hear What I Hear".
  41. Various. "Christmas Party with Eddie G." (CD, Album, Compilation). Strikin' It Rich/Columbia. 1990.
  42. Various Artists. "Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Volume 12" (2010). Rock-It Science Records. 5 December 2014.
  43. "Christmas at Concordia: Journey to Bethlehem". KPBS. 9 December 2010.