Music

Story Behind the Song: Alabama's Celebration of Southern Holidays, 'Christmas in Dixie'

Back in 1982, the band Alabama debuted its most enduring musical celebration of Christmas, "Christmas in Dixie."

Members Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, Jeff Cook and Mark Herndon share songwriting credits for a tune first heard on RCA Records compilation A Country Christmas. It got a second wind in 1985 when it appeared on Alabama's first holiday album, Alabama Christmas. Nowadays, it's a must for country-themed holiday playlists.

As is the case with a lot of great country songs, there's no allegories to unravel. The band plainly states that holidays spent in New York City are nice and all, but wait until you take in an Atlanta, Georgia or Memphis, Tennessee Christmas. And if city life's not your speed, visit the group's hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama when locals are prepping for Santa Claus' big night.

For an even better reminder that Christmas time is fun for all ages, give the 1997 re-release of "Christmas in Dixie's" B-side ,"Thistlehair the Christmas Bear," a spin.

Read More: Dolly Parton Shares Her 2020 Letter to Santa Claus

"Christmas in Dixie's" been covered several times over the years, most notably by Kenny Chesney for his 2003 release All I Want For Christmas is a Real Good Tan and by a cappella group Home Free for its 2020 Christmas album Warmest Winter.

"Christmas in Dixie" Lyrics

By now in New York City, there's snow on the ground
And out in California, the sunshine's falling down
And, maybe down in Memphis, Graceland's all in lights
And in Atlanta, Georgia, there's peace on earth tonight

Christmas in Dixie, it's snowin' in the pines
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonight

It's windy in Chicago. The kids are out of school
There's magic in Motown. The city's on the move
In Jackson, Mississippi, to Charlotte, Caroline
And all across the nation, it's the peaceful Christmas time

Christmas in Dixie, it's snowin' in the pines
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonight

And from Fort Payne, Alabama
God bless why'all...We love ya...Happy New Year...Good night
Merry Christmas...Merry Christmas tonight

Now Watch: Country Music's Best Christmas Songs

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Story Behind the Song: Alabama's Celebration of Southern Holidays, 'Christmas in Dixie'