This is Steve Ember with a VOA Special English holiday program.
Music fills the air. Colorful lights shine brightly in windows. Children and adults open gifts from loved ones and friends. These are all Christmas traditions.
Another tradition is snow. Christmas in the northern part of the world comes a few days after the start of winter. In many places, a blanket of clean white snow covers the ground on Christmas Day. This is what is meant by a "White Christmas."
Of course, many places do not get snow at Christmas. In fact, they may be very warm this time of year. People who like snow, but live where it is warm, can only dream of having a white Christmas.
A scene from the movie 'White Christmas,’ starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney
American songwriter Irving Berlin captured these feelings in his song, "White Christmas." It is one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time.
The opening words explain why the singer is dreaming of a white Christmas. Most people never hear these words so they never really understand the true meaning of the song. Here’s how it starts:
The sun is shining.
The grass is green.
The orange and palm trees sway.
I’ve never seen such a day in Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it’s December the twenty-fourth
And I’m longing to be up north.
Up north, where it is cold and snowy.
Not south, where it is warm and sunny.
Over the years, hundreds of singers and musicians have recorded "White Christmas." But the version most people still know best was sung by Bing Crosby.
Songwriter Irving Berlin was born in Russia in eighteen eighty-eight. He did not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. He was Jewish.
But his song celebrates an idea of peace and happiness that anyone, anywhere -- snowy or not -- can enjoy.
To all of you, best wishes this holiday season from all of us in VOA Special English. This is Steve Ember.
1.star vt. 用星号标于；由…主演，由…担任主角
The previous year Adolphson had starred in a play in which Ingrid had been an extra.
2.sway vt. 影响；统治；使摇动 vi. 影响；摇摆
Branches sway gently in the wind.
3.palm n. 手掌；棕榈树；掌状物
Dornberg slapped the table with the palm of his hand.
1.And I’m longing to be up north.
long to 渴望
I long to travel to far places.
I do want and long to discreet in this.
空气中到处弥漫着音乐，彩灯在玻璃窗上闪烁。大人小孩都打开亲人朋友送的礼物 。这是所有的圣诞传统 。
另外一个传统是雪。北方地区的圣诞节在冬天开始之后 。在许多地方，圣诞节地上总是覆盖着厚厚的白雪 。这就是“白色圣诞”的意思 。
当然，许多地方圣诞节不下雪。事实上，每年的这个时间可能天气很暖 。那些喜欢雪，但是住在温暖的地方的人只能梦想过一个白色圣诞 。
这么多年来，数百位歌手和音乐家录制了这首 “白色圣诞节”, 但是由平克劳斯贝演唱的版本人们至今仍然最为熟悉。