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Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees

4.4 / 5

Words & Music: Red West Glen Spreen

Somewhere in, in the distant night
I hear Christmas bells
The gentle snow keeps falling down on people
Who are homeward bound
That's the it's always been
The circle really never ends
Christmas seems to come and go
From the place that I don't know
Holly leaves and Christmas trees
It's that time of year

Lights aglow and mistletoe
Don't mean a thing when you're not here
As I walk, walk this lonely street
The sound of snow beneath my feet
I'll think of how it used to be
Holly leaves and Christmas trees
Use to mean so much to me

Recordingdate: 1971/05/15, first released on: Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees:



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Steve V wrote on August 31, 2009
Love it but what a sad song. Haunting & beautiful. Nice job by Red West.
Deano1 wrote on October 27, 2010
You want to know how great and unique Elvis was a singer and song stylist? Listen to this one. He takes the painfully sad lyrics and still somehow makes it work on a Christmas LP (The most wonderful time of the year according to Andy Williams) without loosing any of the sentiment of the words. Well-written, beautifully sung and a real treasure on a fine LP.
I am Buffalo-Horn! wrote on June 15, 2012
Actually it's a nice job by Elvis. If you listen to this song being developed by him, on "Christmas Today" or FTD, you can hear him turn a an initially unpromising song, with tortuous phrasing, into a masterpiece. It could have just stayed indifferent, but it becomes the best track on the album, thanks only to Elvis' efforts...
TCB1974 wrote on June 15, 2012
Five star song, masterful delivery. It has surprised me how sensitive Red West his songs are such as That is someone you never forget, Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees, If everyday was like Christmas. How to reconcile this with his aggressive bodyguard image?
Blackhawk wrote on June 16, 2012
I first heard this song playing in the distance when i was about 12 years old. I was drawn to the record player at my Aunty's House. It became my favourite Christmas song from that moment. BTW...'From the place that I don't know' is incorrect. It should read 'Home's a place that I don't know'...all the more poignant.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 28, 2012
This is such a beautiful Christmas song and it should be way better known than it actually is. It's one of eleven songs that Elvis recorded that was written by his longtime friend and bodyguard Red West.
Puer Aeternus wrote on November 26, 2012
I listened to this song originally on Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas. It was one of four or five I really liked from that album. For some reason I didn't take the lyrics to heart right away. It took an off chance listen which stopped me in my tracks to get me to really listen to the lyrics. Elvis doesn't press in this song. Not even close. He takes the understated lyrics and performs them with subtlety and a pitch perfect understanding of how this song should sound. Thanksgiving is over now. I know I'm going to be listening to a lot of this one until the end of the year, and beyond.
sugartummy wrote on March 11, 2013
When I read the title of the song, I think this song will stink. But it's so tragic and moving. Modern R&B singers would emphasize that tragic feeling of the song. Elvis never fell into that trap.
Gorse wrote on September 03, 2013
I have been an Elvis fan for many a long year but for some reason this recording passed me by. I then decided that I should listen closely to the lyrics and now find I am now totally converted to a heart searching, majestic and masterful performance.
DerekH wrote on September 14, 2014
Roll on December. I only play my Elvis Christmas cd's in December. This one is top notch. My favorite Christmas recording is "If everyday could be just like Christmas".
Jyroflux wrote on August 31, 2015
It's not Christmas unless I hear this song. A very moving song masterfully sung.
ElvisSacramento wrote on February 18, 2016
This Christmas song is a true gem and Elvis' rendition of it was spectacular. The other ten songs that Elvis recorded that were written or co-written by his longtime friend and bodyguard Red West were "If Every Day Was Like Christmas", "If You Talk In Your Sleep", "If You Think I Don't Need You", "It's No Fun Being Lonely", "I've Been Blue", "Mary Lou Brown", "Seeing Is Believing", "Separate Ways", "That's Someone You Never Forget" and "You'll Be Gone".
Cruiser621 wrote on October 16, 2018
Half decent song. 4-stars. Too many songs on this album with very similar titles or sounds.
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