Paul McCartney recorded a version of ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’ with the musicians on his Kisses On The Bottom album.
The music was written in July 1945 by Mel Tormé, with lyrics written by Tormé and Bob Wells. It was first recorded the following year by Nat King Cole, and swiftly became a seasonal evergreen.
McCartney’s version was first released on 30 October 2012, on the Hear Music compilation album Holidays Rule. The album was released eight months after Kisses On The Bottom.
The song was issued on 4 December 2012 on ‘Christmas Kisses’, a 7″ vinyl single, with ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ on the b-side.
Five thousand copies were available, on red and green translucent vinyl editions, and sold at independent record stores in the USA. The single sold out swiftly and commanded high prices on the second-hand market. ‘Christmas Kisses’ was also included in the 2022 box set The 7″ Singles Box.
‘The Christmas Song’ was a bonus track on the Complete Kisses expanded digital edition of Kisses On The Bottom, which was released in November 2012 on the iTunes Music Store. That version featured strings which were not present on the other versions.
McCartney’s version changed the lyrics slightly. Instead of “some turkey and some mistletoe”, he sang “some holly and some mistletoe”.