In 1945, when songwriter Bob Wells first penned the line “chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” chestnuts were as much a part of the Christmas season as eggnog and gingerbread. And then, just a few years after Nat King Cole recorded his iconic version of that song…they weren’t. What happened? It’s one of the few examples from recent history of a Christmas tradition dying out — literally — in a single generation. Is it lost forever? Or are we poised for a roasty toasty Christmas comeback story?
Thank you to Sarah Fitzsimmons, director of restoration with the American Chestnut Foundation, for appearing in this episode.
Music in this episode
- “Home for the Holidays” — Chris Haugen, via Youtube Audio Library
- “Feelings of Twilight” — Shady Dave, via Freesound
- “Angles We Have Heard” — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech
- “Fresh Fallen Snow” — Chris Haugen, via Free Music Archive
- “The Christmas Song” — Don Maue, shared directly by the artist