In 1946, and 18-year-old named Frank Pooler wrote some song lyrics as a Christmas gift for his girlfriend. Their relationship ended before Frank was able give them to her but, lucky for us, he held on to those lyrics.
Fast forward twenty years and Frank Pooler was working as the choir director at California State University in Long Beach, where Richard Carpenter was a student and choir member. Richard asked Pooler if he had any ideas for different Christmas songs he and his younger sister, Karen, could perform. That’s how Pooler’s lyrics, set to Richard Carpenter’s music, became the enduring holiday favorite, “Merry Christmas, Darling.”
The Carpenters first released “Merry Christmas, Darling” in 1970. Karen re-recorded the vocals in 1978 for the duo’s album, Christmas Portrait, and it became a hit all over again. The video below was taken from The Carpenters’ 1978 Christmas TV special. Sadly, Karen would only live another five years. She passed away in 1983, at the age of 32, as a consequence of her struggle with anorexia nervosa.