BARBARA KLEIN: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Barbara Klein.
STEVE EMBER: And I'm Steve Ember. This week on our program, we play some favorite songs about winter.
BARBARA KLEIN: It is winter in many parts of the world. For some areas, that means snow. Maybe even lots of snow. If you do not have to drive in it or remove it, snow can be very beautiful.
When snow covers everything around you, the world looks like a "Winter Wonderland." That is the name of a very popular song about winter. Richard Smith and Felix Bernard wrote the song way back in nineteen thirty-four.
There are hundreds of recordings of this happy song. Here is a lovely version by James Taylor.
STEVE EMBER: But winter is not always such a beautiful and happy time. It is cold outside. The wind blows to make it even colder. You try hard to keep warm. The days are shorter and darker.
The sun rarely shines. The leaves on the trees are brown or have fallen to the ground. The flowers are mostly gone. It is not surprising that some people are sad in winter.
And some people dream about being somewhere else where it is warm and pretty -- like the state of California. The Mamas and the Papas recorded this famous song, "California Dreamin'," in nineteen sixty-five.
During the nineteen sixties, many other famous rock groups released songs about winter. Here is a poetic song by Simon and Garfunkel called "A Hazy Shade of Winter." They sing about life and hope and possibilities.
In nineteen sixty-eight, the group Blood, Sweat and Tears recorded this gentle, sad song about winter. They sing about a lost love and forgotten memories in "Sometimes in Winter."
BARBARA KLEIN: In the early nineteen nineties, Tori Amos wrote and recorded this beautiful song called "Winter." She sings about when she was a child.
STEVE EMBER: Gordon Lightfoot wrote and recorded another sad and lovely song about winter in nineteen seventy-five.
Sarah McLachlan recorded "Song for a Winter's Night" for an album in two thousand six. She sings about reading a love letter and wishing the writer were with her now.
BARBARA KLEIN: Finally, on a happier note comes this song written and recorded by Fountains of Wayne in two thousand three. They sing about a snowstorm in a New England town. Nothing unusual there. But instead of being sad or tense about the snow, they write a song about it. We leave you with "Valley Winter Song."
STEVE EMBER: This program was written by Shelley Gollust and produced by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve Ember.
BARBARA KLEIN: And I'm Barbara Klein. Our programs are online with transcripts and MP3 files at 51voa.com. Join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.