Do you remember Grandpa’s heartwarming Christmas wish from The Waltons' Christmas Album?
Listen to the cheery monologue performed by Will Geer that was included with carols and a Christmas version of the show’s theme song.
Read to Me
The plainly titled 1974 LP The Waltons' Christmas Album features well-known songs like “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” sung by a small choir credited as the Holiday Singers — not to be confused with the 1999 release A Walton Christmas: Together Again which reunited the cast to sing holiday favorites and some originals written by Jason Walton himself, John Walmsley.
The Waltons’ Christmas Album came out at the height of the show’s popularity in the mid-1970s. The opening track is a Christmas version of the instantly recognizable theme song from the series, turned festive with the addition of jingling sleigh bells and chiming church bells. Many of the other songs are introduced by Earl Hamner Jr. as adult John-Boy, just as in episodes of The Waltons.
Hamner reminisces about picking the perfect Christmas tree on Walton’s mountain, pouring over the “Wish Book” mail-order catalog and bringing the whole family together by the fire during cold winter storms.
The standout track on the record is called “Grandpa’s Christmas Wish” and is exactly what it sounds like. After Earl Hamner Jr. notes all the children’s wishes – a guitar, a nurse’s kit, a typewriter – while Will Geer’s soothing, Southern-tinged voice recollects what Christmas means to him. Geer’s speaking as Grandpa Zeb Walton, but sentiments like, “I wish to return some of the love that’s been given me,” and, “A spade full of earth is a kingdom in itself,” were no doubt shared by the plant-loving actor.
Though recorded more than 40 years ago, and performed as a character living 40 years before that, the monologue’s reminders of peace, understanding and the importance of a giving heart are as relevant now as they ever were.
Listen to “Grandpa’s Christmas Wish” from The Waltons’ Christmas Album below.