Where Are You Christmas? (lost unreleased Mariah Carey version of Faith Hill song; 1999-2000)
"Where Are You Christmas?" is a song performed by American country singer Faith Hill for the soundtrack of the 2000 film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The song was first released as part of the film's soundtrack album on November 7th, 2000, before later being released as a single on December 11th, eventually peaking at #65 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was notably co-written by American pop singer Mariah Carey, who had originally recorded the song herself, but was unable to release it over legal concerns.
Mariah's Version[edit | edit source]
During the production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas between 1998 and 1999, American composer James Horner was hired to compose the film's score. At some point after this, Horner worked with songwriter Will Jennings (who had previously collaborated with Horner in writing Celine Dion's 1997 hit single "My Heart Will Go On") to create a theme song for the film. The song the pair came up with was titled "Christmas, Why Can’t I Find You?", and was performed in the film by child actress Taylor Momsen in character as Cindy Lou Who.
However, the pair felt as though this song wasn't enough, so they recruited pop star Mariah Carey to rewrite what was done in order to craft a song that had the potential to be an actual hit. Carey had previously proven her chops as a Christmas musician with her 1994 album Merry Christmas and its hit lead single "All I Want for Christmas Is You", so she seemed like a natural fit for the job. Together, the trio came out with the revised song "Where Are You Christmas?", which borrowed some of the same lyrics and melodies from the original song, but was largely redesigned to be a full length power ballad reminiscent of "My Heart Will Go On".
With the songwriting complete, Mariah recorded a demo of the song, which her backing vocalist and close friend Mary Ann Tatum sang over to provide a reference vocal. However, before any more work could be done on the vocal front, legal issues reared their ugly head. In 1999, Mariah had only recently been divorced from her husband of 4 years, then-Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Tommy Mottola. Following the divorce, Mariah's professional relationship with Sony began to deteriorate, and Mottola started taking actions that were seemingly designed to sabotage Mariah's long-term career prospects, such as severely limiting the release of "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)", the third single from Mariah's album Rainbow.
"Where Are You Christmas" became a part of this conflict, as The Grinch soundtrack was set to be released by Universal Music Group, a direct competitor to Sony Music. While Mariah needed no consent from her label to compose a song for a rival, actually recording a song for another label required the express permission of Sony Music and Tommy Mottola. Given Tommy's animosity towards Mariah, he naturally refused. Mariah's version of the song was promptly scrapped, and the song was rerecorded with Faith Hill as the lead artist.
Mariah's version of the song would remain a rumour for decades afterwards, and its existence wouldn't be officially confirmed until 2020, when Mariah appeared on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to promote her memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey. During the episode, a fan submitted question about the song was asked to Mariah, and she responded by confirming the existence of her version and stating that she would "have to dig back into the vault to find [her] version", but that she doesn't "like to send out [her] stuff like that.” To date, her demo of the song has never surfaced.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Faith Hill's US chart history. Retrieved 08 Dec '21
- Songfacts page for "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)". Retrieved 08 Dec '21
- Archived EST. 1997 page about Mariah's version of the song. Retrieved 08 Dec '21
- Clip from Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in which the song is discussed. Retrieved 08 Dec '21