"Merry Christmas Darling" is a Christmas song by the Carpenters (music by Richard Carpenter, lyrics by Frank Pooler), and originally recorded in 1970. It was first available on a 7-inch single that year (A&M Records 1236), and was later re-issued in 1974 (A&M 1648) and again in 1977 (A&M 1991). The single went to number one on Billboard's Christmas singles chart in 1970, and did so again in 1971 and 1973.
In 1978, the Carpenters issued their Christmas Portrait album, which contained a new remix of "Merry Christmas Darling". The original 1970 mix continued to be used for all single releases, however. The major difference between the 1970 and 1978 versions is a newly recorded vocal by Karen Carpenter on the latter. Richard Carpenter himself calls the original recording one of his sister's very best. The original single version of the song can be found on the compilation albums From the Top and The Essential Collection: 1965–1997.
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- Karen Carpenter - lead and backing vocals
- Richard Carpenter - backing vocals, piano, celesta, Wurlitzer electric piano, orchestration
- Joe Osborn - bass
- Hal Blaine - drums
- Bob Messenger - tenor saxophone
- Uncredited - vibes
The song was sung by actress Lea Michele for the second season Christmas episode of the hit TV series, Glee, entitled "A Very Glee Christmas", in 2010. This version was released as part of the series' first Christmas album.
The song has also been covered by Natalie Cole, Amy Grant, Glenn Medeiros, Kimberley Locke, Vanessa L. Williams, Phil Vassar, Boyz II Men, Kyle Vincent, Keali'i Reichel, Briana Cash, Christina Perri, Deana Carter, Jane Monheit, and Chicago, as well as Filipino rock singer Kitchie Nadal, Filipino pop balladeer Rico J. Puno, Filipino the voice, the singer's singer Jed Madela and Filipino pop crooner Richard Poon.