Answer Man: An oldie, but a goodie: It's time for 'Christmas in Rochester'
Dear Answer Man, my wife grew up in Rochester and we both still think of Rochester as home. She loves the 1980s-era Christmas song, "Rochester, Minnesota, that's my hometown..." A number of years ago, your paper offered this classic song as a free download. Well, my computer crashed and we are grieving the loss of that song more than anything else. Do you still have this file? Is this something you could share again? You could make one family's Christmas very merry! — Matt Marohl, spouse of Rochester native Sarah Fibeger, Davenport, Iowa
Time flies when the Answer Man is having fun. I wrote about this little Christmas ditty a half-dozen years ago, and here's the question I received at that time: "I grew up in Rochester. During Christmas one year, about 1970 or so, a teacher from Sunset Terrace wrote a holiday song about Rochester. We sang it during one of our Christmas concerts at Jefferson Elementary. The chorus to that song runs through my mind every time we visit family in Rochester. I’m wondering if someone out there knows the entire song."
The tune, " Christmas in Rochester ," was written and recorded by Rochelle Stensby, a first-grade teacher at Sunset Terrace Elementary School at the time. Rochelle, who also taught at Folwell and Churchill schools during her career, died on Christmas Day in 1993.
Listen to "Christmas in Rochester":
The chorus begins, "Rochester, Minnesota, that’s my home town. Where the hearts are full of singing, and the bells are full of ringing, for the holidays ..."
In fact, here's the rest, courtesy of a web poster with a soft spot for Rochester:
There’s a special kind of feeling
Floating all around and everywhere
There’s so much to share with music in the air
See the people busy shopping,
Mingle with the tingle of sparkling toys
Laughing girls and boys add to Christmas joys
May the world join in this feeling
Bringing love and peace to all mankind
Everyone will find that troubles stay behind
That’s my home—town—
Where the hearts are full of singing
And the bells are full of ringing
for the hol—i—days—
As we gather round together
Never minding wintry weather
There’s no place that
I would rather be—
That’s my home—town—
Fortunately for you and me, veteran P-B employee Bruce Engle had a 45-rpm copy of it, and we've reloaded it on the website.