The man who co-wrote “All I Want For Christmas Is You” with Mariah Carey says the pop diva’s story about the song’s origin is as false as flying reindeer.
Longtime Carey collaborator Walter Afanasieff this week tried to make mincemeat of Carey’s claim that she came up with the Christmas classic when she was a child. “I am proud of this song that I wrote basically as a kid on my little Casio keyboard,” she told Billboard in 2017.
On the podcast “Hot Takes & Deep Dives” posted Thursday, Afanasieff expressed gratitude to Carey for the 1994 song’s enduring success but took issue with her “tall tale.”
He said there was “never any alternate story ... until probably 10 years ago, when she started to hint at the fact that, ‘Oh, yeah, I wrote that song when I was a little girl.’”
“But why weren’t you saying that for 12 or 13 or 15 years prior to that? So it just sort of developed in her mind,” the producer argued. “But she doesn’t play anything. She doesn’t play keyboard or piano. She doesn’t understand music, she doesn’t know chord changes and music theory or anything like that. She doesn’t know a diminished chord from a minor seventh chord to a major seventh chord.”
“So to claim that she wrote a very complicated, chord-structured song with her finger on a Casio keyboard when she was a little girl, it’s kind of a tall tale,” he added.
Afanasieff, a two-time Grammy winner, described their songwriting process as a 50-50 “pingpong” of ideas with him at the piano during the long-ago summer session focused on adding three Christmas songs to an upcoming album.
“At the time I felt it was very collaborative,” he said.
He said he hasn’t talked to Carey in four years, and that followed an approximately 20-year span of no contact.
An automatic email from Carey’s rep said he was on holiday when asked for comment by HuffPost.