Who is Parson Brown?

By John Focht

Right there in the middle of Winter Wonderland is this seemingly out-of-nowhere reference to some guy named Parson Brown.  But who is Parson Brown and why is Johnny Mathis singing about building a snowman for him?

The word “Parson” was a term for a Protestant Minister who traveled among small towns to perform wedding ceremonies.

Parson Brown would today translate to Pastor Brown.  Makes sense since the next line in the song goes:

“He’ll say: Are you married?
We’ll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you’re in town.”