Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'll Be Home for Christmas

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

The song titled "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was copyrighted on August 24, 1943, by Walter Kent (music) and James "Kim" Gannon (words). Kent and Gannon revised and re-copyrighted their song on Sep. 27, 1943, and it was this version that was made famous by Bing Crosby. Crosby recorded "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra for Decca Records. Within about a month of its being copyrighted the song hit the music charts and remained there for eleven weeks, peaking at number three.

The song touched a tender place in the hearts of Americans, both soldiers and civilians, who were then in the depths of World War II, and it earned Crosby his fifth gold record. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" became the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows in both Europe and the Pacific, and Yank, the GI magazine, said Crosby accomplished more for military morale than anyone else of that era. In December 1965, when the astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell were returning to Earth after setting a record for the longest flight in the US space program aboard Gemini 7 spacecraft, they requested this carol to be played for them.

This bitter-sweet Christmas song never fails to raise a lump in my throat. It's a mythical letter home from a soldier, and sounds so upbeat and hopeful until that fateful last line when we realize that the writer will not make it home for Christmas this year, or maybe never again. I usually try to keep these posts on the light side, but every time I hear this song, it reminds me of the brave people who risk all to keep us safe in our beds. They sometimes show on TV news clips of soldiers sending holiday greetings home to their families, and it's just so sad.

All our lives we are told that wars are necessary to keep the bad guys at bay. Wouldn't it be great if everyone realized that the human race, wherever it may be found, has a lot in common. Instead of going to war over the ethnic, religious and political differences that divide us, how much better would it be to take those billions spent on waging war and use it to make the world a better place for all peoples. I'm as patriotic as anyone, but I'm tired of seeing pictures in the paper of a twenty-year old coming home in a flag-draped coffin.

Please forgive the seriousness of this post; I know it's Christmas and we should all be in a mood to celebrate with our families. Please pray for the safety of our soldiers overseas and that one day, soldiers all over the world will not have to dream about going home, but will actually be able to put down their guns and return to the arms of their loved ones for good. Merry Christmas to all.


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

1 comment:

joe del broccolo said...

Some day, and mark my words, all the chahkis will be worth money. To who, I don't know.