Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'll Be Home For Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "I'll Be Home For Christmas."  I don't care when I hear it I get misty listening to the words of the tune.  when I was a child and we lived in South Florida, my grandparents lived 700 miles away in Alabama and I can remember my dad and mom singing this song and my dad getting all choked up.  Once I remember hearing the song playing in the living room.  We would not be able to go to Alabama for Christmas and my grandmother had been ill.  I came into the living room and found my dad sitting in his chair with huge tears rolling down his face.  I crawled into this lap and laid my head against his chest until the song was over.  It broke my little heart to see him in so much pain.  My mother would listen to the radio during the day when I was at school.  Sometimes when I came home I would catch her at the dining room table, staring into space, singing this song.  Music has always been a big thing in my family and the stories that went with the songs were important as well.  I remember my mom telling me about "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and it making me very sad.  I also remember early in my married life not being able to go to Florida to be with my parents during Christmas....and crying by the time I finished the song.  I always knew I would be home for Christmas....even if it was just in my dreams.  The story behind the read song is that it is sung from the point of view of an overseas soldier during WWII, writing a letter to his family. In the message, he tells the family that he will be coming home, and to prepare the holiday for him including requests for "snow", "mistletoe", and "presents on the tree". The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams."  On October 4, 1943, Crosby recorded the song under the title "I'll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)" with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra for Decca Records which was released as a 78  single.  Within a month of release, the song charted for eleven weeks, with a peak at number three. The next year, the song reached number nineteen on the charts.  The U.S. War Department also released Bing Crosby's performance of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" from the December 7, 1944 Kraft Music Hall with the Henderson Choir.  The song touched the hearts of Americans, both soldiers and civilians, who were in the midst 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 and according to Bing Crosby, "accomplished more for military morale than anyone else of that era".      This morning as I was headed for work down Hwy 22 I heard Rascal Flatts version of the song and from Daviston to New Site found myself sobbing.  That song has that effect on me., how about you?  Have you ever been away from home on Christmas?  How did it make you feel?  What is your favorite Christmas song and what makes it so? 

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