Most years, I am. However, this year, I will be in Thailand shooting Mechanic: Resurrection as I’ve already talked about in this column. I will miss being with my family and friends. I wish them all well and I hope they have a great holiday season. I also wish all of our readers the best. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I look forward to this time of year with great enthusiasm.
A few minutes ago, I heard the song upon which the title of this article is based. It was the first time I’ve heard this song this season as Christmas is not really celebrated in Thailand as much as in the states. As some of you know, the song was written in 1944 during the final days of World War II. It was written in hopes that the war would end by Christmas and all of the soldiers could come home in time for Christmas. But, as Christmas approached, the Battle of the Bulge broke out and everyone knew that the war wouldn’t be over in time. So, the song became a dedication to those who wanted to be home, but couldn’t and more importantly to those who would never come home. My favorite version of the song recorded recently is by Rascal Flats. It brings back all of the emotion of the original recording. The video is quite well done too.
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Another of my favorite Christmas songs is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” This song has quite an interesting history that was covered in an Entertainment Weekly article about seven years ago. Click on this link and you will enjoy some banter about a song that became a standard because a few lyrics were changed at the bequest of Judy Garland, who sang it in “Meet Me In St. Louis,” and Frank Sinatra who recorded it later.
My favorite recent version of this song is about 20 years old and was recorded by Chrissie Hynde:
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The last of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Christmas Song,” which like many other Christmas songs was written by a Jewish Man, Mel Torme. This song brings back memories of my father who absolutely adored this song. He would sing it every Christmas while sitting in front of a fire place. It was always the image of “Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire.” And, once my dad starting singing, he kept singing the whole night long. One of his favorite songs was “Chattanooga Cho0-Choo.” When he taught me the words to that song, it gave me an appreciation of a different era of music that I thank him for till this day. He left us 25 years ago and I miss him more each year. My dad was one of the few people that everyone always said good things about. In fact, I can’t remember one bad thing anyone said about him. I miss you dad. Merry Christmas up there in heaven with mom, whom I also miss.
There is only one version of this song in my mind and that is the original by Nat King Cole. Here is a video of him performing it on some TV special.
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I didn’t want to say anything political in this post, but I think I have to. A few weeks ago, Darius Rucker, who is one of my favorite country performers sang “White Christmas,” at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony. Immediately, the poor man, who happens to be black, was blasted on Twitter and other social media sites, as well as, all over the web for singing a racist song. I’m sorry, but as I saw on one post on Facebook, “C’mon, leave the guy alone. The song is about snow.”
I agree. This song is not about “White People.” It is about snow. It is about people living in Southern California looking forward to a Christmas which was white because there was snow on the ground. In fact, the verse which very few people know is as follows:
The Sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There’s never been such a day
In Beverly Hills LA
But, it’s December 24th
And, I’m longing to be Up North . . .
There is not way this song can be confused. It is not about White People. It’s about snow. End of story. Leave the poor guy alone. He was singing a song about Christmas. Maybe some more people should sing about Christmas. It’s a great time of year.
Well, that’s it for now. To all of you who are going home for Christmas, I’m envious. To those of you that aren’t, but wish to, I’m in the same boat. But as the lyrics at the end of the song state – “I’ll be Home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.