Hi Everyone and welcome to my Soul Inspirations newsletter : "We’ll Be Home for the Holidays—and That’s Okay!"
I drove around my neighborhood the other day and noticed several houses already decorated for the holidays. Seeing the colorful twinkling lights around the windows and giant inflatable Santa Clauses waving from front lawns puts me in the holiday spirit.
But this year, as we all know ... things are different. A nasty Grinch called Covid-19 is trying to steal Christmas from us. With more lockdowns in place and more cases prohibiting us to cross borders and visiting our loved ones, the classic holiday song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is literally coming true for 2020.
I wanted to share some interesting parallels I learned about this popular song and our challenging year fighting the pandemic.
People were singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” when we were involved in another tough battle—World War II. The lyrics were written in the voice of a soldier serving overseas who is reminiscing about the holidays—surrounded by family and friends. This soldier looks forward to coming home and asks specifically for things that represent the holidays: Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents by the tree. The song, however, ends on a melancholy note with the soldier saying: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
Back in 1943 when this song was up for grabs, music moguls wouldn’t go near it. Who would want to record this painful reminder for anyone separated from their loved ones in the military? “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was nearly doomed, at least until its lyricist Kim Gannon just happened to mention it to his golfing buddy Bing Crosby!
Crosby, already a leader in record sales, was so moved by the song, he recorded it that same year. Soon “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” topped the charts for 11 weeks and earned the legendary crooner his fifth Gold Record.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” became something the music industry never expected—a song that boosted morale, filled people’s hearts with holiday spirit and gave them hope for the future.