Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Song for the Season by Florinda of the 3 Rs blog

(I'm so happy to welcome Florinda of the 3Rs Blog and my friend! as she shares about a favorite Christmas song)

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas music - some of it I love, some of it I hate. I don't love any of it until after Thanksgiving. And quite frankly, some of the Christmas music I love is kind of goofy, but I'll spare you a discussion of my favorite parodies, "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Christmas at Ground Zero" (from long before that term was associated with 9/11), and the McKenzie Brothers' spin on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." There's plenty of other Christmas music I love that falls into the "mostly normal" portion of the pop/secular realm.

The first time I remember hearing Darlene Love's "
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was in a rather unlikely place; it was the song played over the opening credits of the movie Gremlins. It was an oldie at the time, having first been written and recorded over 20 years earlier for the album A Christmas Gift for You. The album was a compilation of both new and well-known holiday songs performed by various girl groups working with producer Phil Spector. Spector's not exactly "mostly normal" himself, but the album is a modern holiday classic, and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was one of the new songs written for it. It didn't get much notice at the time, but it's been covered several times since then (most notably by U2), and it's pretty well-known now.

The song appeals to me for its classic pop sound, but also for its combination of an upbeat melody with rather wistful lyrics. The theme is a fairly common one in Christmas pop music - it's supposed to be the happiest time of year, but you're separated from someone you love and that makes it sad:

They're singin' "Deck the Halls"
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

(Christmas) Oh, the snow's coming down
(Christmas) Now I'm watching it fall
(Christmas) All the people around
(Christmas) Baby please come home

(Christmas) Now the church bells in town
(Christmas) Oh, they're ringing our song
(Christmas) Oh, what a happy sound
(Christmas) Baby please come home

They're singin' "Deck the Halls"
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

Pretty lights on the tree
I'm watching them shine
You should be here with me
Baby please come home


(Christmas) Oh Now the snow's coming down
(Christmas) Now I'm watching it fall
(Christmas) All the people around
(Christmas) Said Baby please come home

(Christmas) Now the church bells in town
(Christmas) Oh, they're ringing our song
(Christmas) Oh, what a happy sound
(Christmas) Baby please come home


They're singin' "Deck the Halls"
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

If there was a way
I'd hold back these tears
But this Christmas day
Baby please come home


(Christmas) Now the snow's coming down
(Christmas) Oh I'm watching it fall
(Christmas) All the people around
Baby, baby, baby, please come home
Now the snow's comin' down
Baby please come home

There have been many years when my family's been scattered around the country and we haven't been together for the holidays, and that's made this song meaningful to me. Last year was the first time I wasn't with my son at Christmas, and even though that's not really the type of relationship the song is talking about, it was stuck in my head all last December. This year, he's told me he IS coming home, 'll be picking him up from the airport after I leave work next Wednesday.


"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" has found a little home of its own - it's become an
annual tradition for Darlene Love to join the CBS House Band and perform it on the Late Show with David Letterman.



4 comments:

Deborah said...

oh i LOVE this song!!! lol except my favorite cover version is by Hanson (grimaces) and I really like Darlene Love's singing. another one of her Christmas songs I like is "All Alone on Christmas" which i first heard in Love Actually

Jenn said...

That is very touching. It is nice to read about what Christmas means to everyone and what their traditions are. Thanks for sharing a piece of yours!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the chance to talk about one of my favorite Christmas songs here, Amy!

Deborah - I like that Darlene Love song, too. It's a similar theme.

Jenn - This is the second time I've based a blog post on this song. Last year, it was about my son NOT coming home for Christmas :-).

Jenny Girl said...

Have a wonderful visit with your son this year. I'm very glad he is able to come home. Oh this is just too sweet. This is what the holidays should be about :) Thank you for sharing.

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