Friday, December 9, 2005

Christmas Songs part 3: Please Come Home For Christmas

Please Come Home For Christmas-Charles Brown/The Eagles

This was a pretty important Christmas song for me. When I was growning up and listening to the local rock station, the Eagles version was one of the songs they would play most often. When I was 17, it became especially crucial to me, and in my development as a young man.

I was living in Florida at the time, and trying to fit in as best as I could, being that I had spent the previous seven years living on top of a mountain in the backwoods of North Carolina. I was a member of a club called the "Outdoorsmen Club", which could more accurately have been called the "Field Trip Club", since most of the places we went were not exactly rugged, remote terrain.

That Christmas, we had a team scavenger hunt that would lead us to a secret location for a dance/party. Me and my team of shepherds went looking all around Daytona Beach for clues until we finally figured out that the party would be at a hotel on the beachfront. We got there, and the party was in full swing. Being that it was a sponsored event, there was no alcohol, but we all had a pretty good time anyway.

I remember the DJ was playing the hits of the day through the evening, and I was wanting to dance with someone, ANYONE before the night was over. Finally, this song played, and I got up my nerve. I went over and asked a girl I was familiar with, named Stephanie Swisher, if she would dance with me. She said "yes", and we slow danced to this and the next one ("Happy Christmas", see below). Nothing else ever happened between us, but I appreciated Stephanie dancing with me, geek that I was/am.

I don't know; I realize that Charles Brown was the first artist to make this song popular, but I really like the Eagles' version more. Maybe it's the kind of "California vibe" they put into it. Maybe it's Don Henley's plaintive voice as he sings it. Maybe it's the memories of my first ever slow dance. Sorry, Charles.

Recommendation: The Eagles version, followed immediately on your Christmas mix by "Happy Christmas (War is Over)"

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