Friday, December 7, 2012

David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Ten: I'll Be Home for Christmas and Silent Night

by Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic

Pamela Pike's Recollection of "I'll Be Home for Christmas

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is a Christmas song recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby who scored a top ten hit with the song.  “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” has since gone onto become a Christmas standard.  The song was written by lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent.

The song 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 under the tree”.  The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

In December of 1948, Bob Hope and other performers traveled to Berlin, Germany, to entertain members of the armed forces participating in the Berlin Airlift. This was his first Christmas tour to entertain troops and the beginning of a Hope tradition that lasted until1990.

The song touched the hearts of Americans both soldiers and civilians, who were in the midst of World War II. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" became the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows.

David Archuleta’s “Christmas From the Heart” album was released on October 13, 2009 and his vocal virtuosity gave this album a timeless appeal to his fans and lovers of the traditional Christmas music.  His gorgeous tone, silky timbre and stunning voice were suited to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and with his slightly jazzy treatment added heartfelt appeal.

David has a way of squeezing every drop of emotion out of a lyric.  David's style imparts each song a particular touch, highly inspired, emotionally crafted, and technically perfect.

It's amazing the images of family life and times gone by that this song brings to the table.  I have
extremely fond memories of this song.  I can't think of a better paring than David's golden voice and
the lyrics to I'll Be Home for Christmas.  He sings this song effortlessly.

David's mellow version will have you calling your mother or grandmother.  His vocal are so sweet
and nonchalant as they tug at your holiday heart strings whether he's swelling the big notes or almost speaking a soft word or two, David knows how to get to you.

Christmas music is an important part of the whole holiday season.  The music and sounds of Christmas come from all styles and genres, providing something for every musical taste.  Some carols are very religious, bringing the reason for the season front and center.  Others are totally about the holiday season and cheer, focusing on the fun of Christmas.  A few are even melancholy, focusing on
missing loved ones at Christmas.

This song is just as poignant today as it was over 65 years ago as it reminds us many loved one are still separated from their families for various reasons.  I will remember them all this holiday season with love and wish them peace, safety and pray they will be home soon.

And for David Archuleta, my special heartfelt holiday wishes and Thanks for all your gifts, hard
work and sacrifices you bless us with every day.  Love closes the distance between hearts.  We are never far away.  

Rosanne Simunovic's Recollection Of "Silent Night"

Silent Night is a classic Christmas carol of German heritage. It was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber.  The original German title is "Stille Nacht". 

This endearing Christmas carol has been performed by artists of every genre and classical artists, in particular, often perform this song in both German and English, as well as other languages.

It is a timeless carol that continues to live on in the hearts and minds of Christians everywhere - a true Christmas tradition.
December 11th, 2011, I treated myself to David's exquisite version of this Christmas song. Here are some of my thoughts:

"This video of David Archuleta performing Silent Night with the Mormon
Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra has to be the most compelling, passionate and inspiring performance of this song classic I have ever had the pleasure to see and hear.

Recorded live last Christmas and set to ""air on PBS on Tuesday, December 13th from 8:00-9:00 P.M, David's arrangement of this beautiful carol is nothing short of exceptional.

His phrasing, inflection, his lyrical, seamless vocal quality and expressive interpretation, are absolutely sublime. His face is radiant throughout this song and genuinely expresses the meaning of the lyrics in every verse.

Watch how his demeanor changes for each verse. It is very evident in the third verse, where his facial expression and body language mirrors the text so very well. He wears his joy and happiness on his sleeve. It really is remarkable."

I have since watched this performance many times and, of course, during the preparation of this article.  I am moved each time, without fail. David lives and breathes every word, every phrase.

No one communicates this song better than David at this point in time. It is just a beautifully moving experience that is transcendent and intangible.

I would like to express a very Merry Christmas to David and his family, friends and fans. Thank you David for bringing the joy, passion, laughter and stellar artistic sensibility to your music, then sharing it with us in such a meaningful way.

May the blessings and joy of the Christmas season carry you through life's challenges and inspire you to achieve all your goals. 

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