|The Binger in full effect. Check out the tie.|
Now why would this song sell so much? It touches a place in the heart that few other works of art ever have on a massive scale. You just have to listen to it to understand.
|Bing and Danny Kaye putting on a show for the troops.|
Hearts are full, grown men are laying their lives on the line to breathe free. Many of their brothers in arms have already died, and their echoes will carry on in those who survive. That to me is the setup for this song. You're in hell, and you want to find a way to get back home, where things make sense. At least in the solitude of your heart.
Where tree tops glisten, where children listen... to hear sleigh bells in the snow.
Therefore you can't understand this song without putting it into the context of the World War Two experience of the Greatest Generation. It is really hard to contextualize the level of sacrifice and service that this generation of Americans gave to their country. They all put aside their own personal ambitions time and again to give to others - family, neighbors, friends, nation. Thank God they did - we are living in the aftermath of their sacrifice. They paid with their lives for this sacrifice. Over 400,000 American men lost their lives in World War Two. By comparison, in Vietnam 58,000 Americans were killed. In Iraq, under 5,000 Americans.
I often wonder if J.R.R. Tolkein, in pondering the metaphorical allegory that was the Lord of the Rings, envisioned the Hobbits as these very Americans who came over to France and sacrificed everything to save the world from evil tyranny. Perhaps the Hobbits - people like Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry - are those American GI's, at least in Tolkein's mind's eye. They were so innocent, so fresh, so unjaded by life. Despite all that was against them, they were ever faithful, ever hopeful.
|The Fellowship of the Hobbits.|
There is a lot wrong with our society right now. A lot of it could be cured if people of all ages and income levels started thinking more about "doing the right thing" and "serving others" with their behavior, their attitude, and their decisions. If everyone only thinks of themselves to the detriment of all others, our society can not survive. Every time I get down reading about all the bad things that have happened in my country, I take a moment to reflect on all the good things that have happened, and all the good people who sacrifice every day so that we can all have a better life. In the end of it all, it will be those good people - the Hobbits among us - who will save us from ourselves.
We should start thinking about why those Hobbits were so good. What made them so humble and strong. What - or Who - gave them the power to handle the struggles of their time. This particular time of year is a very good time to rediscover that power - the omnipotent power that entered the human world in the body of a helpless child.
|Hark! The herald angels sing. Glory to the new-born King.|
God bless you, and Merry Christmas.