Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Music Mondays: John McCutcheon "Christmas in the Trenches"

Happy... Tuesday! I know, this is coming in a day late. I was in fact enjoying a full day of airplane travel on our holiday trek to Cleveland, and am finally well rested enough to venture again online. And I didn't want to miss it, because... well, this week's song is incredibly special. It is by my favorite folk singer of all time, John McCutcheon, and is one of his most popular songs, "Christmas in the Trenches."

It is special for two reasons. The first is that John McCutcheon wrote and sings it. I've seen John in concert 8+ times since I was a freshman in high school, almost 15 years ago. For awhile there, I was seeing him at least once a year whenever he strode in through the Freight & Salvage (the old then the new one) in Berkeley (note: he'll be there again on Jan 9, 2015). More songs of his have been on rotation in whatever player I was listening to than any other artist. He and his music had a huge impact on me and my family. So showcasing him here just makes sense.

The second reason this song is special is because it tells a true story about the first Christmas of WWI in 1914. It is a tale of truce recounted and retold over the past 100 years, and this year will be the centennial celebration of the event along what was once the Western Front in Belgium. John wrote the song and released it in 1984 on his album Winter Solstice, and in 2006, it was released as a children's book—with a copy of the song, of course.

By far, my favorite Christmas song of all time. I know you'll love it too.

Artist: John McCutcheon
Song: "Christmas in the Trenches" | download | stream
Album: Winter Solstice

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