Listen To Bing Crosby’s ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ And Remember That It Is OK To Be Sad During The Holidays

Like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is a wartime song.

Recorded by Bing Crosby right in the middle of World War II, the song is achingly lonely. It’s the soldier in the trenches writing home, reassuring his family that he’ll be there…except we all know he won’t be there. It’s been a holiday staple in military settings like the USO for forever, and everyone – literally everyone, from 98 Degrees (shudder) to the Oak Ridge Boys (double shudder) — has recorded a version. But none is quite as heartfelt as Bing’s original.


(Is it problematic to post a song about aching for home from a man who beat his kids and wife until he drew blood? It is! So would you have rather we posted the 98 Degrees version? Discuss!)

Unfortunately, as was also the case with “Have Yourself…” this song has been watered down to the point where it is simply a winsome little song about how you will be home soon — just after this plane ride, or long drive, or after you visit the in laws first.

The sadness at the core of the song has been so lost that we’ve been saddled with horrorshows like this movie, which is actually A Thing that someone thought was a good idea.

Sorry, but if we had to remember this existed, so did you. Seriously, Disney. This song is not about being plucky and overcoming wacky mishaps to get home. No one needed a Christmas version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Sometimes we feel wistful, and sometimes we can’t be where we want to be, and sometimes we can’t ever go home again, literally or metaphorically, and sometimes we need a Christmas song for just that feeling, and this is that song.

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