Christmas (Music) In The Jungle: Vietnam-Era Holiday Songs

By | December 6, 2018

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December 25, 1967: Soldiers taking rest close to a small Christmas tree, on their position at the Hill 875 near Dakto, few days after the North Vietnamese Army made a massive assault. (CORR/AFP via Getty Images)

Artists have long used Christmas songs to show more than their holiday spirit…they have used them to express their views on world events. Sandwiched between the World War II-era’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Bing Crosby and the 1984 multi-singer hit, “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?” was the 1960s and the Vietnam War. It is not surprising, then, to see Christmas songs of the sixties with a special focus on peace on earth. 

'My Boyfriend’s Coming Home For Christmas'

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Toni Wine was known more for her incredible songwriting ability than for her singing, but in 1963 she wrote and recorded the ballad, “My Boyfriend’s Coming Home For Christmas” about her soldier boyfriend. Written before public opinion on the war in Vietnam had soured, Wine notes that she is proud of her boyfriend and the important work that he is doing, and she’s not “mad at Uncle Sam” for taking him away, she’s just looking forward to his return. Wine would later have a #1 hit, secretly, as one of the original backing vocalists on Dawn's "Knock Three Times."