Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Christmas In Fallujah
I haven’t really written much about music and the people who write and perform it. I know I have no talent for writing music and I don’t really play an instrument so I admire those who can and do.
One of my favorite musicians is Billy Joel. He is by far one of America’s great songwriters. His musical talent has a catalog of work which spans some three decades. His songs are uniquely American – based mostly from his experience growing up in and around New York City.
His performances are truly an experience. As a general rule he doesn’t have an opening act. When you go to a Billy Joel concert, you are entertained by Billy Joel for the entire time. There is no dancing (except by those in the aisles) or lip syncing. The Piano Man knows how to give a fantastic show. His audience spans the demographic scale from teenie boppers to aging baby boomers.
Deeply affected by the Vietnam War, he wrote what can only be described as the quintessential song from the heart of the American soldier. “Goodnight Saigon” tells the story of Vietnam-era Marines from Parris Island to the rice paddies of North Vietnam – and Joel pulls no punches as the soldiers sing the chorus
…and we will all go down together…
from the shadows behind the stage. Watch here – listen, and feel.
On December 1st he took to the stage in Chicago with a song written from the hearts of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines serving in Fallujah. As you’ll hear him explain in this video, he felt the song needed a younger voice so he tapped Cass Dillon.
Here’s the song Christmas In Fallujah – written by Billy Joel and performed by Cass Dillon backed up by a chorus of soldiers in the shadows. While I don’t necessarily agree with all of Joel’s lyrics, I’ll let the song speak for itself.
Well done, Billy. If nothing else, it reminds us of the very important fact there many of our countrymen and women who find themselves far from home and in harm’s way this Christmas.
They are at war. America, it seems, is at the Mall.
Here endeth the lesson.