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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ESL Christmas: Home for Christmas




One of the most important parts of any holiday, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Lunar New Year,  or Kwanzaa  is coming home to be with your family and friends. 

Many Christmas songs focus on how lonely people are when they can't be with their loved ones. 

Sometimes this is is because they live in different places. Other times, one person is  traveling or working away from home. 

Thinking about Home

No matter what the reason, Christmas or any other holiday can be a time of loneliness and homesickness when we find ourselves thinking of home....wherever that may be.  

Canada is a country full of immigrants, many of whom have left family and friends back in countries such as China, Korea, Poland, Columbia, Peru....

It is common for them to feel lonely and homesick at this time of year. 

Here are a few songs that focus on some of the deep emotions that being away from our loved ones bring out in us.  



Song for a Winter's Night 

This song sung by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan and written by Canadian singer songwriter Gordon Lightfoot has become a popular Christmas song because it focuses on  the desire to be with a loved one.  Christmas is a time when we think of the people we love who are far away from us. 



Home 

This is a new version of Home sung by Blake Shelton and Michael Buble that focuses specifically on how much would like to be home for Christmas. 

The original song by Michael  Buble shows the same emotion, but stresses how hard it is to be away from people you love at any time.  This is an easy song to sing along to because it is clear and slow and full of emotion. Try to sing along with it as many times as you can, and put as much emotion into your voice as possible when you sing it. It will definitely help your pronunciation.



I'll Be Home For Christmas 

Even a beginner can sing this song which communicates the feelings of anyone who wants to be home for the holidays. If you can't be home in reality, you CAN go home in your dreams. What a lovely idea. This is a slow song that doesn't have many difficult words. Enjoy! 




HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS 

Have Yourself  a Merry Little  Christmas is one of the great Christmas classics and has been recorded by hundreds of singers. 
Judy Garland sang the original song to her sister in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis. Her sister was upset because their  father wanted to move her family away from her  "home"  to New York. 

The original song was much sadder in order to suit the story line in the movie movie  but Judy Garland thought it was too depressing, so the writers changed the lyrics to make it a little more hopeful. Read the original lyrics at the end of the song. 







Original lyrics:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, pop that champagne cork,
Next year we will all be living in New York.
No good times like the olden days, happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together, if the Fates allow,
From now on we'll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

I think we all understand why Judy wanted it changed to a happier, more hopeful version 

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