One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Blue Christmas,” but I’ve never experienced it quite like this.
In Vince Gill’s 1998 video for the classic torch song, he plays an American soldier in St. Vith, Belgium, on Dec. 24, 1944. Trapped in the heat of the bloody Battle of the Bulge, he and his squad take shelter for the night in an abandoned church. They spend what should be a cozy night of family and happiness rereading letters from home, looking at faded pictures of loved ones and trying in vain to keep warm, all while Gill sings in his heartbreaking tenor.
This song has been done a million different ways — Elvis Presley even made it sound sexy — but Gill’s version is true to the sorrow in the song’s lyrics, and he wrings every ounce of sadness he can out of each note. After all, these men didn’t know if they’d ever leave that church, let alone see another Christmas at home.
As we all know, there are still American men and women fighting overseas, wishing they could be home this Christmas. So keep them in your thoughts as you enjoy Vince Gill’s beautiful rendition of the holiday classic, “Blue Christmas.”