I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS...
In 1943, this song joined "White Christmas" to become one of America's most popular Christmas songs. The recording by Bing Crosby shot to the top ten of the record charts that year and became a holiday musical tradition in the United States. The idea of being home for Christmas originated in World War I when soldiers at first thought that the war would be quick and they would return by Christmastime. This inevitably did not happen, hence the line "if only in my dreams".
A song titled "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was first copyrighted on August 24, 1943, by Kent (music) and James "Kim" Gannon (lyrics). The two revised and re-copyrighted their song on September 27, 1943, and it was this version that was made famous by Crosby. The label on Crosby's recording credits "I'll Be Home for Christmas" to Kent, Gannon, and Ram. Later recordings usually credit only Kent and Gannon. The discrepancy arose from the fact that on December 21, 1942 Buck Ram copyrighted a song titled "I'll Be Home for Christmas (Tho' Just in Memory)"—that song bore little or no resemblance, other than its title, to the Crosby recording.
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