Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Feliz Navidad!

All I can say is, I hope Jose Feliciano is getting royalties on that song. I've heard it repeatedly in just about all radio genres so far this season.

I got curious about what Jose is up to...after all, "Feliz Navidad" first came out in the early 70's, I believe...and found that he's still going strong, and has his own official website. According to his site, Feliciano "has been acclaimed by critics around the world as the greatest living guitarist."

Confession: I always liked his version of "Light My Fire" better than Jim Morrison's. :)

A Soldier's "Night Before Christmas"

You may have seen this version of "The Night Before Christmas" before, but I think it's worth reading again, as many of our American troops remain in harm's way during this Christmas season. As the sister of a Gulf War veteran Marine, I have a soft spot in my heart for American servicemen and women.

The author of the poem is unknown, but some say it was written by a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa. Some Internet sites don't include the last eight lines, but I think they're great.

Here's the poem:
'Twas The Night Before Christmas'
A Soldier, The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone
In a one room house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sober thought came through into my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the house of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled upon the floor in this one room home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families I saw on this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay lone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I started to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night
This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.

The soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on, Santa, It's Christmas, All is secure."

I looked at that soldier, on that cold Christmas night.
I thought of his comrades, and knew he was right.

This great world is freer, for they're willing to fight
For Freedom and Christmas, and all that is right.

So to all you, my friends, U.S. troops in all lands,
Know that you are remembered by family and friends,

For this one special night, may you rest without fight,
Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a good night!

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