Over Analyzing “Please Come Home for Christmas”

Song: Please Come Home for Christmas
Music/Lyrics: Charles Brown (later popularized by the Eagles)

Bells will be ringing this sad sad New Years
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
My baby’s gone I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again
Cries will be singing Silent Night
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Years night

Well, woe is Don Henley.

The most logical interpretation of this song is that Don’s “baby” in this case is his teenage child who has spent his first semester away at college. He’s having so much fun with his new college friends that he’s hesitant to come home for the holidays at all. The father is pleading with his child to come home for Christmas, since as previously mentioned, he has no friends and his son/daughter can fill that void. If the child is still partying after Christmas the father is willing to compromise to have him home by New Years night.

If not New Years night, how about Flag Day?

The next most logical interpretation is that this takes place in olden times, before the days of Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Don Henley is singing this to himself, of course, probably starring at the moon in a pre-American Tail kind of way. His wife has gone on a long journey by foot or horseback and there is no way to know exactly when she’ll get back. She’s probably trudging through the snow by candlelight using the sad notion that her husband has no friends as motivation. It’s a long shot that she can make it home before Christmas, but Don is optimistic that she’ll be home by New Years night.

Mallets Bay Walk
On the long road to Don Henley's House, don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy

The third interpretation is that Don’s “baby” is cheating on him. I imagine this is the actual meaning of the song, but it’s still a tragically sad situation. His terminally pretty wife is away from their home cheating her brains out for an undisclosed amount of time prior to Christmas but Don still wants her back. Even if she spends another week with her other lover, Don is happy to have her back for New Years night. I suppose this is all explainable due to the fact that he has no friends.

So she tells him she must go out for the evening; To comfort an old friend who's feelin' down; But he knows where she's goin' as she's leavin'; She is headed for the cheatin' side of town

The final interpretation is that Don Henley is just a jerk with a nasty reputation as a cruel dude. I took a look at his Wikipedia page with the idea of concluding this writing with the mean things Don Henley has done to rationalize why he may have no friends. The entry is going to end here; Don Henley seems to be a real nice and generous guy. In fact, if his baby won’t join him for Christmas I’d consider packing up the family and joining Don for Christmas dinner, as long as the warm smell of coolitas has cleared up of course. I suspect his lack of friends may just be jealously towards his success.

Christmas Lights
Friends and relations, Send salutations, Sure as the stars shine above


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