This blend of anti-war protest and brass band arrangements has become a Christmas radio standard in Britain. The song is set in the Front during the Great War where a soldier in a trench wishes he was home for Christmas.
Jona Lewie told the Daily Express on March 12, 2005: "The soldier in the song is a bit like the eternal soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, but the song actually had nothing to do with Christmas when I wrote it. There is one line about him being on the front and missing his girlfriend: 'I wish I was at home for Christmas.' The record company picked up on that from a marketing perspective, and added a tubular bell. The song went to number three in the UK, and topped the charts in several European countries."
Lewie, whose real name is John Lewis, first hit the UK charts as a member of Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs with their 1972 #2 hit "Seaside Shuffle." In 1980 he returned to the UK charts with the #16 hit "You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties" before hitting the #3 spot later in the year with this song. Though he failed to chart in the UK again, his follow up single, "Louise (We Get It Right)" was a hit in other territories including South Africa, where it topped the charts.
Peter from Coventry, United KingdomI used to play it over and over again when it first came out.
Frank from Sunbury, PaWhen I first heard this song it was The Cory Band version and I have loved it immensely. The lyrics are thought provoking and sincere and honest and ring true from the heart. After reading about Jona Lewie writing it and hearing his version, I am hooked on his also. I have heard it more times than I can count, and am always game for yet another listen. Fantastic piece and one of the absolute best of all time. Great video accompaniment also !