“Christmas Where You Are,” the new holiday single from Jim Brickman and Five for Fighting, is a salute to our troops who are away from their families during the holiday season. But Jim says the song didn’t start out as a Christmas tune at all.
“It was sort of this Americana-sounding song, to begin with,” Jim Brickman tells ABC Radio about collaborating with Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik. “And [John] said, ‘Why don’t we do something that reflects the way that the world is right now, and how it’s so hard for military families, but especially at Christmas time?'”
“And so we thought, ‘Americana patriotic Christmas! There’s an idea!'” laughs Jim.
John sings the song, but also wrote its stirring lyrics. Jim says that surprised him, since he didn’t think John was the dramatic type.
“I was just like, ‘You seem so unlikely to be saying something like “May angels fly beside you and may heaven steel your heart”‘– I mean it’s so poetic and beautiful!” Jim recalls. “So he wrote the whole concept from what we started together.”
But if the song’s lyrics are touching, the lyric video is even more so — Jim advises getting the Kleenex ready before you watch it.
“We solicited, from military families and from service members, pictures of their reunions at Christmas,” Jim tells ABC Radio. “And some of these signs [you see the kids holding up], like ‘Welcome Home Daddy’ — it’s like, ‘Oh my God!'”
Best of all, Jim says military families seem to like the song.
“I’ve gotten a lot of unsolicited email that comes into radio stations, where they don’t know that it’s me or John, they just hear the song — which is what you really want,” he says. “You want the song to live on its own.”
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