“Peace on earth” is a phrase you see everywhere around Christmas time. If you are like my family and I, we often wonder where peace is. Trying to find peace within the chaos of our own lives and yet holding the long vision of world peace seems rather elusive.
I truly believe it is up to us, each and every one of us, to hold the vision of peace and consistently strive to embody these intentions within our lives and make the world a better place. Afterall, change first begins from within.
As I was preparing to sign off for the holidays I stumbled upon this surprisingly unlikely, yet very dynamic duo. I trust you will enjoy this tune from Bing Crosby and David Bowie. This musical track was recorded on September 11, 1977 for Crosby’s then-upcoming television special, Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas. The pair exchanged scripted dialogue about what they each do for their family Christmases, before singing “Little Drummer Boy” with a new counterpoint with original lyrics written for the special, “Peace on Earth”.
According to co-writer Ian Fraser, Bowie balked at singing “Little Drummer Boy”: “I hate this song. Is there something else I could sing?”, Fraser recalls Bowie telling him. Fraser, along with songwriter Larry Grossman and the special’s scriptwriter, Buz Kohan, then wrote “Peace on Earth” as a counterpoint to “Little Drummer Boy”. Crosby performed “Little Drummer Boy”, while Bowie sang the new tune “Peace on Earth”, which they reportedly performed after less than an hour of rehearsal.
A few days after the taping, Crosby said of Bowie, “he’s a clean-cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice and reads lines well.”
Crosby died on October 14, nearly five weeks after recording the special. The show aired in the United States just over a month later, on November 30, 1977, on CBS. In the United Kingdom, the special first aired on December 24, 1977 on ITV.
May you and your families find peace deep within this holiday season. May every child be made to care and be aware and may men of goodwill live in peace again.