Roan Yellowthorn’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” finds beauty in sadness

Roan Yellowthorn explores the melancholy of the season with “I’ll Be Home For Christmas

In Jackie’s own words:

I’m so excited to be releasing this song. We recorded it back in July in sunny LA and now the time is here!

I like sad songs. I feel like they are more emotionally accessible. I usually feel most connected to songs that give shape to my bluer feelings. This year, my record label Blue Élan will release a batch of holiday songs to raise awareness for the Alliance for Children’s Rights. Since 1992, their network of pro bono attorneys advocate directly for individual children and work toward broader policy solutions to:

  • Expedite adoptions out of foster care
  • Secure medical coverage, critical therapies, housing, and education
  • Support children recovering from trauma and those with disabilities
  • Assist young adults aging out of foster care as they grow into independence and self-reliance

To help raise awareness, each artist chooses one or two songs to record for the project. It’s an honor to take part. I chose ‘River,’ which came out a few weeks ago, and now this one, ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas.’ Both songs are sad. ‘River’ is more obviously sad, but ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ is just as sad, although it’s maybe not as obvious at first.

When I hear this song, I think about the singer as someone who wants to return to a time and place that no longer exists. There’s a nostalgia inherent in holiday music and that emotion is magnified in this song; the entire holiday setting is described – seen vividly.

Home is evoked.

And yet the singer is saying she’ll be there only in her dreams. I find it so sad. And beautiful. This version of the song is me singing and Ty Bailie on piano.

Recording it was such a special experience.

Ty is a true legend and so much fun to work with. I felt like we really connected when we made this song together. It was just the two of us and we were really in the flow zone. I wanted the song to sound melancholy and dreamy. Ethereal and beautiful. A little off kilter and kind of trippy. Weird and unusual. Organic and distinctive.

Somehow, Ty made it all happen. I’m blown away by his performance. I love how the whole thing turned out.

Thank you for listening and I hope you add this to your sad holiday playlist rotation! In my house we always listen to holiday music by Sufian Stephens and Bright Eyes and I’m really proud to feel like this new single fits right in.

Happy early holidays to you and yours!
J