I grew up in New York in the '80s, so I have always been a Billy Joel fan. Songs like "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "The Downeastern Alexa" stuck in my head, and forced me to think a little bit deeper about issues that mattered.
Joel has released a new song that is sure to add to his legacy as one of America's most important songwriters.
"Christmas in Fallujah" is based on letters he received from troops serving in the combat zone. The song is powerful and important. And while I don't necessarily agree with every line of it, I like it a lot. It reminds me of the Christmas I spent in Baghdad in 2003. And I think the song will go a long way toward connecting Americans to the war raging halfway around the globe this holiday season. It is also sure to ruffle some peoples' feathers -- and probably piss off Bill O'Reilly.
Joel gave the song to a virtually unknown 21-year-old singer named Cass Dillon -- a guy he chose because he wanted a singer the age of many of the troops in Iraq. And he made a damn good pick.
Check out "Christmas in Fallujah" here (with lyrics):
Joel and Dillon have pledged the proceeds of the song to Homes for Our Troops (an outstanding charity).
Well done, gentlemen.