If you have to ask if a song is a Christmas Song then you have to define what a Christmas Song really is. I was not blessed with enough intelligence to actually know the answer to that question. This isn't the only tune that would make you ask that question.

I do know that every December here at the radio station our phones start ringing, the Facebook messages chime,and  the e-quest inbox fills up with requests from many of you who want to hear Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton.

I love Dolly Parton. She has always been a very impressive person to me. I love how she celebrates her life by the way she lives it. I love how she has made taking care of her East Tennessee own a priority. Dolly has never forgotten her humble beginnings and she does what she can to help those in that situation work their way to a better life. I love how Dolly always seems to have a sunny disposition even on the most cloudy of days.

If you don't know the history of Hard Candy Christmas let me bring you up to speed. The song was written by Carol Hall for the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  The musical was made into a movie that starred Dollly and the legendary Burt Reynolds. 

The song is performed near the end of the musical as all the working girls are gathering their things as they prepare to move out of their "working home". The lyrics of the song seem to suggest the angst and melancholy that come with leaving the familiar and moving on to something new. Many people see the song as inspirational. A testimony to  things may be bad now but we can make them better.

The phrase "hard candy Christmas" refers to a time in American history when many families who did not have much money could only afford to give penny candy to their children at Christmas. The lyrics to the song also suggest the many choices and difficult decisions the girls will be making as they are forced to move on. Much like many of us might linger over a bowl of candies attempting to choose just one that will satisfy our sweet tooth. The hard candy metaphor suggests that life can be hard and sweet at the same time.

Hard Candy Christmas peaked at #8 on the U.S. Country Singles Charts in 1982. Since then it's become an iconic Christmas request at country radio. Is it a Christmas song? Well if it makes you stop and think about what's really important in life and encourages you to keep pushing through and staying strong in the face of adversity then I suppose it makes as much sense a kid beating a drum while a baby is trying to sleep.

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