I’ve been listening to a radio station that’s playing a good number of the pop and rock versions of Christmas carols, the kind that were all the rage on the AM dial in late ‘50s and early ‘60s. There is something innocent about these Cold War-era songs. Bing Crosby’s hit, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” was written in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. At Christmas, we could carol a crisis away.

Of course, when not listening to these songs recently I’m covered in contemporary tales of armed schoolhouses and political cliffs of different kinds.