“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and originally performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis”. The original version of the song features lyrics that are more melancholy that the ones we are most used to hearing today. The song appears in a Christmas Eve scene where Judy Garland’s character is trying to comfort her 5-year-old sister who is distraught at the news that the family must leave their beloved St. Louis for New York City due to their father’s job promotion. The lyrics acknowledge the sadness and sacrifices that they must make this Christmas while expressing hope and optimism for next year.
In 1957, Frank Sinatra was interested in covering the song, but didn’t care for some of the more “depressing” lyrics, so he rang up Hugh Martin and asked him to “jolly up the lyrics for me”. When Frank Sinatra calls, you probably want to listen, so Martin reworked the lyrics changing the future optimism to the present tense and replacing lines like “we’ll have to muddle through somehow” with “hang a shining start upon the highest bough”. The song was a big hit for Sinatra, and this is the version of the song is that’s been most commonly recorded over the past 60 years.
As I was searching for a song for this year’s Winter Wonderband recording, I stumbled upon Judy Garland’s original version of the song and immediately felt it would be a perfect sentiment for what we’ve all had to “muddle through” in 2020. So let’s be all be thankful to be able to have a merry “little” Christmas this year and look forward to next year when hopefully all our troubles will be miles away!
The Winter Wonderband was started in 2005 by Eric Crugnale and a group of musician friends and family as a way to christen
his new home studio, Fairway Sound and, most importantly, to give our kids an opportunity to play and sing with us in the studio. Our annual holiday music has become a much anticipated treat for millions (well at least thousands) of fans! Contact: email@example.com...more