Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, was introduced by Judy Garland in the MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). The lyrics in the movie version of the song reflected the intense wartime longing for a better tomorrow.  Later artists thought the song too depressing and, after the war, Martin amended the lyrics to make it more cheerful.

Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, 
Let your heart be light.
Next year, all our troubles will be out of sight. 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, 
Make the Yule-tide gay, 
 Next year, all our troubles will be miles away. 

Once again as in olden days, 
Happy golden days of yore. 
Faithful friends who were dear to us,
Will be near to us once more. 

Someday soon we all will be together, 
If the Fates allow.
Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow. 
So, have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

The song's original lyrics were actually so downbeat that Garland and director Vincent Minnelli talked a reluctant Martin into revising them for the movie. The original first verse was "Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past." which, admittedly, is probably not the sort of thing you would want to croon to Margaret O'Brien under the holly.  Poor kid looked like she was about to bawl as it was.  "Next year will be better, if you live that long" would probably have sent her into hysterics.

May your joy in this holiday season not need to be deferred until next year, and may it definitely not be your last!  :)

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