Merry Little Christmas

Which rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" will you sing this year?

JUDY GARLAND VERSION
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 yuletide 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

This is how she sang the song in the 1943 movie "Meet me in Saint Louis."

Frank sang that version in 1947, but while recording A Joyful Christmas in 1957, he asked Martin for a cheerier take to match the album's theme. This is what Martin came up with:

FRANK SINATRA VERSION
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
From now on, our troubles will be miles away
Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

The original lyrics, penned by Hugh Martin in 1943, were never recorded. 

ORIGINAL VERSION
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Happy feeling gone!

An article on EW.com (Entertainment Weekly) goes into more depth about the history of this song which for years has reigned at or near the top of ASCAP's list of most performed holiday hits.  Says Author Chris Willman, "Which version you prefer may be the truest Rorschach test of yuletide temperament."

THE LAST COURSE:

There's an intro to the song that many recording artists leave off, although my two favorite recordings, sung by The Carpenters and James Taylor, both include it:

"Christmas future is far away; Christmas past is past. Christmas present is here to stay, bringing joy that lasts."

The next three posts will reflect some thoughts on the song's intro but until then, "All I want for Christmas" is for you to leave a comment and let me know which version is your favorite and why.

 


All three versions of ''Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'' by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane 1943, 1944 Renewed 1971, 1972 EMI Catalogue Partnership (successor to LOEWS) (PWH)/admin. by EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (ASCAP) Used by permission.

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One Response to “Merry Little Christmas”

  1. Linda Regula says:

    Whatever Judy sings will always get my vote! Thank you for posting lyrics. Now I can sing correctly! 

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