“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

When I was a child this song made me so happy. As an adult it strikes me as so very sad.

Last night I had a glass of wine, put on a Christmas CD and sat looking at our Christmas tree. This song started playing — and it struck me that it seems so melancholy it was depressing me. And, if one ever listens to the original version sung by Judy Garland —- well, just forget about it. Her version is so sad it borders on being mean. Of course, then I have to ask myself, “What does this say about me?” I mean, in many ways the meaning of art is what one brings to it. Does this mean I am a walking cloud of depression?

Last night, as I was thinking about this, I took another sip of wine and “Jingle Bells” came on as performed by Ella Fitzgerald — and it made me all happy again. So, I can only come to the conclusion that “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is just a sad song. …Like that Vince Guaraldi tune, “Christmas Time is Here”, which is sung by a choir of children in dire need of Prozac. I guess it matters not, because I love all 3 of the above-mentioned songs. —- and, as you get older and become closer to loss, I guess the holidays do become a bit sad.

Pass the wine and give me a present!

December 21, 2002. Uncategorized.


  1. Best Home Improvement Guide replied:

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  2. Will Rainey replied:

    Judy never sang the original version. The song was written mid WW II – no end in site. The original lyrics were very depressing. She protested “I cannot sing this to a little girl (Margaret O’Brian) – people will hate me”. The lyrics were tweaked to brighten it up to melancholy – which is what she sang in Meet Me in St. Louis.

    Frank Sinatra demanded a rewrite for his version which absolutely stinks. James Taylor has now gone back to the original very depressing lyrics – which I like as much as the Judy lyrics.

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