Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tip Tuesday: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

We are slightly deviating from Tip Tuesday to more of a History Tuesday. But seeing as it's Christmas Eve, the day can't go by without cherishing a little Christmas spirit. 

Today's history lesson is on the song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". We've all heard the great Frank Sinatra sing it and sing it well. Plus countless others cover the song and many renditions still bring joy to our hearts But the real star of this song is Judy Garland and we first heard this song in a little film called Meet Me in St. Louis. 

The song was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the scene in which the teenage Esther (Judy Garland) sings to her crying sister Tootie (Margaret O'Brien) who is sad to be leaving their home in St. Louis. After Christmas the family will be moving to New York and the two sisters share a moment during their last Christmas in their lovely home. 

You may not be aware of some of the songs original lyrics. In Martin's original writing of the song the line went. "Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past". The film's director Vincent Minnelli noted how depressing that sounded and asked Martin to change them. In exchange we  got some of the words we know and love "Have yourself a merry little Christmas / Let your heart be light / Next year all our troubles will be out of sight". I think we all can appreciate the lightness this rewrite brought to the song.

Judy sang the song so beautifully that it quickly became popular outside of the film. It became a favorite among United States troops serving in World War II. Her performance at the Hollywood Canteen brought many soldiers to tears.

Please enjoy Esther and her sister Tootie in this Christmas classic.