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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Christmas Song

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Year: 1943

Written By: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was written in 1943 by the song writing team of Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the movie musical "Meet Me In St. Louis".

In the musical, Judy Garland sings the song to her little sister on Christmas Eve as they reflect upon their father's plans to move the family from St. Louis to New York.  Garland claimed that the lyrics of the original version of the song were too dark and depressing to sing and asked Hugh Martin to change some of the lines to be slightly more upbeat.  Mr. Martin did change the lyrics to accommodate her request.

The lyrics for the original version of the song and the modified version of the song are noted below.  Lyric changes to the song in the Judy Garland version are noted in italics.

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


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


The song did not gain any sort of popularity until 1957, when Frank Sinatra recorded his version of the tune.  Frank also went to Mr. Martin and asked him to re-write "the muddle through somehow" line as he thought it was depressing.  At this request, Mr. Martin changed the song lyrics to "hang a shining start upon the highest bough".  The change to the song lyrics in Frank's version have been noted below in italics.


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 "Frank Sinatra" version of the song is undoubtedly the most popular version of the song.  In 2007, the song was named the third most often performed Christmas song of all time according to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Numerous singers, including Sarah McLaughlin, Luther Vandross, and James Taylor, have recorded their own versions of the song.  Although most singers choose to use the lyrics from the "Frank Sinatra" version when recording , James Taylor did sing the lyrics from the previous version when he recorded the song in 2001.



 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Lyrics

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 are dear to us
Will be near to us once more.

Some day soon we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Until then we'll have to muddle through some how.
so have yourself a merry little Christmas now

 

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