Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The History of "Merry Little Christmas"

I got an email this morning notifying me that a podcaster in Australia, Aussie Tech Head, had played a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that I recorded with some friends a few years ago. (Thanks, Aussie Tech Head.) It's a nice recording - my vocals aside - especially because Jeff Stanley plays such a sweet guitar part on it.

The email reminded me that yesterday I got into a small argument with a couple friends about the song's lyrics. I just used the magic of the Google to find out why:

''I often wondered what would it have been like if those lyrics had been sung in the movie,'' laughs O'Brien, now 69. ''But about a week before we were to shoot the scene where Judy sings it to me, she looked at the lyrics and said, 'Don't you think these are awfully dark? I'm going to go to Hugh Martin and see if he can lighten it up a little.'''

That's just the beginning of the story. Frank Sinatra asked for another change years later, resulting in what I always thought was the "real" version. Who knew?


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