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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Judy Garland - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

There are several types of Christmas songs: the religious, the traditional, the novelty songs and, of course, the bittersweet. Most of us get the blues at one time or another during Christmas. It's as much part of the season as candy canes and snowmen.

Here's one of the most bittersweet of those bittersweet Christmas songs, the original Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, introduced by a 22-year-old Judy Garland in 19 and 44's classic Meet Me in St. Louis, which this clip is from.

In 1943 Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane were hired to pen the songs for Meet Me in St. Louis, which would pair Garland with her future husband, director Vincente Minnelli. Though Martin and Blane shared credit for the tune, Martin was actually the sole writer of Merry Little Christmas according to this Entertainment Weekly article tracing the song's history.

Merry Little Christmas is always close to the top in ASCAP's Top 25 Holiday songs. Last year it was in the #2 slot, right behind the usual #1, The Christmas Song. In 2007, both songs were trumped by Winter Wonderland, according to ASCAP.

Originally from Minnesota, a birthplace she shares with Prince as Our Host often notes, Garland was featured on the first episode of the first season of TTRH with her version of Come Rain or Come Shine. And we'd also feature Judy here at Dreamtime, in our first Halloween show, where we put an outtake from The Wizard of Oz on the turntable, Judy Garland, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, and Ray Bolger performing The Jitterbug.

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