In keeping with my annual practice of choosing a song that I can’t really sing…
…and then struggling to get it right in time for Christmas, I present my 2014 effort, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” It was written in the war year of 1944 by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the movie “Meet Me In St. Louis,” although later Martin told everyone Blane had nothing to do with it. I have personal experience with this kind of rebuff, so my sympathies lie with Mr. Blane.
This one was hard to sing. It’s not my style at all, and I have new respect for all those — cheesy and otherwise — who have recorded it before me. Except for Buble. He just pisses me off.
I think this is my fifth time to record a song for the holiday. At this rate my new album, “A Clinically Depressed Christmas,” should be ready in another seven or eight years. I know: that joke never gets old.
You might notice that I have used a slightly older version of the lyric here. Frank Sinatra made Hugh Martin “jolly up” one line for Sinatra’s album “A Jolly Christmas With Frank Sinatra.” The song had already been fixed up for Judy Garland to sing in the movie, after several copyists had attempted suicide while working on the early versions of the song, including the line “Have yourself a merry little Christmas; it may be your last.” So I didn’t go all the way with the historical rendering of the song, but I like the line about muddling through, and that’s the one you may not recognize from most of the popular recordings. Because of Frank Sinatra.
The pictures in the movie are the homes of my neighbors here in Bixby Knolls. They don’t know they’re in the video, so keep it under your hats, OK?
Merry Christmas, everybody! My heart beats only for you.