A few nights ago I performed, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” with the original lyrics and in a minor key. I was a part of An Altared Christmas – a funny and absurd holiday extravaganza produced every year by my friend, Rhan Wilson. In the Altared universe, all Christmas music no matter how jolly is minorized – giving it a deep, dark groove that has proved to be an antidote for many who don’t feel so merry at this time of year.
Hugh Martin’s original lyrics began: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last…”
I was worried that in the minor key with those lyrics, the song would be so depressing that even my Judy Garland (circa 1963) imitation would not be appreciated… I marched to the mike in my blue sequined jacket and false eyelashes, sang those first two lines… and the whole audience laughed. I suppose this is what they mean when they talk about theatrical catharsis. And, I found out, no one could tell I was doing Judy.
This much -loved song, originally written for the film, Meet Me In St. Louis has been recorded by just about everyone. Here is my version recorded on a 4-track machine in my apartment in New York many Christmases ago.
For more information on Hugh Martin’s original lyrics: There’s Something About Merry
For more on Rhan and An Altared Christmas:An Altared Christmas