Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?

by Janet Roitz | See: By Janet, From the cassette box, Music

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.

Judy Garland

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






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