Only an icon with Garland in her name could have pulled off this Christmas song miracle. Louis , she made her wish list crystal clear.
Even before the Academy Award nominee got involved, however, the beloved Christmas song almost never came to light at all. During a interview with NPR's Terry Gross, late songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine described not being able to make the carol's "madrigal-like tune" work, and, after a few days of trying to no avail, Martin said he "threw it in the wastebasket. Something apparently told Blaine that there was still some lingering Christmas magic, however. Even with the salvaged melody, the men's first draft was deemed a bit too blue for Christmas, added Martin: "The [film producers] said, 'No, no — it's a sad scene, but we want sort of an upbeat song, which will make it even sadder if she's smiling through her tears.
In the movie, Garland's Esther Smith sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" after returning home from a Christmas Eve ball and find her brokenhearted young sister Tootie Margaret O'Brien grappling with the family's impending post-holiday move, which was about to force them to leave behind their happy life in titular St. Louis for unknown territory in New York.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Citing her 6-year-old costar, Garland herself was vocal about the "lugubrious" original version and even "refused to sing it," Martin also later recalled. In the original, slightly more depressing draft, Garland would have sung the following lyrics, for example:. Luckily, Meet Me in St. Louis actor Tom Drake, who played Garland's onscreen love interest, "boy next door" John Truett, took Martin aside and assured him he'd "be sorry" if he didn't finish the song.
And so Martin made some revisions, and the following version made it into the movie's final cut, instead:.
Acknowledgement of Country
While the difference was clear, the song still didn't exactly have a merrymaking effect in the movie, with a tearful, nightgown-clad Tootie responding by going out into the snow and destroying the snowmen in the family's yard. Even so, Garland certainly wasn't considered a "monster" as she had initially feared. In fact, the song, which Garland also released as a single, especially resonated with American troops serving overseas. Garland's wasn't the only update to the song, which has been covered countless times by numerous artists following its initial release, however. As Martin told Entertainment Weekly , Sinatra called him and expressed his issues with the line that did still appear in Meet Me in St.
Louis , "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow. If you delete your cookies or if you set your browser to decline cookies, some features of the Services may not be available, work, or work as designed. We may also allow our affiliates, service providers, data management providers and advertisers to serve cookies or employ other tracking technologies from the Services. These cookies allow us, in conjunction with our partners, to analyze how the Services are accessed, used, or performing, and allow us to serve you with content, including advertising, tailored to your preferences or interests, as well as measure the effectiveness of that advertising.
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
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