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Posts tagged "hugh martin"
Dec 07, 2012
» “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.”
The song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was written by Hugh Martin for Meet Me in St. Louis. Now a holiday favorite, the “initial set of lyrics… were almost comically depressing.”
Among the never-recorded couplets — which he now describes as ”hysterically lugubrious” — were lines like: ”Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last…. Faithful friends who were dear to us/Will be near to us no more.”
About a week before they shot the scene in the movie, Judy Garland said, “Don’t you think these are awfully dark?” So Martin made some changes.
Then, in 1957, Frank Sinatra — who’d already cut a lovely version with the movie’s bittersweet lyrics in 1947 — came to Martin with a request for yet another pick-me-up. ”He called to ask if I would rewrite the ‘muddle through somehow’ line,” says the songwriter. ”He said, ‘The name of my album is A Jolly Christmas. Do you think you could jolly up that line for me?”’ Not about to give the Chairman any lip, Martin made several cheerier alterations, shifting the happiness into the present tense and changing that ”muddle through” line to ”Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.”
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