Holiday Music Countdown: Number 2, let your heart be light

The final few of my favorite holiday songs. Last night we looked at the more cynical side. Tonight we tug on heartstrings. (Find previous holiday countdown posts here.)

2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland)

There’s a nice history of the origin of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in the entry on Wikipedia, including modifications to the lyrics before the song’s first recording and later, when Frank Sinatra found it not “jolly” enough.

Many artists have recorded this song, each putting his own style to it. I like Judy Garland’s original version best. For me, it’s the most touching, and the quiver in her voice adds just the right amount of tenderness and sadness but also a little hope.

Here’s the scene from Meet Me in St. Louis in which she performs it for the first time.

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