Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Soul Music, Series 17 Episode 5 of 5

Soul Music tells the story of the song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and talks to people for whom it has special meaning.

'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', was first performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St Louis', for the now famous scene in which Garland and her seven year old sister, played by Margaret O'Brien are downcast about the prospect of moving away from their beloved home.
Garland asked the composer, Hugh Martin to modify his original lyric, explaining it to be too depressing for her to sing, or the audience to hear.
Martin's collaborator and friend, John Fricke, explains the importance this song had for the composer and the joy he experienced in hearing it covered by every major artist since, from Frank Sinatra to Chrissie Hynde, Punk band Fear to Cold Play, Rod Stewart to James Taylor.
It's clear that the song's enduring power lies in a beautiful melody with a melancholic feel that sums up our emotional ambivalence to the Christmas season. We hear from those who have a special connection to the song.
Producer Lucy Lunt.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Christmas Eve 2016 00:30

Why Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' became a Civil Rights anthem

Why Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' became a Civil Rights anthem

Watch the animation - Professor Mary King describes how the song became a symbol of hope.

Podcasts and Downloads

Download this episode

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.