Tuesday, December 15, 2009

JUDY GARLAND: 'MEET ME IN ST LOUIS'. 'HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS' WITH SNOWMAN CLIP.

Maybe it's me, but I find most pop songy holiday music as irritating as it is inescapable this time of year. So I'm always glad when a little jazz standard by Irving Berlin ("White Christmas") or Mel Tormé ("Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") comes out over the loudspeakers, only partly because both composers were Jews who knew that Christmas sells. They were also elegant composers who knew the thrill and complexity of a long, drawn out musical phrase.

Another Jew who capitalized on Christmas was Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song of all time, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I like it because the original lyrics are so dark and ironic and uncertain.

Meet Me in St. Louis was one of my favorite movies as a little girl. And this scene in particular. Have yourself a merry little Christmas indeed. Then run outside and smash all the snowmen, because you have to move to New York.

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