Happy New Year to all in 2023

Whether 2022, was the greatest year or the worst, we can all attest to personally experiencing one or both in the past years. Reflections on what we are leaving behind in 2022 and what possibilities that lie ahead for 2023 may leave us feeling melancholy, maybe even depressed. When dealing with saying goodbye, some of us are hesitant and find it sad to move forward. Some of us are glad to be moving toward the new and unknown.

The classic song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” made famous by Judy Garland in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis,” offers a great deal of perspective on just this sentiment. In the film, Garland’s character, Esther, is consoling her little sister Tootie, on moving ahead with their lives in a new city and leaving St. Louis behind. Song composers Hugh Martin, and Ralph Blane wrote a very different version of the sparkly joyous holiday rhyme we hear today.

According to classicfm.com, originally the lyrics were not so brightly tied to good cheer: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. It may be your last. Next year we may all be living in the past…”

Garland requested the lyrics be changed to a more cheerful countenance because of concern her character in the classic film scene from “Meet Me in St. Louis,” would wrongly portray her. It was then changed to “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight.”

Since its conception in 1944, the song has had several different recordings and lyrical adjustments, most notably Frank Sinatra, over the last 78 years. Artistic expression reflects the times, and in 1944, when the film and song were released, the times were uncertain, having just come out of World War II.

It is not uncommon to hear several topics in Christmas songs. From relationship breakups in the song “Last Christmas,” made famous by George Michael, or the many versions of “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

The point of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” shares a similar idea to the New Year’s anthem, “Auld Lang Syne.” Whatever happens, past present and future, we will all “muddle through somehow.” So, we hope you had yourself a merry little Christmas and, from The Minot Daily News, we hope you have a Happy New Year.


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