iTunes Advent Calendar: Day 21

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Judy Garland

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: Season’s Greetings (Box Set)

Genre: Holiday

Blah, Blah, Blah: There are Christmas songs, and then there are Christmas recordings. “Frosty The Snowman” is a Christmas song. Everyone’s recorded it and some of these tracks are pretty fab, but just like cheese pizza, one is as good as another, given a certain minimal standard of quality.

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is a Christmas recording. It’s sung by Judy Garland. No negotiation on that point. It’s not as though the alternatives are bad. Great gravy, iTunes can sell you versions recorded by Sinatra, Bennett, and Ella Fitzgerald.

No matter who the singer is and no matter how well the they sing the song, though, your brain still substitutes the Judy Garland vocals for whatever you’re actually hearing.

(All right: with Ella Fitzgerald, maybe you hear it as a duet.)

Why I Bought It In The First Place: Bought it for the Advent Calendar. There seems to be very little need to actually buy a track like this. If you can spur yourself to leave the house a few times between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, you’ll hear it plenty of times.

But when it’s in your library and you finally get a chance to listen to it at your own pace and on your own terms, you stop taking it for granted.

2 thoughts on “iTunes Advent Calendar: Day 21”

  1. Andy,

    I agree with you whole heartedly. This is truly a Christmas masterpiece. The song with it’s tinge of sadness, sung by Judy Garland, is the greatest version recorded.

  2. I was always partial to the version with Rowlf and John Denver on the Muppets’ “A Christmas Together” special. But if I had to pick one with adult ears that hadn’t had the Muppet version hammered into me since the age of four, I would pick Judy Garland, hands down.

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