Song of the Day #490: ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ – Aimee Mann

drifterinthesnowHappy Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s appropriate, I suppose, that Aimee Mann’s discography positions her Christmas album, One More Drifter in the Snow, on this neighboring holiday.

Mann and Christmas might seem like an odd mix, but hearing her versions of the classics on this album it’s clear that both share an underlying mood of lovely melancholy. Songs such as ‘Christmas Song,’ ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and ‘White Christmas’ are far from merry but they’re certainly evocative of the season. And so too is this album.

Don’t get me wrong, though. One More Drifter in the Snow has its share of light moments, too, including a fabulous version of ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ (with Grant Lee Phillips providing the voice of the Grinch-ly narrator between verses) and a gently jaunty ‘Winter Wonderland.’ Mann adds two original songs, her own ‘Calling on Mary’ and a tune called ‘Christmastime,’ written by her husband Michael Penn.

But today I can’t resist featuring my favorite Christmas song, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ Mann performs this song just about as well as I can possibly imagine. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #490: ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ – Aimee Mann

  1. Amy says:

    No “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for Dad? 😉

    While I know what you mean about some of these songs having a melancholy all their own, Mann manages to make this one sound more bleak than I could have imagined possible. She sings it as though she is not so sure just how faithful these friends are who are gathering near to her. This is likely the music that plays over the closing credits of The Road.

    I’ve gotta go find her jaunty “Winter Wonderland,” before I give in to my urge to jump off a bridge.

  2. Amy says:

    I am loving Amos Lee, but “jaunty” this ain’t. 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Now, THIS is jaunty:

    Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  4. Clay says:

    She also did ‘Winter Wonderland’ with John Krasinski, which I featured on the blog last Christmas, but YouTube has since pulled down the video:

    https://meetinmontauk.com/2008/12/21/song-of-the-day-150-winter-wonderland-aimee-mann-john-krasinski/

    Incidentally, in the comments of that post you say you love her version of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ which I offered up as a bonus track. 🙂

  5. Clay says:

    Found another version of the Krasinski thing:

  6. Amy says:

    I almost did the same thing today before the song actually started. I think I have been confusing her rendition of this song with another Christmas song (maybe “The Christmas Song”?) that was put on a compilation CD I received a couple of years ago. I had written half my blog comment today, when I actually decided to listen to it this morning…. Whoa…. this isn’t the song I thought it was! So… that explains my inconsistent response 😉

    And, yes, I love the version she does with John 🙂

  7. Clay says:

    Here’s an interesting EW article on the melancholy ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ which is apparently rising as a challenger to ‘The Christmas Song’ as the national favorite:

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1569872,00.html

    Bob Dylan sings the “muddle through” version of the lyrics on his new Christmas album.

  8. Dana says:

    My lord, seven posts before I got out of bed. Well, I will just say Happy Thanksgiving to all.:)

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