Frank: A Musical Journey


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Frank Sinatra's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is on many top ten lists for Holiday songs.  For Sinatra fans, his rendition is number one.  Of course, he’s not the only singer to have recorded this Christmas staple and he wasn’t even the first.  It’s a special song, full of meaning and emotion and The Voice’s version has a depth of smoothness to it that leaves you warm and toasty, with positive, merry feelings that enhance those already attributed to Christmas day.  But maybe we should look at a few other recordings of this beautiful song.

The tune couldn’t have been introduced by a better person; in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis, Judy Garland’s character sings it to her despondent five-year-old sister and the rest, as they say, is history, a global must-have Christmas song was born.

Just a few years ago, in 2014, the English singer, Sam Smith, released an understated, meaningful rendition that touched enough hearts to make it soar, for the first time, into the Billboard Hot 100.

Another version I like is by Kelly Clarkson.  In 2013 she put it on her album, Wrapped in Red and it’s lovely.  She uses the gift of her voice to add interest, but without those cheesy lounge-singer-esque vocal acrobatics that can make you cringe.

Of course, should you want to hear some of those acrobatics done with style, check out Christina Aguilera’s take on this classic.  Not many can do what she does and make it sound easy.

Interestingly, Sinatra is responsible for improving the song.  For his 1957 album A Jolly Christmas, his second recording of the tune, he asked Hugh Martin, the song’s writer, to “jolly up that line” for him, referring to the original line, “From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.”  The result was, “Hang a shining star above the highest bough.”  Brilliant.

Hearing Frank sing, he becomes family, and not that crazy uncle we seem to all have (if you’re not sure which one it is in your family, it could be you), but the cool uncle who, when he walks into a room, you know something special is about to happen.

Like the twinkle in Santa’s eye, Frank’s songs and singing are the very spirit of the season; after all, if you play with the letters in Ol’ Blue Eye’s last name, you’ll find Santa.  Coincidence?  I think not!  Do you have a favorite version of this song?  Tell me when you come out to the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino between December 27th and the 31st for Drinkin’ - Swingin’ - Singin’.