172: A World War Two Christmas

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!

Today we’re looking at three Christmas songs that are born from the anxieties of World War Two. Two of the songs aren’t direct references to the war itself, but it clearly informed the subject. Themes of separation and loneliness emerge, and a sense of nostalgia is present throughout.

Interestingly, one of the songs was so dark that the lyricist was asked to change the words…twice. For the other two songs, there’s a verse that usually goes unsung, though once in awhile we get to hear it. And one song was popular enough with the public that it still holds the Guinness record for most copies of a song sold—and it’s not even the original recording!

And, as promised: here are the original lyrics to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
It may be your last.
Next year we may all be living in the past.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Pop that champagne cork.
Next year we may all be living in New York.
No good times like the olden days.
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who were dear to us.
Will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together.
If the Lord allows.
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Happy holidays to ye!

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Sorry, no transcript this time.