Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Saying-goodbye

It was day or two after Thanksgiving 2005, Paul was going to deploy to Iraq within the week.  We had done all the paperwork.  We had prepared the children.  We had discussed what  would happen if . . .    We had done everything we could think of.  I was sad, anxious and scared.  I started clenching my jaw.  I clenched so tightly and for so many weeks that by the time Paul was leaving, I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to eat a peanut butter sandwich.

That day we were headed to Ft. Hood for something, a last minute errand.  We were at the the train tracks on Ft. Hood Street and Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard watching a train go by.  The DJ on the radio talked about the song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  

He told us that Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was written for the movie Meet Me in St. Louis, in the 1940’s.  The lyrics were really dark, reflecting the war weary mood of America at the time.  Judy Garland was supposed to sing the song in the movie, and she did, but she thought the lyrics were too dismal for the scene to which the song belonged.  She asked the composers to change a few of the lines; they did and the version we most recognize is the one we she sings in the movie.

The DJ was going to play a different version.  It was recorded by Frank Sinatra for troops who were still fighting in WWII with a mix of the original lyrics and alternate lyrics. When Frank sang, ” . . . Next year all our troubles will be out of site . . . “, it reflected  the mood in the car and I cried and we both wished for “next year” to arrive quickly.

Although I never really liked that song before, it holds bittersweet significance for us now.

These are the lyrics, Frank Sinatra sang and they are the ones I like the best.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again as in olden days, happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us, will be near to us once more.

Someday soon, we all will be together, if the Fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

These are the original lyrics.

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.

Judy was right, kinda dark wouldn’t you agree?  The photo at the top was taken when I dropped Paul off for OIF 05-06.    I’ve had all these memories running around my brain as we decorate and try to have fun with our traditions without our Dad and wanted to get them written down.  Thanks for indulging me.

 

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