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Sunday, December 03, 2017

#23 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

We are continuing the countdown of the Top 25 Christmas songs according to my own personal opinion.  And as we kick off Day #3 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR, we will actually be having a look at song #23 on my list.

Yep.  This year, I'm counting down backwards.

It's actually been a lot of fun doing this so far.  All year long on my Facebook page, I've been counting down my list of my top 750 songs of all time, and let's just say that when I post my Boxing Day entry, I will be sharing that list with all of you to analyze and break down however you see fit.

Now, as the late Casey Kasem would say - on with the countdown!

Have you ever seen the 1944 film "Meet Me in St. Louis"?  To be perfectly honest with you, that is one movie that I have never seen.  I know, I call myself a pop culture addict, yet there are a few movies that I have not yet seen!  I suppose that I can be forgiven though.  It was released thirty-seven years before I was born.

However, the film starred a standout performer in her own right.  Actress Judy Garland had already made a name for herself five years earlier when she took on the role of Dorothy Gale in "The Wizard of Oz".  The film was an instant success worldwide (and admittedly was one of my favourite movies growing up and is still held in high regard for me personally), and catapulted her to success.

Of course, we all know that Judy Garland's star burned out prematurely.  By the time the 1960s rolled around, she had a serious drug and alcohol problem which was a factor behind her death in 1969 at the age of 47.  But back in her prime, she was as beautiful as she was talented. 

What was interesting about Judy Garland's voice was that she sang almost every song with a mixture of happiness, hope, and heartbreak.  I mean, if you listen to her song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz", it was as beautiful as it was melancholic.  You could hear the sadness in her voice as she sang about how she longed to be over the rainbow, but you could also hear the resolve that one day she would get there.

(And she eventually did in all of her technicolor glory.)

I suppose that my choice for song #23 - "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is also a song that brings about those conflicting emotions.  Granted, the song is one of my favourites anyway no matter who sings it (and honestly, I almost picked the Pretenders' version from 1987 as Chrissie Hynde rocked that song quite well).  But there's something about Judy Garland's version that makes it stand out more.

The song itself could be interpreted as a happy song, as the genuine wish for someone to have a merry Christmas is a good one.  But the way that Judy sang it, there's that added depth of despair - almost as if something is missing from Judy's life that would make it a merry little Christmas.  I think that a lot of people out there are feeling that way.  Sometimes I feel as though I should be happy during the holidays, but there's something missing that would make it perfect, which leads to seasonal depression, and so on and so forth.

I think it's because of the emotion that Judy Garland used to sing the song that cemented it at #23 on this list.  I knew it had to be included somewhere, but I also knew that there are others that I liked more.

Such as the song that I have listed at #22.  Although the song was first released in the 1960s, it became an annual tradition at one late night host's talk show - well, at least until 2014 anyway. 

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