Lucinda Williams, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (2014): One Track Mind

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There was, maybe here more than in any other Yule favorite, always a dark sense of melancholy about “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — something that spoke to those whose troubles clearly weren’t yet miles away.

Lucinda Williams, quite obviously, heard that, too. Not that she’s turned this favorite from Meet Me in St. Louis into some sort of grinch’s dirge. Just that her gruff slur, cozied up against a lonesome guitar twang, conveys just how few times the fates allow us the moments we’d like.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has always been about treasuring those times, of course. But in order to have that recognition, there must first be absence — something to miss. Lucinda Williams, by imbuing this with such a warbling sense of loss, makes you long for something that hasn’t even happened yet.

And, right after that, probably make plans to call someone you haven’t caught up with over the last few holiday seasons.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is part of a forthcoming Christmas-themed compilation from Amazon called ‘All Is Bright,’ a playlist that also features Beth Orton.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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