We DO need a little Christmas, right?

Natalie and I often toss a version of this line around in our writings and discussions.  We even use a little piece of the tune as our end of broadcast tag.  We like to get to the roots of Christmas songs and figure out what they’re all about.  The tune We Need a Little Christmas was written as part of the Broadway musical Mame.  The song was first recorded by Angela Lansbury as part of the cast recording in 1966.  As part of the action in the show Mame loses everything in the stock market crash of 1929.  She decides to cheer everyone up by bringing in Christmas a little early- they need a little Christmas.  It’s funny that in the 60’s the show included a line mid-song that said to Mame that it was too early for Christmas since it was just “one week past Thanksgiving”.  My how times have changed!  Today Christmas seems to begin, commercially at least, immediately following the clearing of the Halloween candy and costumes from the shelf.  The line in the show has been adjusted to just “one week from Thanksgiving” to reflect our changes that almost everyone is into Christmas mode immediately after Thanksgiving.

The song has become a holiday regular on the playlist and there are many recorded versions.  You should certainly become familiar with the original Angela Lansbury recording.  Curious to me was the Lucille Ball performance from the movie version.  More modern versions include those kids from Glee and the Muppets too.  I’ll go on the record here and say my favorite recording is from Percy Faith from the late 60’s.  What really gets me is the girls singing all those “do-do-do-do, do-da-do-da-do’s”.  Percy added the female chorus to keep up with his label partner Ray Conniff who had been recording with his “singers” for years.  (Gotta connect it all to Ray- right Natalie?)

Here are the lyrics to help you sing along:

Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry
So climb down the chimney
Turn on the brightest string of light I’ve ever seen
Slice up the fruitcake
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough
For I’ve grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now
For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter
And we need a little snappy
“Happy ever after”
Need a little Christmas now