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Bijan Taghavi - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas: Solo Jazz Piano Arrangement

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Bijan Taghavi performs his solo piano jazz arrangement of Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane's Christmas classic "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".


Unlike most Christmas songs are happy and cheery, this one captured the pain and uncertainty of many American’s during WW2.

What you may not know about this tune is that the original lyrics casted a much darker tone than the ones often sung by performers.

So much so that Judy Garland, who introduced the song in Meet Me in St. Louis the 1944 musical, refused to sing it and forced Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane to change some of their own lyrics!

For example, the very beginning: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last. Next year we may all be living in the past”

became "... Let your heart be light. Next year all our troubles will be out of sight".

Then a few years later when Frank Sinatra sang the song, he asked Martin to “jolly up” the line that originally reads:

"Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow."

Sound familiar? This sentiment is strikingly similar to today, Christmas 2020, overshadowed like Christmas 1944 by death and grief and uncertainty of ongoing War at the time.

Those words from long ago, about the importance of persistence and endurance are especially resonant today.

Frank changed the original “until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” to “hang a shining star upon the highest bough”.

It’s been a strange year for everybody, but just as the song suggests, I hope everybody watching this has a Merry Christmas!

Thanks for watching!

For zoom lessons or inquiries please email me at: bijan@

For custom transcriptions, please visit:

Instagram: @bijanisback

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