Did you know these Christmas songs have Alabama ties?

Judy Garland and the rest of the cast of "Meet Me in St. Louis"
Judy Garland and the rest of the cast of "Meet Me in St. Louis"(NPR/The Kobal Collection)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:24 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Almost everyone knows the lyrics to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” but only few know the iconic song was written in Alabama.

Birmingham native Hugh Martin wrote the song in his parents’ home which is still standing today. Martin was known for writing music for big Broadway shows and Hollywood films. In the early 1940s, he was tasked with writing a holiday song for Judy Garland’s movie “Meet Me in St. Louis,” which came out in 1944.

The song originally included some lyrics that were more depressing than what people sing today.

“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 will all be living in New York.”

After Garland heard the lyrics, she thought they were much too sad. Eventually, Martin and his partner Ralph Blaine re-wrote the song to what is played in movies and on the radio today.

Another classic hit that folks love to hate is “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

The song was written by Randy Books and recorded by his friend, Elmo Shropshire, a graduate from Auburn University. He originally recorded the song in 1979 with his then-wife Patsy. The two gained instant stardom from the song that has everyone laughing.

In 2000, Shropshire was a co-writer on the on the Christmas special, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” He also voiced the character of Grandpa and the narrator.

Now, every time one of these songs during the holiday season, you might think of them a bit differently.

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