Monday, December 17, 2012

I Need a Little Christmas

This is one of my favorite carols this year -- not only for its rich Jerry Herman melody but for its context. It's from the venerable Broadway musical, Mame. Our eccentric heroine has just lost all her money but gained a ward, her nephew, Patrick. To cheer herself and her family, she summons up Christmas. If you listen carefully, you'll hear Lucy croak lyrics that don't normally make the covers in your Christmas carol rotation:

"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,
I need a little Christmas now."

After what happened in CT last week, that describes me rather perfectly. And I need a little Christmas.

According to Broadway lore, Angela Lansbury completely nailed the role, winning a Tony and becoming the stuff of legend for her rapport with costar Bea Arthur (also a Tony winner). While Arthur got to reprise her role for the big screen, as you can see Angela Lansbury got replaced by a bigger star. It's unfortunate because, though Lucy was undoubtedly talented and (to borrow a phrase) I love her, she completely sucked as Mame. So Angela Lansbury's Mame, like Julie Andrews' Eliza Doolittle, is lost to us.

But that doesn't diminish how much I enjoy this song. Take it away, Mame!


  1. I like this to be the first Christmas song I hear each season.

  2. You've captured just how I feel today. Especially in the context of what school was like today (we spent at least half an hour reviewing our emergency drill plans).