I woke up this morning with Jerry Herman.
Let me re-phrase that. This morning I woke up with “We Need A Little Christmas” rolling around in my, only semi-awake, head. I have no idea why. I haven’t seen “Mame” lately. I haven’t been in a bar where the video was playing; at least not recently. It is too early for retailers to be shuffling it into the Muzak mix. Still, as I opened my eyes to sight of the ocotillo and prickly pear outside the window and the thermometer reading 91* F, what I was hearing in my head was;
“…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….”
Sometimes it is best not to examine these things too closely. The best course of action is to follow where the universe leads and just ‘go with it’ so, after a round of morning chores, I sat down at the computer to find the song.
I was surprised, shocked actually, to see that I have only one recording of the song; on the original “Mame” cast recording. That’s fine. It is the recording, after all. But then I became intrigued. Really? Dozen’s of holiday cd’s collected over a lifetime and none of them include “We Need a Little Christmas”? A quick scan through the ‘Holiday’ genre of my iTunes library revealed 14 recordings of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”; 11 of “Silent Night”; 9 of “Jingle Bells”; 8 covers of the “Little (obnoxious freakin’) Drummer Boy” and at least half-a-dozen of every other Christmas song imaginable but no other recordings of “We Need A Little Christmas”.
Now on a mission, I decided to visit YouTube. If nothing else, I was sure I’d find the clip from the Lucille Ball movie version of “Mame”. Before I found it, however, I stuck pure gold!
I like Mitzi Gaynor but the ice skaters doing the staged falls every few seconds, the truly terrible up-tempo arrangement of the song, and the costume that looks like she just left a “That Girl”- themed Christmas party make this just what I needed. I wasn’t aware of being depressed but the song is about cheering up and I have had a big smile on my face for an hour after seeing this. Thanks Jerry. Thanks Mitzi. Thanks YouTube.