A merry little Christmas: The wartime boom in holiday songs

An item from the Legion Magazine.


Legion Magazine
Front Lines
A merry little Christmas: The wartime boom in holiday songs

A merry little Christmas: The wartime boom in holiday songs

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

They were dark and uncertain times in 1943 when two American composers, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, wrote a hopeful little song that would become an all-time hit of musical cinema—and of the ever-expanding Christmas season.

Crafted for the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis, in which it was first sung by Judy Garland, the bittersweet “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” it turns out, is at its heart a more hopeful treatise on war and loneliness than the movie storyline would suggest.

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40% off back issues of Canada's Ultimate Story
Military Milestones
Pilots and partisans

Pilots and partisans

Story by Sharon Adams

The beginning of January 1945 marked a run of luck—or rather, display of expertise—for Canadian Flying Officer Norman Pearce, serving with No. 73 Squadron, Royal Air Force, in Yugoslavia.

The squadron spent much time searching for enemy aircraft aloft, but it was also charged with supporting partisans fighting against their German occupiers on the ground. Pearce was credited with destroying six vehicles on Jan. 5 and a 75mm gun and two more vehicles on Jan. 9.

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