14 March 2011 5:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A composer of classic musicals, he wrote Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Among the perennial Christmas songs, one of the most performed and popular is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with words and music by Hugh Martin, who has died aged 96. Since it was first sung by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St Louis (1944), this bittersweet yuletide ditty has been performed by hundreds of artists from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Bing Crosby to rock bands including Coldplay and Twisted Sister.

The song has featured in several other films, notably The Victors (1963), in which the Sinatra version is used ironically during the execution of an American soldier for treason; The Godfather (1972); When Harry Met Sally (1989); Home Alone (1990); Miracle On 34th Street (1994); and Donnie Brasco (1997). In 1989, the song received the award for most-performed feature-film standard from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. »

- Ronald Bergan

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