Top 10 Christmas Songs from Musicals

December 14, 2011

Christmas is a surprisingly popular topic in musical theatre! Here are my top 10 Christmas moments in musicals, with a couple of bonus titles for those of you who can’t get enough Yuletide Musical Magic. The first two are from movies that were made into stage musicals:

1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Meet Me In Saint Louis

You just have to start a Christmas post with a Garland. Don’tcha?

2. White Christmas from White Christmas

(Original Broadway Cast)

And the one from the movie:


3. We Need A Little Christmasfrom Mame

Here’s Jane Morgan singing from the show while a typically disoriented Ed Sullivan looks on:

And in all its cheesy glory by Mitzi Gaynor:

4. God Bless Us Everyone from Alan Menken’s A Christmas Carol

This from the Kelsey Grammer film (you may have to watch an ad first)

5. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas from Here’s Love

Yes, Here’s Love, Meredith Willson’s musical version of Miracle on 34th Street, the show that single-handedly keeps the plastic alligator industry going.  Couldn’t find a clip from the show itself, but here’s Johnny Mathis, sadly singing it chrisssssmisssss:

6. Twelve Days To Christmas from She Loves Me

Perhaps the best use of a Christmas carol in a musical sequence. Typically masterful writing from Bock and Harnick shows a Christmas shopping season passing, while establishing the growing relationship between the romantic leads. Plus it’s funny and quirky; don’t miss the word swap at around the 3:00 mark.

7. Be A Santa from Subways Are For Sleeping

This show is by Comden and Green and Jule Styne, and it’s the show where David Merrick famously found ordinary people with the same names as the major reviewers to comment favorably so he could use the blurbs in advertisements. This was the first act closer. (not this version, of course)

8. Christmas Is My Favorite Time of Year from Catch Me If You Can

Another show using Christmas to advance the plot:

The next two songs are hot in the cabaret circuit:

9. I Don’t Remember Christmas from Starting Here, Starting Now

10. Lovers on Christmas Eve from I Love My Wife

BONUS: Turkey Lurkey Time from Promises Promises

In the musical theatre community, this whiplash inducing Burt Bacharach song and its Michael Bennett choreography are something one is expected to be familiar with.

and finally: Hard Candy Christmas from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

These three songs don’t appear anywhere online, but I recommend them:

Christmas Child from Irma La Douce

A Greenwillow Christmas from Greenwillow

Christmas Gifts from It’s A Wonderful Life

What do you think?

A Turkey Lurkey Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


  1. Peter, I was getting a litle worried that “Hard Candy Christmas” (here’s a version from a college production, I think: http://youtu.be/4eDQWxGdDRQ) wasn’t going to be there. I think it’s such a poignant song, even if it it’s about the OTHER side of things.

    After that, I’d say “We Need a Little Christmas” and then “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” round out my top 3

    • Clearly the tryptophan hasn’t kicked in yet during the turkey-lurkey song! How could you forget the bing-bong bing-bong from Annie’s A New Deal for Christmas. The depression and Christmas! Hands down winner is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. We decorate our tree every year while watching Meet Me in St. Louis and White Christmas. But I still love We Need A Little Christmas. At work we used to sing it but change the words to We Need Some Medication.

  2. Reblogged this on landreaulanguage and commented:
    Looking ahead to Christmas showcase.

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