Sick Of Cheesy Christmas Music? This Dark Synthpop Artist Reimagined A Classic That Will Send An Icy Chill Right Through You.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Abby Cole – “Have Urself A Merry Little Christmas”
RIYL: the ghost of Christmas past
What else you need to know: Cole is pretty fresh to the scene having started crafting music in 2018 and making her radio debut before the official release of her first single “Dandelion Wine” in 2020. She certainly has captured our attention — we featured “A Lone Song” that she did alongside Slowaves and The Outs. This year Cole dropped her second EP SEETHRU, a collection of five tracks detailing failed love and the resentment that comes from it.
But today we’re going with something a little more festive and featuring her latest Christmas cover — not too festive, though, trust the dark synthpop queen to throw a depressing, dark spin on this holiday staple.
“Have Urself A Merry Little Christmas” isn’t like the Crosby or Bublé versions we’re used to hearing while Christmas shopping that emit hope and warmth. Cole’s version sports a more somber tone and uses the darker original lyrics that have since been forgotten. That’s right, the song that we’ve grown to know and love had a much different vibe when it was originally written for Judy Garland to sing in Meet Me In St. Louis. Garland and producers felt that the original draft was too depressing and requested a rewrite.
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas // Let your heart be light // From now on our troubles will be out of sight” was originally, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas // It may be your last // Next year we may all be living in the past.”
“Faithful friends who are dear to us // Gather near to us once more” was once “Faithful friends who were dear to us // Will be near to us no more.”
Nothing says Merry Christmas like the painful reality of our mortality!
Cole’s use of the original lyrics — paired with her whispering, haunting vocals and the droning, ethereal synth — has created a truly beautiful, ghostly and Dickensian new take on the tune and we can’t get enough of it. Despite the darkness of it all, there’s still something sweet about it. We’ve all had moments during the holiday season that have made us question the path we’re on, and there’s a sense of comfort listening to someone sing about those woes. Plus, with an angelic voice like Cole’s, you gotta believe there’s some good in the world.